The Texas Rangers appear to be sputtering a bit as they enter the much-needed All Star Break. Their schedule won’t be doing them any favors, either.
The Texas Rangers picked a bad time to go into a bit of a tailspin. In their past nine games, they’ve lost all three series, posted a 3-6 record, and lost ground in the American League wild card race. Worse yet, every team ahead of them in the standings is above .500 over the same stretch. It’s never a good thing when you’re moving one way and everyone else is headed the opposite direction.
Furthermore, it only takes a cursory glance at their most recent stretch of opponents to determine that the Rangers have been playing against a higher quality of foes. Since last weekend, they’ve played the Rays, Angels, and Twins. Those three teams possess a collective .567 winning percentage this year.
It’s only natural to struggle against teams closer in the standings, especially with two of those series on the road, but it is also telling. In a little over a week, the Rangers have had an opportunity to compare themselves to some fairly decent squads. It hasn’t fared particularly well, and it doesn’t lend itself to a positive mindset from the fan base moving forward.
Yet through all of this, there is a silver lining. Even with them losing six of their last nine, the Rangers are 31-20 since May 15th. They’re 48-42 at the break. They’re only three games out of the second wild card at this very moment. And while they’ve definitely had their difficulties against teams above them in the standings, they generally hang tough with the teams close to them, and they’ve been pounding bad teams into submission.
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But the thing that looms ominously after the All Star Break is that schedule. In short order, they will play the Houston Astros seven times between the dates of July 11th and July 21st. While Texas has won two of three series against Houston this year, the Rangers most recently suffered the ignominy of a four-game sweep in May in which they were outscored 33-11. The chasm between the two teams couldn’t have appeared larger at the time. It was, in fact, the low point of the Ranger season before they began an impressive march toward respectability. They need to win four of those upcoming seven games against Houston to perpetuate the notion that they’re a quality ball club.
It all boils down to what will be a pivotal month of July for these Rangers. If they hang in the picture and are able to steal a series–or two–that they weren’t supposed to, then there’s no question they’ll be looking to add pieces in order to make a push for the postseason. If they falter and fall further behind, then some of the players that helped them overachieve this season will surely be gone.
So while the nominal second half of the season doesn’t set up well for this club, they’ve still got to go out and play the games. Yesterday’s eleven-inning, four-hours-plus win against a very good Twins team was a good start. The Rangers, as has been their mode of operation all year, dug deep and gutted out a win they needed. It’s been their makeup all year, and hopefully they’ve got a lot more of that left in the tank.
- Published on 07/08/2019 at 13:55 PM
- Last updated at 07/08/2019 at 13:55 PM