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Rangers Quick Hits

May 11, 2012

Albert Pujols in 31 games this season has 1 HR and 11 RBIs. Josh Hamilton in 4 games vs.Baltimore has 6 HRS and 12 RBIs.

Joe Nathan hasn’t allowed an ER in his past 9 appearances. He’s dramatically improved from his early season struggles and the 1-2-3 punch of Ogando, Adams, and Nathan is looking downright unstoppable.

The Rangers as a team have some mind boggling stats right now. As a pitching staff they’re 1st inAL in overall ERA, 1st in wins, 1st in walks allowed, 2nd in strikeouts, 2nd in shutouts, and 2nd in opponents batting average. As a batting order they’re 1st in runs, 1st in  average, 1st in on base percentage, 1st in slugging percentage, 1st in OPS, 1st in hits, and 1st in total bases. They’re looking like a well oiled machine and at about 20% of the way through the season these gaudy stats can no longer be discounted with the “it’s early” maxim.

The Rangers let CJ Wilson walk and took a huge gamble on Yu Darvish due to their belief that the only thing missing on their team was a true #1 ace. They knew that as steady and consistent as CJ is he will never be more than a very good #2 pitcher as his fastball sits around 90-93 and he doesn’t have an elite out pitch (think of how many times he had long at bats with batters fouling off balls left and right). It’s extremely early but so far the gamble appears to have paid off as Darvish has been more dominant more often this season than CJ Wilson was last year. In 34 starts last year Wilson had 1 or fewer earned run 13 times (38%) and had 9 or more strikeouts 9 times (26%) yet in Darvish’s 6 starts this year he already has allowed 1 run or fewer 4 times (66%) and has 9 or more strikeouts 3 times (50%). Darvish is younger, has a better fastball, has a far superior out pitch (his curve right now is spectacular), and has a much bigger frame (6’5 215 vs. 6’1 210) that could continue to fill out improving his durability and fastball velocity.Wilson has far superior control but other than that I would say he is inferior to Darvish in every other way.

Are these standings going to last? Right now the Angels and Red Sox are in last place in their division, the Yankees are 2nd to last, and upstarts like the Baltimore Orioles and the Cleveland Indians are leading their division. This could just be a blip on the radar and the expected frontrunners could drift back into contention or the injury to Mariano Rivera, the slump of Albert Pujols, and the total discfuntion in the Red Sox clubhouse could keep those talented rosters stuck in neutral until it’s too late in the season for a playoff push. It’d be interesting to see a playoff picture with the Angels, Red Sox, Tigers, and Yankees out of the picture as it would leave Texas as the only high profile team left in the AL and would continue to grow the team’s ever expanding fan base. Right now everything is matching up perfectly for Texas as their playing great baseball and when I look around the AL the Tigers and the Rays are the only team that remotely matches up talent wise with the Rangers. It could end up being a down year overall for the AL at the same time that the Rangers are fielding their most talented team yet.

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2 Comments
  1. joe permalink

    Can we get a wins prediction?

  2. 103 wins sounds about right. It would tie the ’02 and ’09 Yankees and the ’02 A’s for the most wins by an American League team in the past 10 years. This team has that kind of talent. They’re on pace for 108 wins but I’m assuming they’ll slow down a little bit, right?

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