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The Leadoff

MLB Network Radio’s Casey Stern joined me to discuss the Rangers possible involvement in the coming trade season and more.

Stats of the Week

*Continuing the theme of getting production from top-to-bottom in the Rangers’ lineup, Texas No. 8 hitters lead the A.L. in RBI (41), SLG (.494), and OPS (.831), they’re tied for the A.L. lead in hits (70) and HR (12), and are second in the A.L. in average (.283), OBP (.337).

*Ian Desmond leads MLB in Win Probability Added (WPA) with a 3.4 rating. WPA is an advanced metric used to measure how a player’s offensive contributions add or subtract from their team’s ability to win 

*Ryan Rua is slashing .396/.476/.642/1.118 vs. LHP. His average and on-base percentage rank 2nd in the AL while his OPS ranks 3rd.

*The Rangers lead Major League Baseball with 22 comeback wins and 16 multi-run comeback wins.

*The Rangers have won a franchise-record 9 straight day games.

Quote of the Week

“Perhaps he was wrong, and perhaps I was also wrong.” Rougned Odor on his altercation with Jose Bautista as told to ESPN’s Marly Rivera.

“Whatever is cold and wet” -Colby Lewis on his beer of choice when he joined Jeff “Skin” Wade, Kevin Turner, and me a few minutes after his complete game and near no-hit effort vs. Oakland.

World Series Power Rankings

  1. Chicago Cubs
  2. Texas Rangers
  3. Washington Nationals
  4. Boston Red Sox
  5. San Francisco Giants

The Rangers edge the Red Sox because of starting rotation, but that might change after Boston makes an expected upgrade in July. Like the Rangers, the Red Sox have the assets to make a big deadline splash. Don’t overlook the Giants in the National League, by the way. The Cubs and Nationals have gotten most of the attention but that’s still a versatile group that’s likely to upgrade their bullpen in July.

Covering the Bases

*Colby Lewis didn’t need his flirtation with history Thursday to prove All-Star worthiness, but the publicity probably wakes folks up to how good of a season he’s having. His ERA+, a weighted metric used to measure effectiveness, ranks 4th best in the American League at 160. 

*Don’t be surprised if A.J. Griffin starts on Friday. It seems like he’d be ready.

*The outfield arms are something that is not talked about nearly as much as how valuable it is

*Rougned Odor is just 22 years old, which sometimes seems tough to remember because of how much the Rangers count on him. But, as a 22-year old, he isn’t perfect. I see plenty of fans frustrated with his tendency to expand the zone on twitter, which is a fair criticism. I don’t think Odor will ever be the most patient hitter and I think he’ll always have aggression which leads to a chase element. However, sometimes we need to just let hitters do their thing and take the good with the bad. Beltre’s approach is far from textbook. Like Beltre, Odor remains productive with his approach, and has he refines it, I expect his production to continue to rise.

*Shin-Soo Choo will only make this lineup more dangerous. Maz helped lighten the blow after Choo’s initially injury, but the suggestion that he’d allow the Rangers to “not miss Choo” was and is absurd to me. There are three outfielders. They both can play. Choo is a proven on-base machine who helps add ridiculous depth to this group. We’ve already seen it in a short time.

*A lot of people freak out when their team doesn’t put out its best lineup possible on a nightly basis. The reality is that playing 162 games, while admirable, typically isn’t smart, especially for a team that has its sights on the post-season. The Rangers have the luxury of possessing depth now that they have healthy bodies. I hope they continue to use that depth and give guys breaks because I’d much rather them refuel the tank when it is a quarter full rather than wait until the red light is on and they’re running on empty.

*Keone Kela is starting to throw pitches off of flat ground. That’s a good step as he continues to come back following surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow. The next step is throwing pitches off a mound, which the Rangers hope he can accomplish next week.

*The Yankees signed 1B Ike Davis to a Major League contract very shortly after the Rangers allowed him out of their minor league agreement. Good for Ike. He’s a good dude.

The Walkoff

As many of you may know, I don’t knee-jerk nor do I get emotional about a single win. With that said, there is a unique and, dare I say, special, quality about this team with it’s resilient spirit. The toughest team to beat, especially in big games, is the team that just doesn’t know how to lay down and lose. Right now, this team is clueless as to how to lay down and lose.

Until tomorrow, Peace Be the Journey

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