A look ahead to the second half of the MLB season: AL Edition

June 29, 2023

Which team is most likely to win the American League pennant?

The Lone Star State will continue to be the place for the Fall Classic

There is still a long way to go between now and the end of the MLB regular season, but the Texas Rangers look like a great value to reach the World Series. Despite their stellar record so far, they are currently pegged behind the Rays (+250) to win the American League Pennant.

The Rangers have the best offense in baseball and a pitching staff that has performed well despite losing Jacob deGrom for the season. Pair this with the addition of veteran Bruce Bochy as manager and Texas is primed for a deep postseason run come this fall. 

Currently, the Rangers lead the American League in batting average (.272), RBI (449), hits (755) and OBP (.342). Simply put, the Rangers lineup is an impressive unit, featuring guys like Marcus Semien, Corey Segars and Josh Jung atop the lineup. Furthermore, they have had steady contributions from role players on the team, which has added up to the best record in the AL through the first few months of the season.

The Rangers pitching has been sharp this season, which is a big reason why they are currently the best team in the AL West. Sure, their offense has been lighting up scoreboards all season, but their pitching staff has kept them in ballgames all season long.

Currently, Texas is fifth in ERA in the AL with a mark of 3.79. The Rangers have allowed the fewest hits in the AL with 604. They’ve allowed only 80 home runs this season, which is among the best in the league.

While the Rangers lack a true “ace” atop the rotation after deGrom went down, they have received steady contributions from the rest of the staff throughout the season. If this continues, they will be a tough out. Three of the Rangers five starters have ERAs under 3.00, and the bullpen has done a good job of playing cleanup crew.

They have the offense and steady enough pitching to make some noise in the postseason. Plus, the trade deadline is still ahead. 

What pushes the Rangers over the top is the manager. Bochy is as good as it gets, and after some time away from the game, he is back in the saddle in Texas. It looks like he has not skipped a beat. He managed the Padres and Giants for more than a decade, winning three World Series crowns and a Manager of the Year award in the process. The Rangers have a ton of natural talent, and Bochy brings it all together.

Texas has a top manager, top offense, and serviceable pitching staff, making them one of the best bets to come out of the AL this postseason. 

Richard DeMala’s pick: Texas to win the AL pennant (+450)