Rangers 2017 Season Preview
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MLB Rangers Predictions & Handicapping Insight
The Texas Rangers enter the 2017 Season looking to repeat as AL West Division Champs, with a lineup that has some key additions joining that should only boost the offense. The main question marks surround the rotation.
2017 MLB Team Previews – Texas Rangers
- American League West +225
- American League +650
- World Series +1100
- Mike Napoli
- Jonathan Lucroy
- Carlos Gomez
- Tyson Ross
- Andrew Cashner
The key get for the Rangers is Jonathan Lucroy, who was acquired towards the end of the season last year and provides an excellent bat from the Catcher position.
Carlos Gomez star has faded with his swing considerably over the past season and a half, though he managed to produce once he travelled across the desert from Houston.
Mike Napoli is aging but hit over 30 homers last year and should be able to reach decent power and run producing numbers this year again in the hitter friendly Texas park.
The Rangers signed two high upside pitchers that have significant injury histories and are coming off of down seasons.
Cashner and Ross have the potential to be backend of the rotation pieces, should they be able to stay healthy and manage the dry desert air.
Here’s a look at the key losses for the team, though they’ve done well to replace the bats with the likes of Napoli, Gomez and Lucroy.
Napoli should replace the power at 1st base or DH and they have in-house options such as Joey Gallo and Jurickson Profar, both former prospects with upside.
- Ian Desmond
- Carlos Beltran
- Mitch Moreland
- Derek Holland
- Shawn Tolleson
The starting lineup should shape out to be a powerful one, as the Rangers will yet again lean on their offense to garner wins.
Rangers Predictions: Projected Lineup:
- RF Shin-soo Choo
- CF Carlos Gomez
- 2B Rougned Odor
- 3B Adrian Beltre
- 1B Mike Napoli
- C Jonathan Lucroy
- DH Joey Gallo/ Jurickson Profar
- LF Nomar Mazara
- SS Elvis Andrus
Their lineup looks fairly solid the full-way through to the nine spot.
Questions may surround the DH, whether Joey Gallo can cut down that enormous strikeout rate and be a Chris Davis type of power hitter than many projected.
Profar has hit well when given the opportunity, so my bet is he sees more at-bats as the year progresses.
Rangers Predictions: Projected Rotation:
- RH Yu Darvish
- LH Cole Hamels
- RH Tyson Ross
- LH Martin Perez
- RH Andrew Cashner
The top two, as long as they can remain healthy, are as good of a 1-2 punch as any team. The problem for this rotation is health, with Darvish, Ross and Cashner all dealing with significant injuries in the past couple seasons.
Rangers Predictions: Projected Closer:
- RH Sam Dyson
Dyson took over the closer’s role last season from Shawn Tolleson, who is now part of the Tampa Bay Rays organization. Dyson performed well a season ago, with a 2.43 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP, though didn’t have the typical strikeout rate for a closer at just 7.04 K/9.
Jeremy Jeffress was acquired from Milwaukee mid-season last year and had a solid season in 2016. He also has closing experience so should Dyson falter, look for Jeffress to be the next in-line.
The staff overall can be a solid one, though as mentioned, much hinges on health. Yu Darvish has been an ace when healthy, and is reintroducing his devastating split-finger into his repertoire, which he was forced to cut-out after an arm injury last year.
Cole Hamels is one of the most consistent innings eaters and knows how to pitch in the dry desert air between his time with Houston and Texas.
Hamels led the team with 15 wins and 200 strikeouts last season.
2017 Texas Rangers Prediction:
There’s a lot to like about the Texas lineup, seeing power hitters have a home park like the one in Arlington is always a plus and should provide for some high run totals.
The loss of Desmond hurts, sure, as he had an outstanding 2016 season with the Rangers.
However, if Carlos Gomez can regain some of the power-speed form he showed for years in Milwaukee and Houston before the recent decline, he could certainly replicate what the team lost in Desmond.
The division will be difficult, as Houston and Seattle both have made upgrades and look like legitimate contenders.
Many have Texas pegged as a top-seed coming out of the AL West, but I think they fall behind both the Astros and the Mariners this year. I don’t trust to this rotation to stay healthy and could be a significant storyline.
Prediction: 3rd in the AL West
What do you think of our 2017 Texas Rangers predictions? Comments are welcome below.
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