Last season the Rangers and Cubs each won their respective divisions.
Each team had the best record in their respective leagues.
The Cubs, of course, went on to win the World Series. The Rangers, as we are all painfully aware of, dropped their meat in the dirt early, being swept out of the first round of the playoffs.
Funny, but they are both in the same place once again. Both with identical 43-45 records. Two games under .500 going into the second half of the season.
It will be interesting to see where each ends up.
The Cubs fired the first salvo yesterday, trading prospects to the White Sox for twenty-eight-year-old left-hander Jose Quintana, whose numbers the last three seasons have been eerily close to Cole Hamels’s.
The Cubs hit the All-Star break with its starting rotation in tatters. Last year, the Rangers were in the same boat, but they chose to improve their rotation with a catcher. Which is like improve your bullpen by getting a really really tall centerfielder to catch balls that are going over the fence for home runs. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Especially when the playoffs came and the starters cratered. So much for that catcher being a rotation difference-maker.
If the Rangers truly are going to find parts to improve their team, they are going to have to do it with smoke and mirrors. So much of what they desperately need—a closer, a starter, contact hitters—are in high demand by teams with deeper prospect pockets.
So, as the second half gets underway today, the Chicago Cubs and the Texas Rangers find themselves with similar records. Both have post-season aspirations.
Will fortune favor the team from Wrigley or the team from Arlington?
Martin Perez (4-6, 4.60) vs. TBD
Game time: 7:15
How the Royals hit against Perez.