Friday, June 9, 2023

Outscored to Death


    I know we all made a big deal in 2019 about how many home runs the Twins hit, but uh...looking at this Rangers team it somehow makes them feel small. Not only are the Rangers winning insanely often, but they're winning BIG, and outscoring the hell out of their opponents. Their run differential right now is a +154, and they've scored the most, and allowed the least, runs of anyone in baseball right now. 

Which does make it fitting that they're currently facing off against the Rays, a rare team that's doing as well as they are right now. Though the Rays have calmed down a bit since their insane April, they're still leading the AL East and coming off a 6-game winning streak. As I write this, they are also outscoring the Rangers, which is a hard thing to do, even early on. This is the sort of thing that happens when the two best teams in baseball square off, and it could happen again later on this year.

To me, one of the stars of this team has been Adolis Garcia. I did worry after his blistering 2021 and sudden emergence onto the home run hitting leaderboards that he wouldn't be able to sustain his start and would eventually flame out like Eric Thames and Chris Carter before him, but this hasn't especially happened. Garcia had a strong enough sophomore season to sustain an important place in the outfield, and now is one of the main offensive producers of a team that also has Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Josh Jung and Nate Lowe. Garcia may be the most lethal of these guys, because he was hitting up a storm even before the rest of the team caught up to him. Right now he has 52 RBIs, a team high, and 15 home runs, also a team high. His RBI mark does look a little meeker next to Yordan Alvarez's, but Alvarez just went on the IL, so...

And look, while Garcia has hit plenty of longballs so far, the emphasis isn't just on home run hitting, it's just been outscoring people. 6 of these guys have 30 or more RBIs, and 8 out of 9 starters are hitting over .250, which means everyone but Robbie Grossman is hitting above average. Corey Seager and Ezequiel Duran are hitting over .300, and Semien's hitting literally .299. It's not just an empty power team, it's a versatile, contact-friendly power team that can do more than just smash bombs. And that sort of thing is lethal when going against more strategic and mental teams like the Rays.

The single most crucial thing about this Rangers team is that they just learned they'll be without Jacob deGrom for the rest of the year, and because they have Jon Gray, Nate Eovaldi, Andrew Heaney, Martin Perez and Dane Dunning all pitching insanely well, they really aren't reeling from that. Eovaldi is pitching better than he has in a few years, they'll be fine.

I do see this Rangers team going deep into the year and continuing to outhit people, as they're durable, they have depth, and they have room for everybody to be the hero. I wish more teams were like this one.

Coming Tomorrow- Won an MVP, should honestly have won another, but still could this year.

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