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Texas Rangers: Top 5 Wins Above Replacement Scores Among Batters Since 2000

The Texas Rangers have been known for quite some time as a team that usually wins with their bats. They are third in Major League Baseball since 2000 in runs scored and this is a team that has only been to the postseason twice since the turn of the millennium.

This offense has featured many prolific names but there are five that stand out from all the rest. We will be ranking these players by their WAR (wins above replacement) which is a stat that represents the number of wins that a player’s presence translates to compared to a replacement player.

Since runs are dependent on other batters, it is not appropriate to gauge worth using that stat which is why WAR is being used. Read on for more.

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ALCS Game 1 Live Blog: Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers

It’s baseball time in Texas as the Rangers get home-field advantage and host the Detroit Tigers for the first two games in a series that determines who gets to play St Louis or Milwaukee in the World Series. Texas is coming off of a 3-1 series win over Tampa Bay while Detroit shocked New York by taking the series in five games.

Will home field-advantage be a factor for the Rangers? The Rangers are 3-5 at home since 2010 and the Tigers only won one home game in this year’s American League Division Series. This is the first ALCS appearance for the Tigers since 2006 where they swept the Oakland Athletics in four games. This will be the second straight ALCS appearance for Texas as they seek out another trip to the World Series.


Texas Rangers StarterCJ Wilson

CJ starts Game 1 after a terrible ALDS performance where he gave up six runs on seven hits in five innings. But this southpaw has put up great numbers during the regular season, including 206 strikeouts in 223.1 innings pitched. He will need to locate his pitches early in order to shut down this offense that has already given him fits this season.


Detroit Tigers StarterJustin Verlander

Verlander, the heavy favorite for the AL Cy Young award, has had an incredible season and plans to continue that season tonight in Arlington. His 24-5 record, along with his 250 strikeouts in 251 innings, is going to present a challenge to the potent Ranger offense. His only appearance against the Rangers was a complete game two-run showing that wasn’t enough to lead his team to a win.


Location: Arlington, TX

Weather: 84 degrees, mostly cloudy, 17 MPH wind coming east southeast, 40 percent chance of precipitation (90 percent chance around 8:00 p.m. CST)

Network: FOX

Tonight’s game begins at 7 p.m. CST. Check this live blog during the game for continuous updates and analysis.

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Texas Rangers: Analysis of the Tommy Hunter, Chris Davis trade for Koji Uehara

Almost instantly after today’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Texas Rangers made a deal for the reliever that they desperately need.

General manager Jon Daniels made a deal with the Baltimore Orioles to send pitcher Tommy Hunter and first baseman Chris Davis in exchange for reliever Koji Uehara.

A trade involving Chris Davis comes as no surprise to me, as he was destined to find another team to play for.

He tore it up in the minor leagues but just can’t seem to outperform Mitch Moreland at first. As a result, he was pushed over to third base to sub for an injured Adrian Beltre. He’s a power bat that is of no use to the Rangers on the bench, so moving him in a trade is exactly what needed to happen.

However, including Tommy Hunter in the deal is a bit of a surprise. He’s been a solid pitcher throughout his career with Texas but his sabermetrics have been lagging behind Derek Holland and Matt Harrison.

Also, given Hunter’s history of injuries, this move is one that will not hurt the Rangers in the long run and will clear a spot in the bullpen for Uehara and possibly another pitcher. Hunter did a lot for Texas last season and will be missed, but a move like this is necessary to clear up the bullpen issues.

Uehara is by far the best reliever in the American League. Opponents are batting .151 against him (tied for first in the AL) and he leads the league in walks and hits per inning pitched (WHIP), strikeouts-per-walk, and is third in walks-per-nine-innings.

His three primary pitches are the fastball, split finger fastball, and the change up with an appearance percentage of 66, 21, and 11 respectively. His earned run average is 1.72 with a fielding independent earned run average of 2.52.

This is exactly the kind of move the Rangers needed to make in order to make their run for another AL West title and another trip to the World Series go as smoothly as last year. A solid bullpen is going to mean a lot to this team and Uehara’s presence should provide a tremendous boost.

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Texas Rangers: Endy Chavez and the Red Hot Texas Offense

The Texas Rangers have outscored their opponents 57-23 in the past eight days, and Endy Chavez has been the unsung hero of this recent hot streak. While players like Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz have been hitting balls out of the park, Chavez has been hitting .435 in 13 games while crossing the plate 11 times.

The emergence of this new hitting machine has surprised many in the Rangers fan base. Chavez began the year in AAA Round Rock hitting .305 in 30 games. He recently made his first major league appearance since 2009 where his season ended with a torn ACL. He was called up after Julio Borbon was placed on the disabled list but has remained on the roster despite Borbon being activated.

Chavez is putting up career high numbers in a lot of offensive categories and in many cases is outpacing the player he was sent to temporarily replace. Here’s a look at some figures comparing this year’s stats with his previous career-high stats.

  AVG OBP SLG WAR Cutters Seen Fastballs Seen Strike Contact Ball Contact
Career High .306 (2006) .348 (2006) .464 (2002) 1.1 (2008) 4.2% (2009) 70.4% (2002) 93.1 (2008) 78.5% (2008)
2011 Season .435 .469 .696 1.1 13% 58.2% 95% 87.5%

It’s very telling that he’s seeing fewer fastballs and more secondary pitches yet his average is up over .100 on his career high. Even dropping pitches outside of the strike zone isn’t enough to keep him off the bases.

If Borbon wants to come back to the majors, he’s going to have to improve his plate discipline. He’s certainly more of an elite defender in the outfield than Chavez but the Rangers can’t afford to keep Endy’s hot bat on the bench. Don’t be surprised to see a trade involve David Murphy because the Rangers don’t really have a need for two outfielders to warm up the dugout during games, especially if the Rangers really want Borbon to come back.

Can he keep this hot streak alive through the rest of the season? Only time will tell.

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