The Rangers are attempting to build an elite pitching staff in order to breakthrough in 2020. Will it work?
The Texas Ranger had a successful 2019 season all things considered. They were projected to finish at the bottom, but had some pleasant surprises in the starting rotation. Mike Minor and Lance Lynn both had career years and proved themselves as co-aces. They both posted career highs in innings pitched, strikeouts, and WAR. Now both Minor and Lynn will need to show 2019 wasn’t a fluke and can continue their resurgence.
Texas decided to add around their rotation and traded for two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber. They also signed Jordan Lyles and Kyle Gibson. Kluber missed most of 2019 due to multiple injuries, but was dominant in 2018. Lyles has a career ERA of 5.11 but dominated with the Brewers after being traded their last season. In 11 starts with the Brew Crew, Lyles went 7-1, with a 2.45 ERA, and 56 strikeouts. Texas is hoping he can pick up where he left off. Gibson will fit in well as a number four-five starter. If Kluber bounces back, Lynn and Minor show 2019 wasn’t a fluke, and Lyles can replicate his 2019 success, then the Rangers will have the best pitching staff in the AL West.
The Rangers wanted to make a splash but struck out on all the big name third baseman such as Josh Donaldson and Anthony Rendon. The offense is a huge question mark and might end up holding the team back. Joey Gallo will be back from injury and has worked on cutting back on strikeouts. Shin-Soo Choo isn’t the player he once was but is still consistent at the plate. Elvis Andrus will need to step up, but is showing age is also catching up with him.
Texas Rangers 2019 record: 78-84
Washington’s record vs. Texas last season: Didn’t play each other
Nationals to Watch
The Rangers strength is their pitching staff and if things go right, they may be able to match the Nationals staff. The dream match up will be Corey Kluber vs. Max Scherzer. Both have won multiple Cy Young awards, are their respective teams ace, and are coming off of injuries. Kluber is recovering from his fractured right arm and abdominal tightness while Scherzer suffered back and shoulder injuries. When healthy, both are among the best pitchers in the league.
Now they may not get to face off against each other, but will be essential to each team winning the series. Scherzer is coming off a season where he went 11-7, with a 2.92 ERA, and 243 strikeouts. Kluber missed most of 2019 only pitching in seven games. But in 2018 he went 20-7, with a 2.89 ERA, and 222 strikeouts. Kluber has only faced a few of the current Nats and the same goes for Scherzer. However Scherzer has faced Choo 24 times due to the formers time in the AL. In 24 at bats against the righty, Choo is hitting .583 with three homers, six RBI’s, and an insane OPS of 1.792. It will be up to Choo to stop Scherzer and give the Rangers offense a chance.
2020 Series Breakdown:
May 26-28 @ Texas
The Rangers have an impressive starting rotation, but it pales in comparison to the Nationals. Washington is the deeper team and should win this series.
Prediction: Nats win the series 3-0