2020-07-12 12:00:00 EDT
The Texas Rangers will attempt to move up in the American League West standings during the 2020 MLB season.
Texas finished at 78-84 in 2019, leaving the team in third place in the division and out of the playoffs for the third straight year. The Rangers are set to be among the competitive members of the AL West this season, and they’ll be an entertaining team to watch. Check back all season long for free MLB picks and MLB predictions at Sports Chat Place.
Let’s take a closer look at Texas’ current status and break down the team’s chances at hitting their projected win total in 2020.
The Rangers put together a nice run prior to the All-Star break in 2019, but couldn’t sustain the momentum throughout the season. The good news is that Texas was able to tally some nice results versus the relative punching-bag teams of the AL, as with a 6-1 season series record versus Baltimore and a 6-0 mark versus Detroit. The Rangers weren’t as successful elsewhere however, going 6-13 versus Houston, 1-6 versus Minnesota and 6-13 versus the Athletics. It was a fairly competitive season overall for Texas, but obviously there’s plenty of room for improvement in that higher tier of MLB talent.
The Rangers have opportunities available to ratchet up that win percentage in 2020’s shortened season. The team will have a heavy 40-game slate against the AL West: 10 games apiece versus the Astros, A’s, Angels and Mariners. The other 20 will come against the NL West, and Texas will see the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Giants, Rockies and Padres there. Los Angeles and Arizona should be fielding really good squads this season, but the Rangers should be able to find some wins versus San Francisco, Colorado and San Diego.
Looking at Texas’ projected lineup, the team has a well-rounded group this year. Veteran Shin-Soo Choo and Elvis Andrus offer a nice speed/power combination out of the first couple spots in the order. Then it’s a barrage of potentially solid hitters like Joey Gallo and Danny Santana. Todd Frazier and Rougned Odor also have a shot at hitting double-digit homers in 2020, so long as they don’t endure any prolonged slumps and BA dips. Frazier specifically hit .251 last season, which is pretty good for him these days. As for Odor, he hit just .205 last year after a .253 mark in 2018. That number needs to come back up this season.
As for the starting pitching, the Rangers have a decent group there as well. If Corey Kluber and Lance Lynn can keep their ERAs below 4.00 or so, Texas should be able to do the rest of the work with their bats. Mike Minor projects a little higher ERA-wise but should be positioned for a good season as well, while Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles round out the potential starting five. It’s a solid group on paper in Texas, with plenty of name recognition.
Pick: I like the over. I’m pretty high on the Rangers in this shortened season, and I think they could sneak into a Wild Card spot when the dust settles. It’s all going to come down to the September games, where Texas plays 26 games in 27 days. 24 of those games will be in the AL West, so we should have quite a convoluted logjam in the standings by then. Provided the hitters produce consistently, and provided the pitching keeps games manageable for most of the season, I don’t see any reason why the Rangers couldn’t hit 30-35 victories in 2020.