Why You Should Bet Against the Texas Rangers
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | July 28, 2014
Without fail, every baseball season witnesses at least one surprise contender. There are two this year: the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East and the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.
On the flip side, at least one team every season starts with high title-contending expectations only to finish near the bottom. There are two in that category as well: the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox in the AL East and the Texas Rangers in the AL West.
The Red Sox aren’t 100% dead yet, so the Rangers are the bigger disappointments. Texas won at least 90 games in the past four seasons and made the playoffs in three of them. General Manager Jon Daniels made two significant moves this offseason that cemented the Rangers as AL West betting favorites in the spring. He signed free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, and he traded second baseman Ian Kinsler to Detroit for one of the best sluggers in the game, Prince Fielder.
So how are the Rangers the worst team at 41-64 and 24.5 games back in the division? Certainly injuries have played a huge role. No team has lost more total player games to the disabled list than Texas. The team currently has 13 players on the DL, including eight on the 60-day DL.
Fielder had been one of the most durable players in the majors, playing at least 157 games every year since his first full season in 2006 and all 162 in four of the past five. He lasted only 42 this season before undergoing season-ending neck surgery. It clearly had been bothering Fielder as he was hitting just
.247 with three homeruns and 16 RBIs. Also out for the season include projected No. 3 starter Matt Harrison (possibly done for his career), No. 4 starter Martin Perez (will miss half of next season following Tommy John surgery), second baseman Jurickson Profar and designated hitter/first baseman Mitch Moreland. The team felt comfortable trading Kinsler to open a spot for Profar, but he didn’t play a single big-league game due to a shoulder injury. Moreland was generally the every-day designated hitter when Fielder was healthy and then his replacement when Fielder went down.
With a patchwork rotation, the Texas pitching staff is one of the worst in the majors, ranking 29th in ERA and 30th in WHIP. Choo has been a big disappointment, but the lineup is at least in the middle of the pack, largely due to third baseman Adrian Beltre and outfielder Alex Rios.
So is it any surprise that Texas has lost 29 of 35, or that it has the worst moneyline units mark in the majors at -2574? Keep betting against the Rangers as they’re not likely to improve. Last week Daniels traded the team’s excellent closer, Joakim Soria. He had a 2.70 ERA and 17 saves. The general manager probably isn’t done. It’s possible that Beltre could go too. Rios is almost surely a goner, and Toronto and Kansas City are rumored destinations. Rios is hitting .299 with 43 RBIs, 16 steals and an AL-leading eight triples.
It’s probably not a smart move to back the Rangers unless ace Yu Darvish, the only untouchable on the roster, is starting. This could be another rough week for Texas as it hosts the Yankees for three and then visits Cleveland for three. Sunday’s game with the Tribe will have live betting at the book.