Reporting Jeff Cavanaugh
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ARLINGTON (105.3 THE FAN) – Ladies and gents, this here is the tale of the tape. The Angels have won the offseason again, and now the perception is that their lineup is pretty much unstoppable. Just look at the names of some of the monsters the rest of the AL West has to deal with all year. Pujols, Trout, Hamilton, Trumbo. Sounds pretty scary right? I would have to be crazy to say that the Rangers have just as good of a lineup wouldn’t I? I’d have to be sippin on that Ranger Red Kool-Aid…..except…..
Once you get passed how intimidating those few names are and take a look at the lineups as a whole, I don’t think the Angels are any better than our Red Shoe’d fellas. Here’s how I did it mathematically. I put the Rangers lineup down on my little piece of paper, then put the name of the Angel that corresponds with the position listed there. If the Ranger is the better player, that’s one point. If the Angel is better, one point for them. If it’s a matchup that I think is a significant advantage for one team, we count it as two points for that teams tally. Get it? Got it? Wonderful, on to the tale of the tape.
- Ian Kinsler vs. Howie Kendrick: Advantage Rangers. Kendrick was an All-Star last year, good defensive player, pretty good hitter, but not with the pop that Ian brings to the table for the Rangers.
- Elvis Andrus vs. Erick Aybar: Significant advantage Rangers. Aybar is a good defensive shortstop, Elvis is a great defensive shortstop. Elvis also has an advantage at the plate. He’s just now 24 years old, he’s a more selective hitter, and the jump he made last year to showing some pop in the bat will only get better.
- Lance Berkman vs. Mark Trumbo: Advantage no one. Don’t call me crazy just yet! Berkman is a very underrated hitter historically. His on-base percentage throughout his career is outstanding. To put it in context, let me throw out a couple names real quick. Albert Pujols, career OBP is .414. Lance Berkman is .409. Joe DiMaggio is .398. Pretty decent company right? Mark Trumbo had some monster numbers last year, 32 homers in a nice addition to any lineup. But he’s not a selective hitter the way Berkman is. He struck out over 150 times, he doesn’t take walks. His OBP was .317 which was the best of his career. Oh, and the second half of the season, Trumbo’s batting average was below .230.
- Adrian Beltre vs. Alberto Callespo: Significant advantage Rangers. Not a lot to debate or break down here. Adrian Beltre is the best all around third baseman in major league baseball, and Callespo is a guy. Nice and easy two pointer here for the Rangers.
- Nelson Cruz vs. Josh Hamilton: Significant advantage Angels. Here’s the big addition to the Angels lineup. Cruz brings some much needed power to the Rangers lineup, Hamilton brings more. Cruz has a big arm in right field, but he’s not a good fielder. Josh Hamilton is a great fielder. Here’s to hoping Josh misses 50+ games this year.
- David Murphy vs. Mike Trout: Significant advantage Angels. I love Murphy’s game, he’s just such a solid all around player, he does everything pretty well. On the other side, Trout might be the best player in baseball. Speed, power, average, field, doesn’t matter. Mike Trout is a monster.
- AJ Pierzynski vs. Chris Ianetta: Advantage Rangers. I wouldn’t argue with you if you said I was drinking the Ranger Red Kool-Aid here, I could see it being a draw. Ianetta is great defensively, I feel like AJ is better offensively.
- Mitch Moreland vs. Albert Pujols: Significant advantage Angels. Not a lot of explanation needed. The best non-steriod hitter I’ve ever watched against Mitch Moreland. It’s not your fault Mitch.
- Leonys Martin/Craig Gentry vs. Peter Bourjos: Advantage Rangers. Martin has been the star of spring training so far (other than Jeff Baker), he seems poised to be the guy that Jon Daniels committed a decent amount of dollars to a few years ago. Bourjos can fly in the outfield and on the bases, but I anticipate Martin being better, plus Gentry will get a chance to get some at-bats when there’s a lefty on the mound.
Add it all up, and the result I’ve come up with is Rangers 7, Angels 6. Am I drunk on the Ranger Red, or is this Ranger team poised to be better than a lot of people think? They didn’t add a big name bat, they let a lot of fan favorites go, but this lineup still looks very strong to me.
The real problem right now is 5th starter and the bullpen, but we’re not going there right now. We’re just going to revel in the fact that the Rangers have a better lineup than the Angels. Don’t argue with me, it’s just simple math.
PS, random Ranger news: Mike Olt’s run at the roster ended yesterday. He’s been optioned to Round Rock. Was really hoping he and Profar would have big springs and infuse this team with some exciting young guys.
@JC1053 on Twitter, call me crazy if you like.
End Glorious Tidbit 3.20.13
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