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2018 MLB Lines - Texas Rangers Baseball Betting

Home > Baseball Betting > MLB Betting > Texas Rangers Preview

2018 Texas Rangers MLB Baseball Odds

It’s early March and there’s already some hostility in Texas Rangers camp with the rumored six-man rotation. Cole Hamels is not a fan and while the Rangers have plenty of rotation candidates, they don’t really have a plethora of top or even middle-of-the-rotation arms at their disposal.

After a disappointing end to the season last year, going 12-17 to close out the year and drop six-games under-.500, the Rangers will look to rebound in 2018, but will aim to do so without their most effective pitcher from a year ago and without any major upgrades to a lineup full of swing-and-miss.

The Rangers’ strategy over the offseason was to stock up on potential lottery ticket arms, adding Tim Lincecum, Matt Moore and Mike Minor. The pitching should be better, but there’s still no clear closer. Did GM Jon Daniels do enough or will Jeff Banister be short-handed again in 2018?

Texas Rangers MLB Betting

2017 Record: 78-84

2017 Moneyline Record: -1.27 Units

2017 Over/Under Total Record: 74-82-6

Current World Series Odds: +12500

Current Odds To Win AL: +6300

Current Odds To Win AL West: +1650

Regular Season Win Total: 77.5

2018 Texas Rangers Season Outlook

The Rangers were the only team in the top-6 in the AL in runs scored to miss the postseason. They scored 799 runs, but allowed 816 while posting a team ERA of 4.66.

While Texas returns most of the same players form the everyday lineup in 2017 and have added many different arms to the mix for 2018, the names on the roster still likely don’t add up to a solid team.

At the plate, the Ranger will be without Mike Napoli and Carlos Gomez, but the rest of the bats are the same except for a full season of Willie Calhoun. Calhoun has a strong minor league track record as a hitter. The 23-year old ranks out as a top 60 prospect across multiple publications with Baseball America ranking him the No.36 prospect heading into 2018.

The biggest issue with Calhoun is his lack of a position. He’ll be tried out in leftfield, but could ultimately DH if he cannot find a spot. In the minors he showed power and contact. Power is something the Rangers are familiar with; contact, not so much.

Calhoun and the rest of the lineup will try and make up for the 46 lost homers from Napoli and Gomez though Napoli hit just .193 with a .285 OBP.

In addition to Calhoun, the offense still includes plenty of power. Joey Gallo slugged 41 homers last year. Rougned Odor hit 30. Both Gallo and Odor will work on their averages. Gallos hit ojust .209 though he did have a respectable .333 OBP. Odor was terrible at the plate save for the 30 bombs. He produced a .204/.252/.397 slash line after a breakout 2016.

Odor needs to step up. He and Nomar Mazara were supposed to be cornerstones of the future. Odor took a step back in 2017 and Mazara was okay, but not great though he did drive in 101 runs, but had a .745 OPS and 92 OPS+.

Across the board, the Rangers are full of flawed hitters with interesting skill sets. The only two complete hitters to his point are the 39-year old Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus. Beltre played in only 94 games last year and given his age, health remains an issue. Productivity, however, is there when he’s healthy. Andrus was a 20-20 guy last year and provides speed and a bit of pop from the shortstop position.

While the Rangers lineup is far from a thing of art, it produced nearly 800 runs and could do so again, but is that enough given the pitching staff?

Cole Hamels is the ace for Texas and the Rangers have done a poor job of keeping the ace happy. He’s critical of the six-man rotation and his lack of buy-in could have a trickledown effect. If he could get on board, it might help him. He was injured a bit last year and is now in his mid-30s. The extra rest could help, but not if he doesn’t allow it to help.

Regardless of the rotation being five or six men, Hamels results will need to be better in 2018 when he’s on the hill. He was an average pitcher in 2017 with a 11-6 record and 4.20 ERA. His FIP was more telling at 4.62 as his strikeout to walk ratio dipped to 1.98.

Hamels, at this point in his career, is an average pitcher. Behind him, Matt Moore, Mike Minor, Doug Fister, Matt Bush, Bartolo Colon and Martin Perez could all factor in.

Moore was a failure in San Francisco and is looking to benefit from a change of scenery. Minor pitched brilliantly in KC last year, but that was in the pen. Bush is another bullpen arm that they’re trying to convert. He’s got great stuff, but managed just 52.1 innings last year.

Perez, Colon and Fister were all starters last year, but Perez was a 4.82 ERA pitcher, Colon was let go by the Braves and is now in his mid-40s while Fister couldn’t even hook on with a team until mid-year when he was a serviceable back-end starter. That’s not a lot of ringing endorsements beyond Hamel.

The bullpen brings the same level of uncertainty. Tim Lincecum is trying to resurrect his career and got a Major League offer form the Rangers to pitch out of the pen. The team also added Jesse Chavez and Chris Martin to mix with Alex Claudio, Jake Diekman and others. The closer is likely to be Claudio.

Last year, the bullpen blew a lot of games early for Texas and the pen isn’t any more stable in 2018.

Everywhere you look, the Rangers are full of questions. It’s a potentially powerful offense with several places things could go wrong and a pitching staff full of hopes and dreams with little to hang your hat on. It’s the type of team that could certainly overachieve, but is far more likely to crash and burn at—or near—the bottom of the AL West.

Major League Baseball Teams

Baltimore Orioles Baltimore, Maryland Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Boston Red Sox Boston, Massachusetts Fenway Park
New York Yankees New York City, New York Yankee Stadium
Tampa Bay Rays St. Petersburg, Florida Tropicana Field
Toronto Blue Jays Toronto, Ontario Rogers Centre
CENTRAL Chicago White Sox Chicago, Illinois Guaranteed Rate Field
Cleveland Indians Cleveland, Ohio Progressive Field
Detroit Tigers Detroit, Michigan Comerica Park
Kansas City Royals Kansas City, Missouri Kauffman Stadium
Minnesota Twins Minneapolis, Minnesota Target Field
WEST Houston Astros Houston, Texas Minute Maid Park
Los Angeles Angels Anaheim, California Angel Stadium
Oakland Athletics Oakland, California Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum
Seattle Mariners Seattle, Washington Safeco Field
Texas Rangers Arlington, Texas Globe Life Park in Arlington
EAST Atlanta Braves Atlanta, Georgia SunTrust Park
Miami Marlins Miami, Florida Marlins Park
New York Mets New York City, New York Citi Field
Philadelphia Phillies Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Citizens Bank Park
Washington Nationals Washington, D.C. Nationals Park
CENTRAL Chicago Cubs Chicago, Illinois Wrigley Field
Cincinnati Reds Cincinnati, Ohio Great American Ball Park
Milwaukee Brewers Milwaukee, Wisconsin Miller Park
Pittsburgh Pirates Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania PNC Park
St. Louis Cardinals St. Louis, Missouri Busch Stadium
WEST Arizona Diamondbacks Phoenix, Arizona Chase Field
Colorado Rockies Denver, Colorado Coors Field
Los Angeles Dodgers Los Angeles, California Dodger Stadium
San Diego Padres San Diego, California Petco Park
San Francisco Giants San Francisco, California AT&T Park

Texas Rangers Upcoming Schedule

March 29-April 1: vs Houston Astros

April 2-5: at Oakland Athletics

April 6-8: vs Toronto Blue Jays

April 9-11: vs Los Angeles Angels

April 13-15: at Houston Astros

April 16-18: at Tampa Bay Rays

April 20-22: vs Seattle Mariners

April 23-25: vs Oakland Athletics

April 27-29: at Toronto Blue Jays

April 30-May 2: at Cleveland Indians

The Rangers start their season off with a bang, facing off against in-state rivals and the reigning World Series Champion Houston Astros. From there, things ease off a big for the Rangers who face three teams who ended 2017 below .500 before another series against the Astros, this one in Houston.

In total, April brings two series against the Astros and a series with the Indians at the end of the month. Outside of that, the Angels are the only team they face that’s projected to finish above .500 based on each team’s projected win totals on BookMaker. Of course, the Rangers are supposed to be a below-.500 club themselves. They face the Blue Jays twice and the Athletics a couple times in April. They were 3-4 against Toronto last year and 8-11 against the A’s.

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