- The first week of MLB Power Rankings came out in the last couple of days. As expected the Rangers are at the top of most of those lists including the ESPN Power Rankings where they are 1st in baseball. In SI.com’s new WAR rankings the Rangers are 2nd behind the St. Louis Cardinals.
- Jeff Wilson has a very good article over at the Fort Worth Star Telegram about the tough stretch that awaits the Rangers. When talking about the fact that these types of games coming up used to be a measuring stick, Ian Kinsler had this to say:
“They’re chasing us,” second baseman Ian Kinsler said. “The AL championship goes through us. I think everyone understands that.
“You expect the best from your opponent every day. When you have a target on your back, when you’re the two-time defending AL champions, the focus of the other team might be raised. It just makes it harder for us.”
Ron Washington chimed in as well:
“Our game plan is not going to change,” manager Ron Washington said. “We’re going to be aggressive. We’re going to pitch; we’re going to play defense, and we’re going to see what happens after nine innings.”
The Rangers start with an annoying two game series with the Red Sox followed by a tough four game series against an improved Detroit Tigers team.
- In the Sporting News there is a quick comparison about how the Rangers should be able to maintain a successful season easier than the Dodgers can. Part of that is a note about what could slow the Rangers down.
The schedule gets plenty tougher through the rest of the month. The general consensus is that there are six very good teams in the AL, including the Rangers, and over their next four series they’ll play three of them—on the road starting Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers before returning home to host the New York Yankees. They’ll finish the month against an improved Toronto Blue Jays team, then play Cleveland after that.