We’re roughly 25 games into the Major League Baseball season and the two teams from the Lone Star State have experienced mixed results.
For the Texas Rangers, the record looks good but it seems as if the problems of old have returned. The batting is as good as ever, but pitching is where this team’s problems lie.
The Rangers rank 16th in the league with a 3.85 ERA so far this season. The only pitchers that seem to be on track are team ace Yu Darvish and Martin Perez. Both maintain earned run averages below two.
Darvish has picked up right where he left off last season, striking out tons of batters while allowing minimal damage.
As of right now, the Rangers are a half game ahead of Oakland in the American League West. To make matters worst, the Rangers have added Tanner Schepprers to their list of injuries in this young season..
If the Rangers hope to contend for a division title this season, the pitching must get better. Matt Harrison has come off the disabled list and the staff is whole again.
The Astros are a whole other matter. Last in the league in all major batting categories and 26th in earned run average, the Astros are once again seated comfortably in dead last in the American League.
The Astros have the exact opposite set of problems than the Rangers but the issues for Houston are to a much worse degree.
The Astros have scored only 80 runs this season, the second fewest in the MLB, while giving up 130 runs to opposing teams. This is perhaps the reasoning for the early arrival of highly touted minor league prospect George Springer.
Springer made his debut in Houston against the Royals last Wednesday. As a minor leaguer last season, Springer narrowly missed becoming the first player in 50 years to post a 40-40 season in the minors, posting 37 homers and 42 stolen bases.
So far, the only ray of light in the starting rotation has been the newly acquired Scott Feldman from the Rangers. Feldman has posted 1.69 ERA and a 2-1 record through four starts so far this season.
It looks though, despite glimpses of hope here and there, that the Astros are headed for another season in the division cellar. There will be a few more prospects called up throughout the year, names like Jonathan Singleton and Carlos Correa, but the Astros won’t make too much noise until 2015 or 2016.