The Texas Rangers will look to compete for the American League West crown in 2018 with a high-powered offense and a revamped starting rotation. After winning the division title in both 2015 and 2016, the Rangers went just 78-84 last year. However, there are plenty of reasons for Rangers fans to be optimistic heading into 2018.
This off-season Texas clearly prioritized improving its starting rotation. After dealing Yu Darvish at the trade deadline, the Rangers were left with much uncertainty behind ace Cole Hamels. General manager Jon Daniels addressed the starting rotation by acquiring Doug Fister, Mike Minor, and Matt Moore this winter. Now the Rangers look poised to enter the 2018 season with one of the deepest rotations in the American League.
Despite entering his age-39 season, Adrian Beltre remains one of the best third basemen in the MLB both at the plate and in the field. The future Hall of Famer will look to anchor a Texas Rangers lineup built to rely on the long ball. The Rangers finished third in home runs among all of Major League Baseball last season and should be near the top of the league once again in 2018. Joey Gallo provides versatility in the field and a consistent source of power in the middle of the lineup. Near the top of league in home runs, strikeouts and walks, Gallo doesn’t put the ball in play often, yet he remains an analytic sweetheart in today’s game. Outfielders Nomar Mazara and Shin-Soo Choo will look to improve upon their excellent 2017 campaigns, while Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor will control the middle of the infield for Texas. Odor has plenty of pop, but needs to become a more consistent hitter at the plate. Manager Jeff Banister, who was the 2015 American League Manager of the Year, has one of the most powerful lineups at his disposal for the 2018 season.
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