With so many games against division rivals to kick off the season, it’s pretty imperative that Texas gets off to a quick start. So, how have the Rangers done lately in that regard?
Not so good.
The past five years, the Rangers are twelve games under .500 in April (adding in a few March games). They are burying themselves deep into a hole before they begin. A hole that is hard to get out of. All four of Jeff Banister’s seasons started slowly. It seemed he never had his team ready for the season (or the for the playoffs for that matter). The only season in the past five in which the Rangers had a winning April was Ron Washington’s last April. And that would turn out to be the highlight of his long last miserable season.
It will be curious to compare Chris Woodward’s camps to Jeff Banister’s.
As bad as their Aprils have been, though, Texas’s Julys have been deadly. Like most of America, the Rangers schedule their vacation in July. Not once in the last five Julys have they had a winning record (and if you go back, it’s been seven losing Julys in a row). Twice, they have been abysmal. July of 2014 sealed the Rangers’ last-place fate with a dreary 6-20 month. All that was left was the crying from that point on.
The margin for winning and losing isn’t really that dramatic. If you think about it, if a team wins just two more games a month than it loses, it will finish the season twelve games over .500. So, most months are about treading a tick or two above or below, then having one breakout month. But it’s pretty hard to recover from .365 baseball in the dead of summer.
But it’s a new year and a new manager and a new system and a new hope.
Here is a month-by-month breakdown of the Rangers last five seasons, two of which they won the division, two of which they finished in last. The other, right in the middle.