The Texas Rangers have a lot of work to do to catch up with the American League West-winning Houston Astros. The Rangers finished with a miserable 68-94 record, finishing in fourth place in the West. They were a full 38 games behind the Astros at the end of the 2022 season, and they were only kept out of the division cellar by the even more awful Oakland Athletics. Improvement needs to happen in a hurry.
Any improvement will begin at home as the Rangers welcome the Philadelphia Phillies to Globe Life Field to open the season on Thursday, Match 30. That is the first of three games against the Phillies, a series immediately followed by a trio of games against the Baltimore Orioles. Other visitors to Globe Life Field in the season’s first month include the Kansas City Royals, the Oakland Athletics, and the New York Yankees.
Here are three questions for the Rangers ahead of the 2023 season.
Buy Your Texas Rangers Tickets Here!!!
Three Key Questions
Can they improve in close games?
The Rangers’ record looks bad in 2022 – mainly because it was – but they were also more unlucky than expected. They finished 15-35 in one-run games, the worst record in MLB in such contests. If the Rangers finished with an even 25-25 record in those games, their record would look much better, and you could project improvement. Losing one-run games can be as much down to luck as skill. Be it an error at a crucial time, a bad bounce of the ball, or even missing the timing of a pitching change, those games are always unfortunate to lose.
Is Jacob deGrom the missing piece?
Is there such a thing as a single missing piece on a team that won less than 70 games the previous season? If there is, then the Rangers hope that the best pitcher in baseball is that piece. The team has spent big – they have picked up three legit stars over the last two offseason – and deGrom might be the biggest of all. The issue is that he hasn’t been able to stay completely healthy, not login 100 innings in a season in three years. If he can find that health in Texas, he is worth a big jump in the win total on his own.
Can Josh Jung be the offensive spark?
The Rangers threw a lot into their itching this offseason with deGrom, and a number of other lower-rotation starters added to the mix. What they didn’t do was add bats to the lineup through free agency. This means that any offensive jump will come from within the organization, and third baseman Josh Jung is seen as the man most likely to do so. The former top prospect was a one-time first-round pick, and he was a monster in Triple-A during the latter half of 2022 after recovering from a hip injury. He is projected as a 3.0 WAR guy when he gets his big league shot, a shot that will come sooner rather than later.
Upcoming Rangers Home Games (Before the All-Star Break)
Thu, March 30 – Philadelphia Phillies
Sat, April 1 – Philadelphia Phillies
Sun, April 2 – Philadelphia Phillies
Mon, April 3 – Baltimore Orioles
Tue, April 4 – Baltimore Orioles
Wed, April 5 – Baltimore Orioles
Mon, April 10 – Kansas City Royals
Tue, April 11 – Kansas City Royals
Wed, April 12 – Kansas City Royals
Fri, April 21 – Oakland Athletics
Sat, April 22 – Oakland Athletics
Sun, April 23 – Oakland Athletics
Thu, April 27 – New York Yankees
Fri, April 28 – New York Yankees
Sat, April 29 – New York Yankees
Sun, April 30 – New York Yankees
Tue, May 2 – Arizona Diamondbacks
Wed, May 3 – Arizona Diamondbacks
Fri, May 19 – Colorado Rockies
Sat, May 20 – Colorado Rockies
Sun, May 21 – Colorado Rockies
Fri, June 2 – Seattle Mariners
Sat, June 3 – Seattle Mariners
Sun, June 4 – Seattle Mariners
Mon, June 5 – St. Louis Cardinals
Tue, June 6 – St. Louis Cardinals
Wed, June 7 – St. Louis Cardinals
Mon, June 12 – Los Angeles Angels
Tue, June 13 – Los Angeles Angels
Wed, June 14 – Los Angeles Angels
Thu, June 15 – Los Angeles Angels
Sat, June 17 – Toronto Blue Jays
Sun, June 18 – Toronto Blue Jays