As we head into the final few weeks of the regular season, the Texas Rangers still find themselves in prime position for a playoff spot. Whether or not that spot will come from winning the American League West or the AL Wild Card remains to be seen, but there is still plenty of work to be done as well.
That work hasn’t been made any easier by a scuffling Ranger offense. The loss of Nelson Cruz hasn’t helped, but this is a team that hasn’t produced as much as we’re used to seeing from them. Which means it’s going to be on the pitching to get this team back into the postseason.
They certainly have the personnel to do it. They boast one of the top starting rotations in the game. Yu Darvish is having one of the greatest seasons by a right hander in the history of the game, even if the Rangers don’t always come out with the W to back that up. But he’s far from the only impact arm in their starting five.
Derek Holland is as steady as lefty presence as there is in this game. Martin Perez has gotten better as the year has worn on, taking home American League Rookie of the Month honors for the month of August. Matt Garza has had his bad days, but for the most part, he’s been exactly what the Rangers were hoping for.
On paper, the Rangers are still among the very best teams in the league. But with their offense having trouble finding its way right now, which has helped lead them to lose five of their first six contests in the month of September, it’s going to be on the starting pitching to lead the way. They have the guys to do it, whether or not they can actually do it and overtake Oakland for the division crown remains a mystery.