Max Scherzer Isn't the Rangers' Best Starting Pitcher

Our new ace isn't who we expected.

Jordan Montgomery has been lights-out since coming to the Rangers.
Jordan Montgomery has been lights-out since coming to the Rangers. / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers were smart to acquire a new ace at the trade deadline, even if it's not the pitcher most people expected.

Texas gave its rotation a major boost by trading for Max Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery last month. While both pitchers had comparable numbers at the time, Scherzer was regarded as the bigger get given his Hall of Fame track record and superstar status.

Surprisingly, Montgomery has turned out to be the better acquisition thus far, pitching like a legit No. 1 starter since arriving in Arlington from the Cardinals.

Jordan Montgomery Rangers

Montgomery was sensational again on Monday, twirling 8 shutout innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Even though the Rangers still lost, 4-3, it was hardly the starting pitcher's fault.

The veteran southpaw has now delivered a quality start in all four of his Texas outings thus far, bring his season ERA down from 3.42 to 3.12. He's given up just 5 runs in 26 innings, logging a stellar 26:3 K/BB ratio and 2.62 FIP. The 100 batters he's faced during that time have been mostly helpless, mustering a meager .240/.260/.333 batting line against him.

Suffice it to say, Montgomery has been even better than advertised. He was expected to be a mid-rotation starter given his above-average work with the Cardinals and Yankees, but so far he's taken his game to another level.

In his defense, Scherzer has been excellent as well, going 3-1 with a 2.66 ERA and 30 strikeouts in his first four outings with the Rangers. Montgomery's 1.74 ERA is nearly a full run lower, however, so he's been quite a bit stingier. Scherzer also has more walks (9) in fewer innings (23 2/3), so his command hasn't been as sharp as Montgomery's, either.

While we still have a ways to go in the season, Texas seems to have knocked it out of the park with both acquisitions. Scherzer and Montgomery have helped the Rangers stay in front of the hard-charging Astros in the AL West and maintain one of the best records in the American League.

If Texas does end up winning the division (and potentially more), it will likely be because the front office nailed the trade deadline and added not one, but two aces to the rotation.

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