When the Rangers made no moves at the trade deadline, most people (including myself) thought the season was over. Jon Daniels did not bring in anyone to make this team better and the only piece he sold off was Chris Martin.
The return for Chris Martin will turn out to be a starting pitcher who can help the Rangers as soon as this month. Every fan of the Rangers had their opinion on what was or what was not done, but as it turns out, Daniels and the front office may of known exactly what they were doing. Only 7 games out, there is no reason you should give up on these Rangers quite yet.
This may be considered an overreaction, but since the trade deadline on July 31, the Rangers have not lost and are 4-0. Yes, they have played two of the worst teams in all of baseball in Detroit and Seattle, but the four wins have been good ones. Mix with the remaining schedule and the Rangers have some time to make up ground. The four teams ahead of the Rangers (Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Oakland, Boston) are on the schedule 15 more times. Nine of those games are at home, where the Rangers are significantly better. To add onto that, Seattle, the White Sox, Toronto, and Baltimore also make up for 15 more games. Those are four of the bottom six teams in the AL and the Rangers already have a 15-9 combined record against those teams. The schedule remains fairly favorable.
With the call up of Scott Heineman, the Rangers’ outfield became fairly crowded. Calhoun, Choo, DeShields, Gallo (once he returns), Heineman, Mazara, Pence, and sometimes even Santana, are all candidates to play with only three spots + a DH spot available. It was reported on the TV broadcast this weekend that Pence brought all of the players together and told everyone that it will suck to share time, but that is the way it will be. Maybe that is something that has/will motivate these players to play to their full potential when they get their chance. Right now, players are most likely playing for their spot on the 2020 roster. That could be the spark all these players needed in their bat to get everything rolling.
Besides the outfield, there are three key players that will be able to carry this Rangers team. The first of which is Danny Santana. In his last 15 games, he is slashing .368/.371/.765. He is getting on base nearly 40 percent of the time and is getting is the scoring position for the middle of the lineup to drive him in. The second player is Rougned Odor. There is no doubt when Odor is on, he is one of the most electrifying players in all of baseball. After a really rough start, he is getting on base nearly 33 percent of the time with a .328 OBP and has 28 RBIs in his last 30 games. He is hot and can really help the bottom of the lineup if he keeps it up.
The final of the three players in Lance Lynn. He can only play around every fifth day, but when he does pitch, the Rangers win. The Rangers are 15-8 overall when he starts and have won four out of the last six. Lynn is on an insane streak of 6+ IP at 17. The last time he went less than six innings was April 23 against Oakland. Lynn has become Mr. Reliable and will eat up innings if the bullpen needs a rest.
Do not get me wrong, 7 games is a lot of games to make up in the standings. It is most likely that the Rangers will not make the Wild Card game, but they could make it a lot more interesting. 30 out of their 5 remaining games are against teams that are ahead of them or teams with a combined .397 winning percentage.
If this team gets hot and can pull off an insane September, a push for the Wild Card would not be too far out of reach.