Jeff Cavanaugh for 105.3 The Fan | CBSDFW.COM

DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) – First of all, how about an apology to Jon Daniels from everyone who doubted him?  That includes me to a certain degree.

I was pretty high on how good this team could be, I picked them to win the AL West, but like a lot of others, I was skeptical of the back end of the rotation and the bullpen going into this season.

Justin Grimm, Nick Tepesch, Tanner Scheppers, Joseph Ortiz, you fellas are alright by me.

Who’da thunk the Rangers would have the best record in baseball, get off to their best start in franchise history through 31 games, and have a nice comfy lead in the AL West at this point in the season?  All with Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus for the most part being subpar so far this year at the plate?

Time to kick up your Rangers feet, let the doubt slip away, and just enjoy the ride of the baseball season.

31 out of 162 down, and the Rangers look like the best team in the AL West.  That makes them a World Series contender.  Any team that wins a division is a World Series contender, and all of a sudden the Rangers look like they just might have the front-line pitching to make that magical run.

Yu Darvish?  Bonafide ace.  No question about it.

Fun stat for the Ranger fan here, I’m calling it the “holy hot damn” number of the day, that’s the Double H D number of the day.

When Nolan Ryan set the single season strikeout record with 383 k’s, he was on a pace of 10.6 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched.  Pretty high number right?  Gotta be, he set a record doing it.  Yu Darvish?  This season, 14.2 strikeouts per 9 innings.  That’s not a typo.  3 and a half MORE strikeouts per 9 innings pitched than Nolan while he was setting record!  The Rangers ace has the best “stuff” in major league baseball, I’m comfortable saying that.

And what about behind him?

Matt Harrison is projected to be back in August some time, but even if he’s not, take a gander at the #2 and #3 starters the Rangers are running out these days.  Derek Holland has a sub 3 ERA (2.74) and appears to have found that magical thing he’s been missing to this point.  Consistency.  His stuff has never an issue, just his command and keeping the ball down from time to time.  If he’s really got it figured out, that’s a really good #2 guy.  Alexi Ogando’s ERA (3.08) is also as good as anyone could possibly want or expect.  3 top of the line starters with a fourth that might be back for a playoff push?

Welcome to the blueprint of a World Series champion.

Oh, did I mention Colby Lewis and Martin Perez will be back shortly?  Soria will be back there in bullpen in the future as well?  I would say Nefti Feliz but it seems like his rehab isn’t going as well as others, and he might have been enjoying a few all-you-can-eat buffets from time to time as well.

Summary here:  The Rangers are good.  And they could quite possibly get better.  We’ve got 131 games still to be played, but for now, Ranger land is a happy place to be.

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