The Houston Astros are heading into the 2019 MLB season, looking to build on a season that saw them win the World Series. While the Houston Astros are focused on winning the upcoming season, the Texas Rangers are looking to make some bold moves to improve their odds of making the playoffs for a second consecutive year.
The 2019 MLB season ran from March 29 to October 30, with the World Series happening in October. There were 11.7 million tickets sold across MLB during the season, up 2% from 2018. One factor behind the increase could be the increased number of games earlier in the season. Back in July 2019, there were 44 games to go before the conclusion of the regular season.
The betting public has taken note of the increase in play and has reacted accordingly with Texas Rangers odds moving significantly in and out of favour. With baseball’s opening day just around the corner, let’s take a look at how the betting public perceives the Texas Rangers and what they need to do to improve their standing.
The Current Odds
The Rangers were heavily favoured to win the World Series in both the March and April 2019 MLB odds, the first four months of the season. At the time of writing, the Texas Rangers are 8/13 in the betting, with the New York Yankees following closely at 7/1 and the Los Angeles Dodgers at 4/1. The Atlanta Braves and Oakland Athletics are also represented in the top-six, with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs following close behind. There seems to be a general consensus that the Texas Rangers are the team to beat this year.
However, things could change in favour of another team before the end of the season. The Los Angeles Angels are 11/1 for the September 2019 MLB season, and that’s not a huge difference from the 12/1 October 2018 odds. The difference is that the betting public has recognised the potential in LA and see it as a team to beat. While the Houston Astros will be looking to make a name for themselves in the coming year, the Los Angeles Angels will be out to prove that last year was no fluke.
Projected Lineup Changes
The projected lineup changes for the Texas Rangers in the coming season is interesting, as the team made some significant changes but also didn’t add a single hitter with significant major league experience. There is a general consensus that the team will put the best possible lineup on the field this year, with the inclusion of several rookies and an exciting group of younger players. Here’s a look at the projected lineup for the Texas Rangers heading into the season:
- Daniel Robertson – 1B
- Jackie Bradley Jr – outfield
- Ronald Acuna Jr – DH
- Brandon Belt – 1B/DH
- Garrett Richards – starting pitcher
Last year, the Texas Rangers started with six outfielders, with Josh Hamilton leading off, Michael Young in the middle, and Oscar Taveras in the ninth spot. At the time of writing, the team has just five outfielders slated to start the season in Richards, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery. While the team won’t openly admit it, the move to a five-man rotation makes perfect sense, given Richards’ injury history and the team’s need for an innings-eater. In other news, the Rangers also have Jurickson Profar and Joey Gallo coming off the bench, providing a much-needed injection of youth into the lineup. Don’t forget about them in your draft plans, as they could both see significant playing time this year. For those who prefer to stay in touch with the traditions, the Texas Rangers will still be led by the legendary manager, Mike Scioscia. This year will be Scioscia’s 20th season managing the Rangers, and he’s looking to end his tenure with a title. Anything less would be a major disappointment for the storied franchise.
Key Players To Watch
There are a few players that could make a significant difference this year for the Texas Rangers. One of them is Joey Gallo. The 25-year-old hit.286 with 34 homers and 98 RBIs last year, and now he’s in the big leagues. He’ll be looked upon to replace some of the production lost since the team moved to a five-man rotation. Another key player the Rangers will be looking to has been drafted and developed by them, and fans should get to know him well. His name is Brendan McCarthy, and he’ll be making the transition from the college game to the pros.
While the aforementioned players will see increased playing time, it’s important to keep in mind that there are a few significant names that could see their playing time decrease. Looking at the 2019 projected lineup, fans may notice that first base is potentially thin. Last year, the position was manned by the legendary Prince Fielder, who hit just.236 with three homers and 27 RBIs. The team will be looking to see more production from their position in 2019, and with the addition of Daniel Robertson, the spot could become very competitive. Another spot that could see some significant shifting is in the outfield, where the projected move to a five-man rotation may see the return of Gorkys Hernandez and the inclusion of a number of younger players. While the team will be adding youth, the veterans will be looked upon to prove that their still have some good baseball left in them.
Before the 2019 season, many fans and bookmakers alike saw the Texas Rangers as the best in the AL over the past five years. While the Houston Astros are looking to build on a season that saw them win MLB’s award for the best team after having the best record in all of MLB, the Texas Rangers are looking to make some bold moves to improve their odds of making the playoffs for a second successive year. With just 44 games remaining in the regular season, there’s still plenty of time for the Rangers to make a move. Whether it’s trading a few of their biggest names or looking to make a big splash in the free agent market, there’s a good chance that we’ll see plenty of movement in the AL West, as all 30 teams are in the middle of the season. As we’ve seen in the past, with so much parity in today’s game, anything can happen. And it usually does.