3 overreactions to Rangers hot start for 2023 season

In sports (and life in general) opportunities to win are precious, because nobody knows if that chance will ever come again. This is the life the Texas Rangers are living in Major League Baseball at this time, but as we sit here today, there’s hope for the team and their fans another crack at the World Series could be in the offering soon.

The opportunity being mentioned happened in 2011, when the Rangers were literally a strike away from being the champions of baseball before losing in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals. The year prior, Texas was in the World Series before going down to the San Francisco Giants.

After 2011, the Rangers retooled in an attempt to get back to MLB’s finals, bringing high-priced players such as first baseman Prince Fielder and pitcher Cole Hamels. The efforts didn’t amount to those goals, as Texas never made it past the American League Division Series between 2012 and 2016.

Because of the push to win now, the Rangers ended up with a depleted farm system, and with no resources to lean on, ugly years followed 2016. Texas hasn’t won more than 78 games in a season since.

Now, there are reasons for hope. With the farm system in better shape, the Rangers became ready to spend on building blocks for the team going forward. Before the 2022 season, they signed shortstop Corey Seager and second baseman Marcus Semien to long-term deals, and signed pitcher Jacob deGrom before this season. To top it off, Texas brought in three-time World Series winner Bruce Bochy to be their manager.

At the start of 2023, the Rangers look bent on having things pay off, and as of Wednesday, they are sitting at first place in the AL West division. In the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, excitement is at a fever pitch.

Realistically, it’s super early in the season, but that doesn’t mean fans shouldn’t have a reason to think about how bright the future is. With that in mind, let’s look at three overreactions to the hot start Texas has enjoyed.

1. The Rangers will run away with the AL West crown

Coming into the season, there were multiple media outlets that said Texas could contend for one of the wild card spots. Right now, they have a three-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels for first, and that includes winning a weekend series over the hated and defending champion Houston Astros.

About those Astros, last time we checked, they are still in the division, and they have won it every year (starting in 2017) besides the COVID-shortened year of 2020. Houston is still the best team in MLB, and it’s a good bat to say they will be heard from before long. If the Rangers are to become the team to beat, the road still goes through the Astros.

Other reasons Texas won’t run away with the crown are the Angels and Seattle Mariners. Both of those teams are good in their own rights, and in the case of the Mariners, they are coming off of making it to the ALDS a season ago. Los Angeles has two of the best players in the league in Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, so they always have a puncher’s chance.

2. deGrom will win the Cy Young

He might be the best pitcher in the league when he’s healthy, but keeping deGrom there has been the major issue. When he was with the New York Mets, there were countless times where he would go six or seven innings giving up one or zero runs, only to have the offense come up short. Injury woes have caught up to the ace, and every time there’s an ache or pain, radars go up.

Even now, there is concern for a sore right wrist, but the expectation is deGrom will make his next start. If the Rangers are to make that desired push, they need him to be the man they brought him in to be, the shutdown pitcher who won the National League Cy Young award in 2018 and 2019. Before we get there, health and making enough starts to even qualify is the priority.

3. Adolis Garcia will lead the AL in RBIs

With Seager and Semien hitting in front of him, the opportunities for Garcia to put up big numbers are plentiful. So far, the outfielder is delivering on the chances, knocking in 19 runs in the young season.

Right now, that puts Garcia at third in the majors, but if history is an indicator, a big slump might be on the way. When the outfielder is going, he’s a dangerous hitter, but when he goes cold, it’t a freeze. Part of the ups-and-downs could simply be a case of being a young player, trying to find his way. Whatever the reason is, slumps have occurred.

Leading the league in RBI’s would be a lofty feat, particularly because players like Astros outfielder Yordon Alvarez is at a hotter pace.

The post 3 overreactions to Rangers hot start for 2023 season appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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