The Rangers have lost four in a row and 10 of their past 12, going from a solid hold on second place in the AL West to just a game and a half out of the basement. Over the weekend they were annihilated by their in-state rivals from Houston, getting swept in a three-game series and being outscored 20-8.
Here’s the bigger problem: The schedule won’t be doing Texas any favors in the near future. A two-game series against the heavily wounded Mets starts Tuesday, but New York will be starting its two best healthy pitchers, Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler. That brief set is followed by the what may be the toughest six-game stretch that any team is likely to face all season: back-to-back three-game road series against the best teams in the National and American leagues, the Nationals and the Astros.
If the Rangers continue to struggle during that eight-game swing, it could significantly affect how the team handles the trade deadline. Another pile of losses and the two-time defending AL West champs might soon have to at least consider some significant veteran-for-youth deals, with free-agent-to-be starter Yu Darvish the biggest Ranger dilemma, by far.