2016 O/U Wins:
2016 AL West Odds:
Projected Starting Rotation:
Cole Hamels, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Martin Perez, Nick Martinez, (Yu Darvish expected back in mid- to late-May)
Yovani Gallardo, Mike Napoli, Leonys Martin
Handicapper's Take: "The Texas Rangers were the single best bet in MLB last year, returning just shy of +30 units of profit for their backers, ranked #1 in MLB profitability. Texas won the AL West with 88 wins despite opening up the campaign with an 8-16 record in their first 24 games; going 80-58 from mid-May on. But the betting markets didn’t (and don’t) respect the fact that Texas finished the campaign with only a +18 run differential, nearly 100 runs worse than the second place Astros, helps explain the tepid support for Texas in the betting markets this offseason.
The Rangers starting rotation has a chance to be elite, especially if top of the rotation starter Yu Darvish is fully recovered from his Tommy John surgery and ready to excel by his projected mid-May return. But the rotation comes with plenty of question marks. AL opponents will get a full season to get a handle on projected opening day starter Cole Hamels. Colby Lewis is now 36 years old and had a 4.66 ERA/4.62 xFIP last year, on the heels of his 5.18/4.36 the previous season. Derek Holland allowed 11 home runs in 58 innings of work last year; a shell of the pitcher he was as recently as 2013. Martin Perez has yet to start more than 20 games or throw more than 124 innings in his first four seasons in the league.
That being said, the Rangers bullpen looks really good on paper. Sam Dyson, Jake Diekman and Keone Kela all showed great promise last year, and the addition of Tom Wilhemson gives manager Jeff Bannister another fireballer coming out of the pen. For a team that didn’t make many splashy offseason moves, adding a solid bullpen vet has the potential to pay real dividends.
The Rangers lineup is aging, with Adrian Beltre, Prince Fielder, Josh Hamilton and Shin-Soo Choo all looking like they are on the downside of their careers. That being said, they did finish third in the AL in runs scored in 2015, and their lineup is devoid of holes from 1 through 9. In a division with a clear dichotomy between contenders and pretenders, I expect the Rangers to be in the contender category all year long."
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