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MLB Betting – Texas Rangers 2020 Season Preview

Written by:
Don Shapiro
Published on:
Apr/24/2020


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It seems like the Texas Rangers just moved into a new ballpark. Now they’re doing it again while hoping for similar results from a quarter of a century ago. When they moved into Globe Life Park in 1994 they proceeded to win the AL West. The Rangers posted a 52-62 record that strike-shortened season and MLB cancelled its postseason. The Rangers won’t win the West this season finishing 10 games under .500 having to compete with Houston, Oakland and an improved Angels squad. At this point fans and players are hoping they get a chance to see the new digs.

2020 Texas Rangers At A Glance

Texas Rangers World Series Odds +8000

Texas Rangers AL Pennant Odds +4200

Texas Rangers AL West Odds +2650

2020 Texas Rangers Overview

Not much was expected from the Rangers last season so I guess in a way finishing the campaign at 78-84 was a success. Based on the previous year when they won 67 games it was a complete success. But the Rangers have toyed with mediocrity the past three seasons never winning more than 78 games while teasing their fans with a fake wild card bid.

If we do have a season the Rangers could well boast the best starting rotation in the AL West. Mike Minor and Lance Lynn were surprisingly good in 2018 and they are joined by two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber. The bullpen is another story. Void of a true closer Chris Woodward will likely use a committee approach until there is some clarity.

Jettisoning three of their most productive players, we could see a step back at the dish. The biggest question now is whether the pitching staff is strong enough to carry an offense that is likely to score fewer runs than the 5.0 per game it averaged last season. In a perfect world the Rangers could contend for a wild card, but as we’ve seen the world is far from perfect.


Pitcher Corey Kluber brings some hope to this year's Rangers

Pitching

As has been the case seemingly forever, the pitching stunk. The Rangers finished with a 5.06 ERA last season and finished only six games under .500. Woodward used 19 different starters with only two players other than Minor and Lynn starting at least 15 games. The rotation was revamped over the winter with Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles joining Kluber as newcomers.

Minor had a career-year in 2018 with a 14-10 record and 3.59 ERA over 32 starts. Lynn was equally good with a team-high 16 wins and 3.67 ERA in 33 starts. Both hurlers tossed 208.1 innings and were the only ones to post double-digit victories. They are both capable top-of-the-rotation guys.

The addition of Kluber adds another layer to the rotation. Kluber missed most of 2018 and recently turned 34. But the injuries weren’t arm-related and the time off could be a blessing. From 2016-2018 he went 56-20 with a 2.77 ERA over 94 starts. Gibson comes over from Minnesota where he went 13-7 with a 4.84 ERA last season, and will be joined by Lyles at the bottom of the rotation.

Things get dicey once the phone rings in the bullpen. The group had a 4.73 ERA last year and little was done to improve. Rafael Montero will be a key figure. Returning from Tommy John surgery late last season he went 2-0 with a 2.48 ERA in just 29 innings. He’ll likely supplant the inconsistent Jose Leclerc as closer at some point during the year.

Hitting

The Rangers had to make some sacrifices in order to strengthen the rotation. We’ll see how that works out for them. Delino DeShields was part of the Kluber deal, Nomar Mazara was dealt to the White Sox and Hunter Pence was granted free agency. The trio combined to hit .270 with 41 homers and 157 RBIs. To make up for some of that production Todd Frazier was signed. He hasn’t hit more than 21 homers in a season since swatting 40 in 2016 so we don’t really know what he brings to the table.

The key is going to be how Joey Gallo progresses. He was hitting for a high average – at least by his standards – last year before shelved with injuries. In 70 games he hit .253 with 22 homers. Over the previous two seasons he combined to hit .208 with 403 whiffs, but he did mash 81 homers. The rest of the projected lineup is solid but unspectacular. Rougned Odor, Robinson Chirinos, Shin-soo Choo and Ronald Guzman will all need to have career years for the Rangers to sniff a playoff spot.

2020 Texas Rangers Season Pick

A short season would help the Rangers with their strong starting rotation, but that’s about the only thing that works in their favor. It’s hard to imagine the entire lineup producing at levels beyond the norm and the bullpen is ... well I don’t know what the bullpen is, but it’s likely not very good. The division is tough and I don’t see the Rangers chasing down the Astros or A’s.

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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