Currently on his global baseball odyssey, Joey Mellows (@baseballbrit) found time to pen this midseason review on the Rangers.
How has the season gone so far?
In short, 2018 has been a disappointment. The team is last in the AL West and 22 games behind state and divisional rivals, the Houston Astros. The Rangers headed into the All-Star break with a 41-56 record; good enough for a .423 win percentage. FanGraphs rate their playoff chances at precisely 0.00%. Fans knew before Opening Day that this could be a tough year with PECOTA predicting a losing season, but so far the team have been playing 46 points below .the 469 overall percentage forecasted. The starting rotation is currently ranked in MLB’s bottom five for ERA, K/9, H/9 and HR/9. Rumours continue to circulate around the future of fan-favourite Adrian Beltre whilst the farm system is not considered to be in the Top 20 by most commentators. The immediate future looks fairly bleak.
Stars and flops
Shin Soo Choo has undoubtedly been the star of the season with a team high .911 OPS. He has set a franchise record for the longest on-base streak; the longest of any MLB player since Kevin Pillar reached 52 in 2007.
Jurickson Profar has also started to demonstrate his talent more consistently whilst Nomar Mazara has shown flashes of star potential. Of everyday starters, Profar (2.0) and Mazara (1.5) rank second and third on the team for offensive Wins Above Replacement, as per ESPN.
Flops are harder to find as few players have performed notably below expectations. The entire starting rotation have been disappointing as highlighted by the fact 45-year-old Bartolo Colon has the highest WAR of any Rangers’ pitcher, at 1.0 (ESPN).
Does Choo’s current on-base streak count as a moment? If not, then Big Sexy taking a perfect game into the 8th inning when the Rangers beat the Astros 3-1 in 10 innings on April 15th.
Revised Win-Loss Prediction
70-92 (changed from 79-83 in the season preview)