Texas spent the last six seasons mired in irrelevance. They’ve been so far from the playoffs, you’d need the Hubble Telescope to find them.
What killed them was just two things. No offense. No pitching.
So, before last season, they went out and got three huge bats to try to solve their offensive deficiencies. Corey Seager and Marcus Semien had good, if not great or consistent, years. Mitch Garver’s year was incomplete. It was enough to rank the Rangers twelfth in runs scored in MLB in 2022.
Before last season, they made a tiny effort to improve their pitching. Martin Perez paid off beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. John Gray spent most of the year hurt, which is about par for anyone’s dreams.
Then, before this year, they went out and acquired some actual, bona fide pitching: Jacob deGrom. Nate Eovaldi. Andrew Heaney. They brought back Martin Perez. But they didn’t do anything to make their offense better.
So, now the Rangers hope to break their six-year playoff drought with perhaps the best rotation they’ve ever had. And an offense that still has too many holes to call itself reliable.
Or, so says the people who make predictions for a living. The two most widely respected sites that offer pre-season prognostications are ZiPS and PECOTA.
They both released their predictions for 2023.
Here are ZiPS’s:
Yikes. After all that investing into players and all that hope and hype, both experts still predict the Rangers to finish fourth.
One has them winning ten more games than last year, the other eleven.
Neither is good enough to end this long, embarrassing playoff drought. But that just goes to show just how devoid of talent the previous guy left this franchise.
While I think Texas will be better than Los Angeles this year (remember, Arte Moreno is still the Angels owner), if they are not in the hunt for at least the third wild card spot this season, it will be humiliating.
Humiliating is the next click after pitiful. Which is where the Rangers have been the last few seasons.
Let’s hope the Rangers can prove the experts wrong. It’s hard to believe anyone would pick the Angels over the Rangers, but computers do these things and who are we to argue with computers?