Normally at this time of year, baseball standings look a little different than they will in September. As we took a look at the American League standings this morning, it is two weeks into the season and everything looks normal.
I suppose you could make the argument that the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox will switch places in the end, but by and large the teams that are leading the divisions in the American League right now were expected to be doing just that.
However, there is one team that has just been dominating in the early going. That is the Texas Rangers. The Texas Rangers have lost the last two World Series, and are on the doorstep of being compared to the Buffalo Bills for not winning the big one. This year they may very well be making their third consecutive trip to the October classic.
How are they doing it?
For starters, the Texas Rangers can put up double digit runs on any given day. As a team they lead the American League in batting average, runs, and slugging percentage. They are second in on-base percentage. at this moment in They are third in the league in stolen bases. Essentially they are dominating everyone they play offensively.
If a lineup that features, perennial MVP candidate Josh Hamilton, All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler, Mike Young, Nelson Cruz and home run machine and catcher Mike Napoli doesn’t pound other teams into oblivion, their pitching staff is among the league leaders in all relevant pitching categories.
Yu Darvish was signed in the off-season to a mega-million deal at this point has not been outstanding, but he has been steady and he has yet to lose. the Texas Rangers pitching staff has figured out they don’t have to be perfect. With the offense of support they have, all they really need to do is hang around for six or seven innings and handed over to an experienced bullpen.
Injuries always play a part during the long baseball season. Nelson Cruz will find his way onto AL before the season is over. Josh Hamilton may have some back troubles along the way. But barring catastrophic injuries the Texas Rangers will find themselves back in the American League Championship Series this year.