Rangers 2016 Season Preview
Ready to check out our 2016 Texas Rangers predictions? The Rangers surpassed everyone’s expectations last season, en route to a postseason berth and manager Jeff Banister winning the American League’s Manager of the Year award.
MLB Rangers Predictions & Handicapping Insight
An 88-win season was a good deal better than most people expected from Texas going into the 2015 campaign.
Moreover, Texas seems to have set up a sustainable model for success in the AL West moving forward – at least until all those super-talented whippersnappers in Houston reach full professional maturity.
Texas could definitely finish on the top of the heap in the AL West again this year.
2016 MLB Team Previews
- Rangers American League West Future Odds: +210
- Rangers American League Pennant Future Odds: +900
- Rangers 2016 World Series Futures Odds: +2200
Justin Ruggiano – OF (Dodgers)
Tom Wilhelmsen – RP (Mariners)
Ruggiano was acquired merely to help fill out the bench roles on the team; he can be used as a utility outfielder as he has a versatile skill set. Wilhelmsen, a right-handed option out of the bullpen, has experience as a closer from his time in Seattle.
To get that shot on his new team, he’ll have to out-pitch outstanding incumbent options like Shawn Tolleson, Sam Dyson and Jake Diekman.
Yovani Gallardo – SP (to Orioles)
Leonys Martin – OF (to Mariners)
Mike Napoli – 1B (to Indians)
Gallardo was a steady if unspectacular presence in Texas’s rotation last season, he will be missed as he moves to the AL East. Leonys Martin might never hit, but he was an excellent defender in the outfield and was an ideal late-inning defensive replacement. Napoli has a game-changing bat sometimes, but the years of catching have slowly broken down his body. It was time to part ways with the veteran.
2016 Rangers Predictions – Projected Lineup
- Delino DeShields Jr. CF
- Shin-Soo Choo RF
- Prince Fielder DH
- Adrian Beltre 3B
- Mitch Moreland 1B
- Josh Hamilton LF
- Elvis Andrus SS
- Rougned Odor 2B
- Robinson Chirinos C
This is a well-balanced offense, with some potentially dangerous options near the bottom of the one-thru-nine. Odor is really coming into his own at the plate and at second base.
He will probably be an All-Star this season, thanks to his deceiving power, speed, aggression and instincts.
Veteran run producers in the heart of the order, such as Fielder and Beltre, continue to earn their big contracts. Fielder is a choosy hitter that can pull a ball and smash it out of the yard, or go the other way with power. He will wait for his pitch so he’ll get his share of walks, too.
Beltre simply continues to defy Father Time. The 36-year old is good for about a .280 average and 20 or so dingers. He does it while still playing a great defense at the hot corner. His work ethic rubs off on teammates, also.
The oft-troubled Hamilton was a nice story when he “came home” to Arlington last year, and though he chases bad pitches and is a durability risk, the ball still jumps off his bat.
2016 Rangers Predictions – Projected Rotation
- Cole Hamels
- Yu Darvish
- Derek Holland
- Martin Perez
- Nick Martinez
A big question mark for this unit is the Japanese import Darvish, who missed 2015 with Tommy John surgery.
If he comes back like he was before the problems, the Rangers have another front-line starter to pair with ace Hamels. Texas’s rotation is rather lefty-heavy (Hamels, Holland and Perez) but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
The juxtapostion of smooth lefty Hamels and Holland (when healthy) sandwiched around RHP Darvish makes Darvish all the more dynamic.
At the back of the rotation, Perez has to have his sinker working and must also stay on the field, while Martinez – despite showing good life down in the zone – must worry about control issues.
2016 Rangers Predictions – Projected Bullpen
- Shawn Tolleson
- Sam Dyson
- Tom Wilhelmsen
The “bully” was surprisingly an area of strength for the Rangers by the end of last year. The additions of Dyson and lefty Diekman did wonders for the group’s overall effectiveness.
Wilhelmsen will pop the catcher’s mitt in a setup role also, as current closer Tolleson doesn’t miss many bats.
The Rangers fully had one of the best bullpens in the AL over the last two months of the season; if they can duplicate that success, well, the K.C. Royals have shown how effective that formula can be.
2016 Texas Rangers Season Predictions
The Rangers achieved an impressive season last year, despite missing a huge amount of their contingent with injuries. Getting a full slate of starts from the likes of Darvish, Holland and Perez would do wonders for Texas’s chances to start with.
Texas can’t possibly endure the same kind of snake-bitten luck with injuries for a second consecutive year.
Banister came in as manager last year and turned this team around – this year, with a full year of Hamels and better injury luck, the Rangers look like they’re in pole position to grab the division for a second straight year.
What do you think of our 2016 Texas Rangers predictions? Comments are welcome below.
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