Spring training means just one thing. Prediction season is upon us.
MLB.com’s Mike Petriello released his predictions in an article entitled, “The 8 tiers of contenders for 2022.”
As the title suggests, he broke all thirty teams down to eight tiers, depending on their likelihood of winning the World Series. As a reminder, Atlanta won only 88 games last year. Along with the World Series. So, this is an inexact science.
After losing 102 games last year, the encouraging thing is the Rangers are not in his Tier 8, which he calls Pulling Up The Rear. That has the usual suspects in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, but also the newly throwing in the towel Reds and Athletics, as well as the recently miserable Diamondbacks. The Rangers were in this group the last few years. Not anymore.
They weren’t even in his Tier 7, Still Lurking group.
Petriello has the Rangers in Tier 6. The Not Yet But Maybe Soon group. That’s encouraging.
Here is what he says about Texas:
“The Rangers … are in the fascinating situation of “having lost 102 games” while also spending a half-billion dollars to add Marcus Semien, Corey Seager and Jon Gray, plus interesting veteran adds in Mitch Garver, Kole Calhoun, Brad Miller and Matt Carpenter. Texas is coming from so far away that even though FanGraphs projects them to win 15 additional games—a huge one-season jump—that’s still a 74-87 club, one with a top-heavy, depth-free roster, one still with big questions on the mound, in the outfield and at third base. d
Have to start somewhere, though. The 2021 Rangers weren’t leading anywhere good. The 2022 Rangers might be.”
His Math is a bit off. A 74-87 record would be 14 additional wins, not 15. But the point is taken. This team will be better by virtue of having much better offense.
If it can somehow get pitching, then it might just surprise everyone.