Texas Rangers Prediction: Are They the Sleeper Pick of 2023?

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Texas Rangers' Marcus Semien watches his single against the Baltimore Orioles during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, May 27, 2023, in Baltimore. The Rangers won 5-3.
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Rachael Millanta @rachaelmillanta Jun 12, 2023, 12:52 PM
  • After six consecutive losing seasons, is 2023 the Texas Rangers’ year to contend for the World Series?

There’s no denying that the new-look Texas Rangers are making waves this season. Even with the news that star pitcher Jacob deGrom will be out for the rest of the year due to Tommy John surgery, the team’s fierce roster seems unshakeable.

But even so, do the 2023 Rangers have what it takes for World Series contention?

As of June 12, Texas is leading the AL West with an impressive record of 41-23, the second-highest in MLB only behind the Tampa Bay Rays. After the first 60 games of the season, the Rangers had a run differential of +155, the sixth-highest in MLB history behind the 1939 Yankees (+189), 1912 Giants (+182), 1929 Athletics (+178), 1902 Pirates (+169), and 1927 Yankees (+157).

From Marcus Semien and Adolis García crushing balls on offense, to Nathan Eovaldi and Jon Gray dominating on the mound, the Rangers appear unstoppable. So where did this newfound success come from, and can Texas hold on?

Texas Rangers: Offseason Moves

Looking back at the Rangers’ moves during the past two offseasons, their domination over the AL West in 2023 arguably shouldn’t have been unexpected, even if the team hasn’t had a winning record since 2016.

After recording an abysmal 60-102 record in 2021, the Rangers looked to some top players on the market to bolster their roster. On Dec. 1, 2021, the team signed star second baseman Semien to a seven-year, $175 million contract, and the same day, they locked down shortstop Corey Seager on a 10-year, $325 million contract, the largest in franchise history.

Still, the Rangers finished the 2022 season in fourth place in the AL West with a disappointing record of 68-94 — but they weren’t done.

Having fired manager Chris Woodward in August 2022 and finishing the season with third base coach Tony Beasley as interim bench boss, the Rangers hired Bruce Bochy as the team’s 2023 manager on Oct. 21, 2022. With three World Series titles to his name from when he managed the San Francisco Giants (2010, 2012, 2014), Bochy went to Texas as a proven difference-maker — which was exactly what the Rangers needed.

On Dec. 2, 2022, the Rangers signed ace deGrom to a five-year, $185 million contract, continuing to add to their collection of star players from the offseason prior. With the recent news of his elbow injury requiring Tommy John surgery, deGrom won’t be returning to the mound in 2023, and it will be interesting to see how the Rangers manage without him long-term.

Texas Rangers: World Series Odds

Prior to Opening Day, the online sportsbook had the Rangers at +5000 to win the World Series, but as the team has dominated in the AL West, their odds have changed accordingly. As of June 12, the Rangers have World Series odds of +1400, ranking them sixth in MLB behind the Atlanta Braves (+450), Los Angeles Dodgers (+500), Tampa Bay Rays (+550), Houston Astros (+700), and New York Yankees (+1100). 

Texas Rangers: Prediction

If they can keep up their momentum with deGrom on the injured list, World Series contention is definitely within reach for the Rangers. The team has effectively been collecting the “Avengers” of baseball for two seasons now, and it’s paying off in their current record.

The Rangers have focused on not only buying top players off the market, but also developing their existing roster, as can be seen in García, Nate Lowe, Josh Jung, and a slew of other players. They’ve rebuilt wisely, albeit expensively, and while I’m interested in how the starting rotation will survive long-term without deGrom, Bochy seems to have been the right choice behind the bench to continue building something special.

Assuming they can keep the AL West on lock, and their record in the top two in the AL, a bye in the Wild Card Series will see the Rangers move directly through to the Division Series in the postseason. Looking at their contenders in the American League, the Rays and Yankees will likely be their biggest competition from there. 

The Rays came into 2023 extremely hot, quickly tying the MLB record for longest winning streak to start a season (13 games) and still holding onto the best record in the league (48-20) as of June 12. The Yankees took longer to warm up, but now seem to have found their feet in the AL East with a record of 38-29.

Bettering both of those teams wouldn’t be a major shock at this point, though it’s admittedly quite early in the season. There’s a lot that can still happen, as can be seen from deGrom’s injury. Still, Texas is in a great spot with just under a month until the All-Star break.

So, are the Rangers the sleeper pick to contend in the 2023 World Series?

Just don’t call it a comeback.

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About the Author

Rachael Millanta

Read More @rachaelmillanta

Rachael Millanta is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM focusing on Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Her work has been published in SB Nation, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Slackjaw Humor. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Rachael now resides in Chicago, Illinois.

Rachael Millanta is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM focusing on Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Her work has been published in SB Nation, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Slackjaw Humor. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Rachael now resides in Chicago, Illinois.