- The Texas Rangers have won three straight and are seven games over .500 for the first time this season
- Hunter Pence had a .294 batting average with 15 home runs in 215 trips to the plate prior to his injury last week
- Mike Minor has a WAR for pitchers of 5.1 and is second in the AL in ERA
The Texas Rangers have made some big strides in the AL West standings recently and currently sit just 6.5 games back of the division leading Astros. Their AL West odds have improved too as they were +1900 on June 14th to win the division and +1500 on June 26th.
2019 AL West Odds
|Team||2019 AL West Odds|
|Los Angeles Angels||+2200|
*Odds taken 06/26/19
The Rangers have a 43-36 record and are tied with Cleveland and Boston for the second American League Wild Card spot. The Rangers were not expected to be in this position, nor were Cleveland and Boston. The Indians have fallen behind a powerful Twins team in the AL Central.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, won the World Series in 2018, but have struggled this season.
We briefly interrupt this programming to bring you today’s lineup.
Now keep voting! ?
— #VoteRangers (@Rangers) June 26, 2019
The Rangers are in the midst of a three-game set against the Detroit Tigers and have won three straight. They’ve had to do it without Hunter Pence, who has been out with a groin strain and won’t be back until next week.
Hunter Pence Has Given the Rangers an Air of Respectability
Pence was signed with zero expectations after two seasons with the San Francisco Giants where he looked to be finished as an MLB player. He was a big part of the Giants championship winning teams in 2012 and 2014, but wanted to return to his home state of Texas after last season.
— Hunter Pence (@hunterpence) June 14, 2019
Prior to getting injured, Pence was hitting .294 with 15 home runs in 215 trips to the plate. He has been on the DL since June 17th and likely won’t return until July.
Joey Gallo and His Big Bat Are Back
Gallo had been out for three weeks and returned to the lineup yesterday after dealing with a strained oblique muscle. Gallo also gives the Rangers instant credibility and prior to his injury he was second in the AL in homers (17) and led the league in OPS (1.074).
Gallo wasn’t invited to the home run derby for the All Star Game this year despite some of the monster home runs he hit early in the season and the 40 he hit last year.
Minor’s Contributions Have Been Major
Texas has also enjoyed some success on the mound. Mike Minor is 7-4 with a 2.52 ERA and 103 strikeouts this season, giving Texas a solid ace at the top of the rotation.
Mike Minor had another quality start today, and the Rangers are 0.5 games behind a WC spot.
Should the Rangers trade him? pic.twitter.com/mQmUpijUGG
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) June 20, 2019
The Best Bet
While the Astros have stumbled a bit recently with a seven-game losing streak, there is nothing to suggest that the Texas Rangers present a threat to their AL West divisional odds. The Astros are just too good and too deep at every position, even if the Rangers are buyers at the trade deadline and make some moves.
Pick: Houston Astros (-20000)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.