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AL West is 'Ours,' Not Astros Says Texas Rangers First Baseman

The Texas Rangers are off to one of the best starts in franchise history and hold a AL West lead over the favored Houston Astros.

Nathaniel Lowe said the Texas Rangers are for “real” — and should be considered the favorite to win a division that's been dominated by the defending World Series champs.

Speaking with the Talkin’ Baseball podcast on Monday, the first baseman was asked about those skeptical about the Rangers’ hot start and their ability to compete with the Houston Astros in the American League West.

Lowe took the host all the way back to Spring Training when he accidentally logged into an interview too early and heard cross-chatter about the division race. It didn't sit well with him. But, as he told this host, he held his tongue.

“You know it's funny you say that because I got on a Zoom call too early in Spring Training and I watched a certain host at the network talk about how it's Houston's division again and they're going to win the division by 15 games and I was like, ‘Gosh you know that kind of pissed me off and I don't want to say anything about it because we haven't even played a single spring training practice (yet),’” Lowe said.

Now, he feels vindicated as the Rangers' lead the division.

Lowe and the Rangers (29-18) hold a one-game edge over Houston (28-19) after Monday's 6-4 loss at the Pittsburgh Pirates. Texas is still off to its third-best start after 47 games in franchise history.

The Rangers have one of the best offenses in baseball and it’s upgraded rotation is among the best in the game. Lowe believes that will keep the Rangers in the race as the season continues.

“This team is for real,” Lowe said. “The starting staff is for real, there are guys in the bullpen that are competitors, they’re guys that will get big outs for us. There’s 120 games left or whatever it is.

“But the division is ours to lose. You can't sleep on the Rangers. If we're not in contention coming down the stretch, I would be very, very surprised and would say something has gone horribly wrong.”

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You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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