After going 68-94 in 2022, the Texas Rangers spent a lot of dollars to fortify their rotation and make sure they could be much, much better in 2023.
They brought in Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi, Andrew Heaney, and other hurlers and the results have followed.
At this moment, as of Tuesday afternoon, the Rangers lead the AL West division against all odds with a 71-48 record.
It was easy to envision the Rangers being significantly better this year, but better than the reigning World Series champions?
That’s the really impressive part: after four-and-a-half months, the Rangers are not only hanging with the best, but they have actually been better than the Houston Astros.
This graph shared by Codify Baseball shows how the two teams have fought against each other all year long.
pretty good dogfight going on for the al west crown pic.twitter.com/hP2RAxMSvb
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) August 15, 2023
Their odds of winning the AL West have switched several times, and it has made the division race one of the most exciting in baseball.
The Astros are 3.5 games behind in the standings at the moment, but have the firepower to leapfrog the Rangers.
Texas, however, has taken such a significant step forward in player development that they look just as likely to win the division.
This year, the Rangers have made Dane Dunning, Josh Jung, Leody Taveras, Adolis Garcia, and Jonah Heim much, much better ballplayers.
Since they already had Corey Seager and Marcus Semien as stars leading the way, the roster is now one of the best in the American League.
The Astros have enjoyed Chas McCormick’s breakout and have Yainer Diaz, Hunter Brown, and other surprising contributors helping stars Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, and Alex Bregman.
This race will probably go down to the wire.NEXT: Shohei Ohtani Leads A Unique 2023 Home Run List