While a third straight division crown is unlikely given that they are already 12 games behind the Astros, Texas is just 2 1/2 games out in the wild-card chase. That's somewhat remarkable given that the Rangers had a less-than-impressive off-season, have gotten disastrous results from a bullpen that has produced a collective 5.00 ERA and just got third baseman Adrian Beltre in the lineup this week for the first time this season after a calf strain.
Even with southpaw Cole Hamels out until early July due to an oblique strain the rest of the rotation has kept the team afloat. Beltre's return gives manager Jeff Banister some flexibility with the batting order; Joey Gallo's bat, which has produced 16 home runs, has to fit somewhere. Expect better days ahead, though if Texas does slide, it will have plenty to market, including pending free agents like pitchers Yu Darvish and Andrew Cashner as well as catcher Jonathan Lucroy and outfielder Carlos Gomez.