The thing about being a .500 club is when you win a few games in a row, it seems that this is the beginning of a long winning streak and your team can always play this way and there is no way it can ever lose.
Until they lose a few in a row and it seems like there are way more questions than answers and they will never win again.
That’s the joy of being mediocre. And the frustration.
The last two games, the Rangers looked great. They were patient at the plate on Saturday, working seven walks to go with their seven hits. Yesterday, they didn’t get themselves out, striking out just four times on their way to twelve hits and ten runs. You know things are going your way when even Rougned Odor gets a hit. Two in fact. By the end of the game, they were selling t-shirts in the Rangers gift shop that read, “I SAW ODOR’S HIT.” It was a special occasion. Years from now people will be talking about where they were when Odor got his hit.
It’s going to be an up and down season. Luckily, there aren’t a whole lot of great teams in baseball and the Rangers can at least be competitive with the bad teams.
Only six of the fifteen American League teams are over .500. And, really, there are only four or five teams that are worthy of fearing: Tampa Bay, New York, Minnesota, Houston, maybe Boston if it gets its act together. The other ten teams are just not good.
Luckily, the Rangers are in a period in their schedule when they avoid any serious competition, not counting this upcoming week. The next two are at Pittsburgh, a team only one win better than the Rangers at 17-16 but against who they lost the two games last week in the Ballpark.
Then they go on to Houston for four. The Rangers have played the Astros well in their first six meetings, winning four of the six games. But those were all at home. The home Rangers win 63 percent of their games. The road Rangers, just 30 percent.
Looking ahead, there’s a whole lot of bad.
Seven against Kansas City, who currently sit at the bottom of the A.L. Central at 12-23.
Six against the Mariners, who have recently been introduced to reality, and that reality is they are a bad team. At one point, Seattle was 13-2. They’ve lost fifteen of twenty-one since. They’re over .500 now, but not for long.
Three against the Angels. They have Mike Trout. They have nothing else.
Three against the Orioles who lost 115 games last season, then lost their best players.
Then four against the Athletics who currently sit at the bottom of the A.L. West.
The Rangers, after this week, will have a stretch of twenty-three games out of twenty-six where they play the dregs of baseball, the only challenger will be the Cardinals who come into the Ballpark for three games.
Right now the Rangers are at .500, sitting at 16-16. We will see what this team really is in the next few weeks.
They have a real chance to be one of the best mediocre teams in baseball.