The Texas Rangers are just beginning the season and some new faces are now in the dugout. 36 year-old A.J Pierzynski comes in from the Chicago White Sox to replace Mike Napoli as the new catcher, as well as the 37 year-old Lance Berkman, who is now the new DH. The Texas Rangers lost Mike Napoli to the Boston Red Sox, but their biggest hit was Josh Hamilton, who bolted to the AL West divisional rival Los Angeles Angels. So with these losses can Texas be good and win the division over a stout, and powerful hitting LA club?
My answer is yes because they still have big time hitters in tact, even with losing Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli. Nelson Cruz, A.J Pierzynski, David Murphy, Mitch Moreland, Adrian Beltre, and Ian Kinsler are great hitters and can be just as dangerous or more then the home run hitting LA Angels. Lets not forget the young speedsters of Elvis Andrus and Craig Gentry. The one thing that might worry fans about this team is that they’re an older roster than last year, so injuries can be a huge possibility. Of course Josh Hamilton was very injury-prone while playing with the Rangers averaging around 123 games a season. That’s 40 games of non Hamilton service that might of been needed by the Rangers.
Hamilton signed a deal that was worth 25 million dollars a year with the Angels. While I believe the Rangers made the right call by not going that high of price with Hamilton due to his injuries and slumps he would show up with, he still is one of those moon shot home run hitters that you can’t live without. With that being said, the Rangers I think will be just fine because their entire lineup is still infested with hitting talent, despite the slight age spike.
The Rangers are 2-1 now and currently the pitching staff has accounted for 43 strikeouts and 2 shut outs just through the first 3 games of the season. Hopefully the pitching keeps up through out the season along side a very powerful hitting lineup. The Rangers in the first 3 games against the Astros have started slow in the offensive category as they haven’t been able to get going till around the 5th or 6th inning of the game to get that offense going and that simply just can’t happen when they play these better teams like LA. In the end, I think Texas will be a dominant offensive team and the pitching rotation will be better than last year by huge margins.
AL West Division prediction: