The Team: Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers are in an odd spot. They are a very talented group but find themselves struggling early on because of some injuries. In their pitching staff, they are working through long term injuries from players like former Phillies, Jake Diekman and Cole Hamels. Also, they are without Tyson Ross and Chi Chi Gonzalez. Offensively, they are working without star third baseman, Adrian Beltre and outfielder, Carlos Gomez.
It obviously does not help to play in the same division as the team with baseball’s best record, the Houston Astro’s. With the mix of injuries, a 19-20 start, and the Astros inability to lose, the Rangers find themselves eight games out of first place.
On the pitching end of things, they are in the top ten of the league ERA standings. In the same breath, they are not very far behind the Phillies in home runs allowed (50). They are also in a three-way tie for fifth place in walks surrendered (136). Those numbers lead me to believe the Phils will be given their opportunities over the course of the next few days.
The struggles do not mean the Rangers come without strengths. They are currently ranked 12th in baseball in runs scored. They average nearly five runs a game through 39 games played. Their 56 homers rank them third in all of baseball, only behind the Brewers and the Nationals. This could pose a problem for the Phillies, who are baseball’s second-most prone team to raising inventory in that department with 57 homers allowed so far this season.
On the other hand, one of their weaknesses is getting on base. They rank 22nd in baseball with a .305 on-base percentage and only 130 team walks. Also, their 335 strikeouts are 6th most in the league. The problem there is that the Phils’ staff ranks 28th with 249 punch-outs as a team.
The Phils hope to add to their total this week.