clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Rangers are quietly dominating the AL

Thursday’s Say Hey, Baseball sees the Rangers in first, George Springer's tremendous throw, and Ichiro’s moment in history.

Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Listen, we know it's tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage, and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn't easy. It's okay, though, we're going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.

* * *

You already read the headline or clicked on a tweet or what have you, so there is no sense in playing a guessing game about who is leading the American League in wins. The Rangers not only have an AL-leading 41 wins, though, but that’s also the second-most wins in baseball, tied with the Nationals and Giants — as the Giants have one more loss than either, the Rangers have the second-best win percentage in baseball. That’s pretty good even before considering that Prince Fielder has been horrific, Shin-Soo Choo and Yu Darvish have been hurt, and Colby Lewis leads the rotation in ERA and is second in innings.

"Quietly" dominating is the word choice here for a reason, though, and it’s not just because you might not have been aware the Rangers were tops in the AL. They've outscored opponents by plenty, but not in a lead-the-league-in-wins sense: their +35 run differential should still lead the AL West, but at 36-30 instead of 41-25. A 13-4 record in one-run games -- a mark they’ve managed in part because of a bullpen featuring strong efforts from Sam Dyson, Matt Bush and more -- helped secure those "extra" wins.

Given the problems listed above, though, those wins are only "extra" now. If Darvish can come back 100 percent from his recent neck and shoulder woes, the rotation is going to be frightening. The Rangers have scored the third-most runs in the AL in spite of Fielder’s horrendous .201/.273/.316 line and Choo’s prolonged absence. There are problems, yes, but the Rangers’ youth — Nomar Mazara, Jurickson Profar, Rougned Odor — are keeping them strong, and even glove-first shortstop Elvis Andrus has managed to help out at the plate. This is a good team that might get even better as the year goes on, and that could be bad news for the rest of the West.

* * *

How to talk about Ichiro Suzuki and Pete Rose

Be sure to subscribe to SB Nation's YouTube channel for highlight videos, features, analysis and more