Rangers Still Have Swagger

Tony Salinas: Rangers Still Have Swagger

Some in baseball were concerned that the Texas Rangers would be so shell shocked from blowing the World Series last year that they'd have trouble coming out of the gate strong in 2012. Just a few days into the new season, the Rangers have put all of those concerns to rest. They enter Wednesday action with a 9-2 record...with their most impressive result probably of the whole 162-game season coming Tuesday Night in an 18-3 win at Boston.


This team still has its swagger, and that's bad news for other American League contenders. They're not going to be intimidated. They're not going to worry about the past. They're just going to keep throwing gems and hitting homers.

I commented last year that this team is built in the image of their principal owner, president, and CEO Nolan Ryan. That man didn't back down from anybody. That man looked you in the eye like he was going to beat you. Then, he went out and did it. Every pitcher on this staff has that attitude (or he isn't allowed to be on the staff!). The key hitters have that attitude. In the offseason, Ryan went out and purchased Yu Darvish, who was basically the "young Nolan Ryan" of Japan. He'll walk a few guys, but he'll find a way to get out of trouble (so far anyway).

Even though I've lived in Las Vegas as a high roller for a few decades now, I still consider myself a Texan. I watch the Texas teams very closely. It always amazes me that oddsmakers pay so little attention to the Texas teams (except for the Cowboys) when there are so many Texans doing well as bettors (and poker players) out in this neck of the woods. The lines are starting to catch up with how good the Rangers are this year, particularly at home. But, this year's team looks to be better than last year's league champs. That means they shouldn't have been road underdogs against inconsistent Boston.

This is what I can say with confidence about the Rangers right now:

  • The starting rotation is solid as a rock. And, because they play their home games in a great hitter's park, many bettors don't realize how strong this rotation really is. Texas has a lot of pitching. Their home park hides that. The Rangers have allowed 1-2-3-3 runs so far in four road games heading into tonight.

  • Joe Nathan is the relief ace this year, and he has something to prove. He hasn't been as sharp as the team had hoped even with his three saves. Maybe he doesn't have it any more. I have no doubts that Ryan will find somebody who does if Nathan can't do the job. If Nathan finds his past form, the sky's the limit for how many games they can win.

  • The defense doesn't get nearly enough credit for the number of gloves out there. Old perceptions die hard. This used to be a team that seemed like a bunch of DH's who didn't know how to field. This group seems to make the highlight reels every night.

  • The offense isn't quite as good as it seems because Arlington inflates hitting statistics. But, their star hitters really are impact players no matter where a game is being played. If the stars get injured, then the Rangers will have to win some pitcher's duels. If the team can stay healthy, we're possibly looking at a team that can coast to 100 wins in cruise control. That's how good, and balanced this team is once you adjust for ball park influences.

I know you're hearing a lot about how great Detroit is going to be this year. And the Yankees have another high priced roster. I still consider Texas the clear favorites to be the best team in the league through the regular season and into the playoffs.

This could be an exciting few months for fans of Texas sports given how well the San Antonio Spurs are playing in the NBA, and how impressive this Rangers roster is top to bottom.

I may or may not be playing Texas-Boston for my customers tonight. You'll have to log on for picks to find out. You can get the exact same games I'm betting the biggest myself right here at this website. If you have any questions about my service, call my handicapping office at 1-888-536-8880.

Too many bettors (and oddsmakers) have underrated the Texas Rangers for too long. I'm glad they' spend too much time focusing on the wrong teams. If you keep listening to the TV pundits, you'll take the worst of it time and time again. Make sure you're GETTING THE BEST OF IT by signing up with TONY SALINAS!


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