Surprising Amount Of Faith Shown In Rangers By ESPN

The Texas Rangers are smothered in injuries to some high-caliber talent. Although it's way too early to know, their outlook may still be on trajectory despite the setbacks.

Apr 3, 2024; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA;  Texas Rangers right fielder Adolis Garcia (53)
Apr 3, 2024; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Texas Rangers right fielder Adolis Garcia (53) / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

As you've read plenty of times this offseason, one of the hardest things to do in sports is win back-to-back championships. But that's the plan as the Texas Rangers are a week into their quest to defend their first World Series title in franchise history.

It's hard to ask much more of the Rangers to start 2024. They opened the season at home, taking two of three from the Chicago Cubs. They did the same on their first road trip to St. Petersburg, taking on the Tampa Bay Rays. They'll return to Arlington this weekend to take on the in-state rival Houston Astros.

Disaster struck before the season even began for the Rangers. It was understood Jacob deGrom would not see action until August of 2024. However, losing Max Scherzer for an extended period of time was not part of their plan. He'll hopefully be back as soon as the end of May or early June.

Then, third baseman Josh Jung was hit by a pitch that fractured his wrist. He will be sidelined for the next eight to ten weeks - also not part of the plan. But even as the injuries mount up (hopefully no more), the Rangers remain a real threat in the American League.

The stockpiled Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves are the class of baseball in 2024, and they're expected to meet in the NLCS for the right to play in the World Series. As the Rangers know, though, anything can happen in baseball. It only takes a spark, and some in the national media believe the Rangers could have what it takes to keep their crown.

Rangers Have A Case To Take Down Dodgers Or Braves In World Series

ESPN baseball writers took their best case to insider Jeff Passan as to why five of MLB's best teams have what it takes to take down the Dodgers and/or Braves on their way to a championship. David Schoenfield chose the Texas Rangers, citing that although the injuries are fierce, the pitching is sustainable, and the lineup will still produce runs and win plenty of games.

Passan agreed that the case is sound, but their current pitching situation makes them a lighter threat to the Braves or the Dodgers. If and when Scherzer and deGrom return this year, how they pitch will truly define the Rangers as a contender or a pretender.

Again, we are just six games into the season. There are 154 to go; a whole summer of baseball is ahead of us. It's way too early to jump to the playoffs, but it's nice to know the Rangers are in the conversation.

On FanDuel Sportsbook, the Rangers currently have the fourth-best odds (+700) behind the Yankees, Astros, and the Orioles.

More Rangers coverage:


Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.