Rangers 2018 Season Preview
Ready to check out our 2018 Texas Rangers predictions? After winning back-to-back AL West titles, the Rangers fell to fourth place and had their first losing season since 2014.
MLB Rangers Predictions & Handicapping Insight
2018 MLB Team Previews – Texas Rangers
- American League West +1100
- American League +3300
- World Series +6600
- Bartolo Colon
- Edison Volquez
- Trevor Plouffe
- Dawin Barney
After a losing season last year the Rangers went out and…did next to nothing, really. Their biggest splash was signing these four players to minor league contracts. Maybe one of them will make the team and have some sort of impact.
- Mike Napoli
- Russell Wilson (seriously)
The Rangers declined to pick up the option in Mike Napoli’s contract and they traded Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to the New York Yankees. Yeah, the Rangers didn’t lose much for a 78 win team last season.
Rangers Predictions: Projected Lineup:
- DH Shin-Soo Choo
- SS Elvis Andrus
- RF Nomar Mazara
- 3B Adrian Beltre
- 1B Joey Gallo
- 2B Rougned Odor
- C Robinson Chirinos
- LF Willie Calhoun
- CF Delino DeShields
This is a lineup that has some pop. There’s a mixture of promising prospects, players in their prime now, and veteran players. If everyone stays healthy this is a lineup that could potentially deliver five to six players hitting 20 to 25 home runs.
Adrian Beltre was having a typical Beltre like year before injuries sprung up and plagued his 2017 season. Mazara has hit 20 home runs in back-to-back years; Choo has hit 22 home runs in back-to-back years; Gallo will hit thirty easy and fifty isn’t out of the question as he hit 41 last year.
Odor disappointed last year, but he still hit 30 bombs, but he’ll have to get back to hitting .275 as he won’t be someone who draws a lot of walks. And we’ll have to see if Andrus’ 20 home runs was a fluke or if that trend will continue. I guess that all will depend on how tightly the seams are wound up on the baseball this year.
The Rangers might not win many ballgames, but they will be entertaining high scoring affairs with not much pitching, if your into that sort of thing.
Rangers Predictions: Projected Rotation:
- LH Cole Hamels
- RH Doug Fister
- LH Mike Minor
- LH Matt Moore
- RH Matt Bush
Outside of Cole Hamels, it’s hold your breath time for the Rangers. Moore hasn’t had a good season since 2013, Minor hasn’t pitched more than 200 innings in a season since 2013; Fister has been floundering around for the last three years and Matt Bush is going to try and become a starter this season.
Basically, if this was 2013-2014 this would be a solid rotation, but it’s 2018 and this isn’t a good rotation. This is a rotation that is old and filled with has-beens. The hope, for Rangers management, is that these guys have enough in the tank for one more good season.
This isn’t a rotation that will win them many games and obviously they can’t rely on their bats for every game.
If the Rangers want to have a serious shot at being competitive in the West their rotation will have to go way above the call of duty and they’ll have to add a couple of more pieces. Both, of which, aren’t next exactly probably at all.
Rangers Predictions: Projected Closer:
- LH Alex Claudio
- RH Keone Kela
The bullpen is okay, by comparison to their messy looking rotation. Keone Kela won’t be the closer and have many saves, but he’s their best pitcher in the ‘pen. He’ll look to be the fireman out there and salvage some winnable games.
Kela had a 2.79 ERA, an ERA+ of 169, a 3.26 FIP, and 51 strikeouts in 38.2 innings last year.
Closing games out will be Alex Claudio who the Rangers can rely on and why they can try out Bush as a starter for the time being. Claudio saved 11 games last year, had a 2.50 ERA, an ERA+ of 188, and a FIP of 3.21. His 2016 year was just as good as 2017 so he’s not a one hit wonder.
If the Rangers can get a little length out of their rotation and have a stable enough bridge to get to the seventh, eighth inning the Rangers should lock down any lead they have for the final six outs.
2018 Texas Rangers Prediction:
If you’re an optimist Texas Ranger fan you’re hoping that the Houston Astros are still hungover from their dramatic 2017 World Series championship; the Angels free agents signings on the offensive side of the ball aren’t good enough to carry their awful pitching; the Seattle Mariners continue to underachieve and the Oakland Athletics continue to be an embarrassment.
If all that happens, some more likely than others, then the Rangers could potentially have a winning record and be in the wild card hunt in September.
Realistically, the Rangers will look to not finish in last place. For me, I don’t think they will, I guess. There’ll be able to power their way to a few wins.
In fact, there are always a few surprises early in the season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Rangers atop the division at the end of April.
It seems to happen every year and the Rangers have about as good of a chance as anybody to get off to a fast start. Their old pitching staff might be able to hang in their for a month, their bats should carry them to a few wins. Something like that may very well happen early on before they peter out as the season progresses.
What do you think of our 2018 Texas Rangers predictions? Comments are welcome below.
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