Comparing the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels

Baseball teams and fans are getting ready for the upcoming start of the 2013 season. Like every year, expectations for the home team are high. Every fan wants this to be their team’s year to win the World Series. Some will get their wish. Injuries, slumps and unexplainable shoddy play will crush the dreams of others.

Pundits, experts, and so-called baseball experts all have opinions. They broadcast from elaborate television sets, from ballparks, and explain why they think this team will win, and why they think this team will lose. Some, if not all of these experts forget one thing.  Fans want to have hope, fans want to root and cheer for the home team and let things play out on the field.

Being a baseball fan is one of the greatest things ever. Baseball brings friends and enemies together. Discussions about this team or that team over a beer and pizza, at a poker table, at a party, even at work are some of the things that make baseball “The Great American Game”.

As a baseball fan, who occasionally writes about baseball, here are my thoughts on what could be this year’s biggest rivalry in baseball’s American League Western Division. The Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels are both good enough to win the west, only one of them will in my opinion. I have compared the teams, using past performance, age, fan support, and of course opinion to decide how I think the two teams match up.

Below is a comparison of the starting line-ups, pitching staffs, and management of each team. Taking all of these things into consideration, I have projected how each player and team will do this season. Make no mistake, I am a Ranger fan. I have tried to be objective as possible knowing some fans will agree with me, and some fans will not. Feel free to comment either way, remembering baseball brings friends and enemies together.

The Starting Line-ups        projected batting average and who has the edge in bold.

Texas Rangers                                                       Los Angeles Angels

1st Base      M. Moreland    .260                                                          A. Pujlos   .300

2nd Base     I. Kinsler    .265                                                               H. Kendrick   .285

3rd Base     A. Beltre     .310                                                              A. Callaspo     .250

Shortstop    E. Andrus   .280                                                              E. Aybar        .285

Left Field     D. Murphy    .280                                                            M. Trout         .300

Center Field   L. Martin/ C. Gentry   .260/.280                                   P. Bourjos        .250

Right Field    N. Cruz    .265                                                               J. Hamilton      .290

Catcher       A. Pierzinski         .275                                                   C. Iannetta   .240

Designated Hitter    L. Berkman   .290                                               M. Trumbo   .260

Pitching Staff and Bullpen including projected Wins and ERA

1. M. Harrison   20/.300                                                           J. Weaver   20/2.90

2. Y. Darvish     20/3.20                                                           C.J. Wilson   15/3.50

3. D. Holland     15/4.00                                                           J. Vargis    15/4.00

4. A. Ogando     14/3.50                                                          T. Hanson    12/4.00

5. M. Perez        10/4.00                                                           J. Blanton     10/4.50

Closer     J. Nathan    40 saves/2.00                                      R. Madison    35 saves/2.25

Bullpen        20 wins/3.5                                                         19 wins/4.00

Managers    

Ron Washington                                                                     Mike Scosia

General Managers

Josh Daniels                                                                            Jerry Dipoto

Owners

Nolan Ryan                                                                             Arte Moreno

The Overview

The Texas Rangers will be the better team on the field. I know on paper the Angels look like the better team we have all seen that before. The Rangers are younger, faster, and have the better pitching staff from top to bottom. Weaver is a dominant pitcher without a doubt, but once you get past him, the rest are all projects. Vargis may emerge as the number two starter, on this team before the end of the season.

When it comes to hitting the teams, are closer than it appears. The Angels will hit more home runs, but they will also strikeout more often. The Rangers will take more walks and pressure the opposing pitchers with their speed. Mike Trout will be facing the “Sophomore Jinx”, and Josh Hamilton may or may not show up. Pujlos is getting older and coming off knee surgery while the Rangers are younger and healthier.

The management team of Washington and Daniels have the edge over Scosia and Dipoto in my opinion. Yes, Dipoto signed Wilson, Pujlos, and Hamilton in the past few years, but what did that get the Angels? While Dipoto was raiding the free-agent market, the Rangers were playing in back to back World Series. The only place the Angels finished ahead of the Rangers was in payroll.

Washington made it through the Hamilton era in Texas, now it is Scosia’s turn. From what I have seen of Scosia over the years, he and Hamilton will bump heads sooner rather than later. Scosia is a baseball man, a team guy. Hamilton is not, the last season in Texas proved that.

What fan would not want Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan as the owner of their team. There is no way you can be around baseball, and have the career Ryan had, and not know the game. Look what the Rangers have accomplished since Ryan took over, two World Series appearances, and over 3.5 million fans came to watch baseball at the Ballpark in Arlington last season. Those results are not too bad for a “FOOTBALL TOWN”.

The Rangers will finish ahead of the Angels, winning 99 games to the Angels 91. The Rangers pitching staff will better ERA 3.90 to 4.00 for the Angels. The Ranger as a team will hit .270 while the Angels will hit more home runs, but only hit .260 as a team.  The Angels will again be making tee-times in October, and the Rangers will be headed their third World Series in four years. Optimistic I know, but that is the glory of being a baseball fan, the start of the season and new hopes for the home team.

J. Brackston

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