The placeholder Rangers are gone. The just-plug-in-someone-until-the-team-decides-to-try-again Rangers are gone. And, almost certainly, last place is gone.
The Rangers go into 2022 with some new players and a renewed sense of wanting to be good again. They are interesting again. They are trying again.
So, how good can this team be this year? Does it have a legitimate shot at a playoff slot, especially now that there is one more playoff slot available?
It would be difficult to go from a 60-win team to a playoff contender. But this team should be much better. Corey Seager singlehandedly taught the Rangers that they could actually hit in The Shed. When the new ballpark opened, Joey Gallo was so freaked out by its dimensions that he was unable to hit at home. That started a ripple effect on the rest of the lineup who declared this, prematurely, as a pitcher’s park and not hitter friendly.
Then, the 2020 playoffs came to Arlington. And with it came bona fide major league offenses. Corey Seager came to town and destroyed pitching. He showed the Rangers it could be done.
Now, he, along with Marcus Semien, are back for 81 home games of offensive destruction.
The rotation is what is going to keep this team down. Last year’s rotation had the benefit of having the rebirth of Kyle Gibson who could not lose despite his opening day hiccup. He didn’t lose a game until July 7, his seventeenth start of the season. When Gibson took the mound, the Rangers were going to win. It was about as dominating of a starting pitching run as the Rangers had seen for years.
So, who is this year’s Kyle Gibson? Don’t count on anyone because that was lightning in a bottle. Just hope these guys can keep the Rangers in games.
So, with a vastly improved offense and a rotation that’s not improved at all, the staff and management at Rangers Rounding 3rd make their prediction for the upcoming season:
The 2022 Texas Rangers will win 75 games. That’s a massive increase over the 60 they won in 2021.
Here is the complete prediction:
Of course, your mileage may vary.