After 134 games, what have we learned?
The Rangers are not in the same league as the Dodgers, both literally and figuratively. Texas lost all four games they played against the Dodgers this season, including last night’s 3-1 loss.
In fact, the Rangers are not in the same ballpark against the elite teams.
Against the teams in both leagues that are leading their divisions or fighting for a wild card slot, the Rangers are a combined 23-43. Against everyone else they are 35-33.
That is how far they have to go to be competitive again.
The only playoff contending team they have a winning record against is Colorado at 2-1. They’re 1-6 against Boston, 2-4 against Cleveland, 7-12 against Houston, 3-4 against New York, and 6-10 against Oakland.
On a positive note, the Rangers are the best last-place team in baseball. Their .433 winning percentage is better than dead-end Baltimore’s .299, Kansas City’s ,316, Miami’s .396, Cincinnati’s .429, or San Diego’s .385.
The unfortunate thing is most of those other teams made it known they were in rebuilding mode or they were tanking the season. The Rangers, on the other hand, boasted they were going for it.
Which means, the other last-place teams succeeded at failing. The Rangers failed at succeeding.
There is a lot of optimism surrounding this team, and for good reason. But the reality is, wins only manifest themselves when Texas is playing also-rans like themselves. The Rangers can beat mediocre teams. They can’t beat good ones. But at least they are beating someone.
The Rangers have a great core, something to build around for sure. But, as their record indicates, they are a long way from being invited into the elite club.
And in a totally related note, it was reported late last night that the Rangers informed Martin Perez he would be pitching out of the bullpen the rest of the season and that they would not exercise their option on him, allowing him to walk as a free agent. They did open the door to bringing him back, but not at the $7.5 million his contract would have called for. The Martin Perez era may be coming to an end.
Step one on the road back.
NO GAME TODAY.