Texas Rangers: A Break Down Of Their American League Opponents
When the Texas Rangers started the 2010 MLB season they were arguably the least successful professional sports franchise in America. They had entered the league in 1961 and in nearly fifty years of existence they hadn’t won a championship much less played for one.
Now at the start of the 2012 season, the Rangers have won back-to-back American League Pennants. Yes, they still haven’t won a World Series, but they are a model franchise. They are good, to very good, in every aspect of the game and their farm system is universally recognized as the best in baseball. The 2012 Rangers can not only make it three pennants in the row, but they are more than capable of winning the franchise’s first World Series title.
Before the Rangers can worry about the playoffs they have to navigate through the regular season. Below, we look at each of the Rangers’ American League opponents. We not only breakdown which team has the advantage but which player you should look for while sitting in the stands.
Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles
In 2011, the Rangers defeated the Baltimore Orioles five out of six times. Before you chalk the seven games the Rangers have against the Orioles in 2012 as wins keep in mind that these two teams clash right before Texas plays Anaheim. If the Rangers are looking ahead, the Orioles might be able to steal a game or two. While you’re bird watching, keep an eye on Baltimore’s star right fielder, Nick Markakis.
Rangers vs. Boston Red Sox
Many look at the Rangers versus the Boston Red Sox as the former’s great pitching against the latter’s great slugging. We think the key to this series is just the opposite. Still, expect a lot of runs when these two teams meet. Last year, in ten games, the teams combined for 122 runs. It will be interesting to see who closes for the Red Sox and whether or not Carl Crawford can rebound from an abysmal year.
Rangers vs. New York Yankees
The Rangers first series with the New York Yankees begins April 22 in Arlington. This could be a playoff preview. In 2011, the Yankees owned the Rangers winning seven out of nine meetings and outscoring the Texas team, 62-35. Come for Jeter, Rodriguez, Posada, and Rivera but stay for one of the best players in baseball, Robinson Canoe.
Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays
The teams played 13 times in 2011 (including postseason) with the Rangers winning 8 of them. Don’t expect competitive ballgames. Only four of last year’s contests were close (one run) and two of those came in the postseason. Rangers fans hope that when their team plays the Rays they will miss having to face starting pitcher James Shields… or David Price... or Matt Moore… or...
Rangers vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Baseball fans in Arlington should definitely get Rangers vs. Toronto Blue Jays tickets when Canada’s only team comes to town. The Jays should have one of the best lineups in the American League. Watching them mash will be a lot of fun. We love Jose Bautista. Watching their starting pitching won’t be (at least for their fans). The Jays actually won the season series last year, 6-4.
Rangers vs. Chicago White Sox
The Rangers open the season against the Chicago White Sox. They also play the Pale Hose in the beginning and end of the July. The teams split their eight games last year, but in 2012 the Rangers should dominate. The White Sox’s lineup is below average, minus Paul Konerko, and they have a rookie manager in Robin Ventura.
Rangers vs. Cleveland Indians
The Rangers and Cleveland Indians battle for the first time in 2012 on May 4. The Rangers can’t wait. The two clubs competed against one another 10 times in 2011 and the team from the Lone Star State won nine of them. The Indians can pitch but they can’t hit. Asdrubal Cabrera and Grady Sizemore lead the Tribe. The latter could have been one of the best of his generation had he been able to avoid the injury bug.
Rangers vs. Detroit Tigers
The Rangers and Detroit Tigers will lock horns ten times in 2012. The real question is will these teams hook up in American League Championship Series… again? It will be interesting to see how the Texas’ pitching staff handles Detroit’s newest acquisition, Prince Fielder. In 2011, the Rangers were just 3-6 against the Tigers in the regular season but 4-2 when it really counted.
Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals
If you have a chance to get Rangers-Kansas City Royals tickets you should get them. You’ll not only witness a Rangers victory but you’ll get to watch a team with some young, talented players like Alex Gordon, Johnny Giavotella, Eric Hosmer, and Mike Moustakas. If those guys keep improving, someday they may just find themselves on the Yankees or the Red Sox.
Rangers vs. Minnesota Twins
Watching the Rangers take on the Minnesota Twins means you get to see two of the game’s more likable superstars, Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer. Of course, it also means you get to watch Morneau and Mauer try to lead a team to victory that’s just not very good. Surprisingly, the Twinkies won the season series last year, but in 2012 we’re expecting a lot of lopsided Ranger victories during their 10 meetings.
Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
If you have tickets to see the Texas Rangers take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim you’re not only seeing the eventual 2012 West Division Champion (sorry Seattle and Oakland) but also one of the greatest players of all-time, Albert Pujols. These two teams will play one another 19 times in 2012 with the first series beginning May 11 in Arlington. Obviously, Pujols gets all the attention but the key for the Angels is Bobby Abreu.
Rangers vs. Oakland Athletics
Rangers won 96 games in 2012 and about 13 percent of those wins came against the Oakland Athletics. That result is likely to repeat this season. The Athletics aren’t formidable. However, there are two reasons to pay attention to Rangers vs. A’s. One, the Rangers finish the season in Oakland and the White Elephants could play spoiler. Two, the A’s have Cuban phenom Yoenis Cespedes.
Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners
In 2011, the Seattle Mariners were responsible for 15 percent of the Rangers wins. In 2012, that number might be higher. The M’s offense is awful. Last year, the Mariners scored 53 runs in their 19 games against the Rangers—that’s only 2.7 runs a game. You should still come to the ballpark to watch perennial Cy Young candidate Felix Hernandez pick up no-decisions, Ichiro bolster his hall of fame credentials, and Chone Figgins hit .188.
Check out Noiz's Google+ profile