Can Texas Rangers' Ian Kinsler Buck Trend And Surge Towards Strong Finish In 2013?

By Thom Tsang
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

History generally hasn’t been very kind to Ian Kinsler around this time of the year.

Barring an incredible 11-homer outlier in 2011 where he absolutely crushed everything he saw for a 1.132 OPS in the month, Septembers haven’t been the Texas Rangers second baseman’s strong suit. He posted a .759 OPS in 2009, .788 in 2010, and .665 in 2012, a with a disappointing .701 OPS since the All-Star break with just two homers going into the final week of August, he looked poised to limp to the finish again.

But then again … maybe all he needs a little luck on his side.

What kind of luck? Well, how about the kind that allowed him to earn his second homer since the All-Star break — the kind that caused the ball to disappear at Dayan Viciedo‘s expense at U.S. Cellular Field long enough for Kinsler to turn what was probably a double at best into a round tripper?

Fortuitous as it may be, I’m sure the 31-year-old will be happy to take whatever spark he can get.

Texas is certainly hoping that it’ll push him towards an extended streak going into a strong September finish, in any case. Besides being just the second home run he’s hit since the break, Kinsler’s fortunate knock also contributed to yet another multi-hit night at the office, as he’s now recorded three straight two-hit performances.

In fact, with hits in six out of his last seven games, Kinsler looks to be well on his way to turning that disappointing .248/.308/368 line he’s posted over the last 30 days around, and is hitting at a much better .346/.419/.500 over the last week. A 10-game on-base streak is just the cherry on top, really.

Still, the fact is that the team has seen these mini-tears from him before, and a strong finish to the end of August doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll translate to September.

But with Kinsler both seeing the ball well, there is some hope that his finish in 2013 won’t be the ordinary one that the team has seen more often than not over the past few years. Banking on another outlier based on what some might say are arbitrary endpoints to a player’s season? Sure. Though to be fair, these arbitrary endpoints do have some value over larger sample (.836/.764 first/second half OPS splits over career).

Then again, an unlikely outlier is exactly what happened on Friday, so …

Thom is an MLB writer for Follow him on Twitter @BlueJaysRant, or add him to your network on Google

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