The Texas Rangers traded for Max Scherzer on Saturday. In doing so, they added a quality arm to their arsenal. Texas definitely needed to do something at this point in their season. They have been heading in the wrong direction for several weeks.
On Saturday, the Rangers lost. They fell 4-0 to the San Diego Padres. The Padres will go for a three-game sweep on Sunday with ace pitcher Blake Snell on the mound. Texas remains on top of their division but looking at the chart below, you can see exactly why they felt compelled to add another quality player.
Texas Rangers: Winning Rate Since June 7th, 2023
- Formerly: 40 – 20 on June 7th, 2023
- Currently: 60 – 45 (overall)
- Recent form: 20 – 25 since June 7th, 2023
- Recent winning rate: .444
The Rangers are a very tricky bet in MLB futures. They are just +475 to win the 2023 ALCS. Both Tampa Bay, another struggling team, and the Houston Astros are ahead of the Rangers with bet365’s futures. For a team playing .444 baseball over 45 games, Texas looks well overrated. There’s still a reasonable chance that this team doesn’t even make the playoffs.
Does the Max Scherzer Trade Really Change Everything?
Acquiring Scherzer could be overblown. He’s 39 years old and he is having his worst season for ERA in over a decade.
Conversely, he put up a 9-4 record with the Mets. That’s very impressive given how poor of a season New York has had so far.
It seems that Texas is banking on Scherzer’s experience. While bettors should regard the trade as a good one for the Rangers, expectations should be for an above-average starting pitcher at this point and not a staff ace.
Does the Scherzer trade tip things for Texas? They also need Corey Seager to come back and play very well. With a .444 winning rate over several weeks, the Rangers need to improve that winning rate by about 15% to look like a serious ALCS contender. That’s a lot of improvement to attribute to just one pitcher. It will still take a team transformation to turn Texas around.
AL Playoff Picture as of July 30th, 2023
But the Rangers remain one of the teams in the picture for the 2023 MLB playoffs. The Baltimore Orioles are on fire in the AL East and we project them to take the division title. In the AL Central, it’s a close race between Minnesota and Cleveland. The AL West is a real toss-up between Texas, Houston, and LA, any of whom could clinch the division.
As for the wild card spots, the Boston Red Sox are looking strong and are likely to secure Wild Card No. 1. The battle for Wild Card No. 2 and No. 3 is intense, with Texas, Houston, LA, and Toronto all in the mix. We see Tampa Bay as a team that will fade out of the picture in the two months ahead.
Prognosis: The Texas Rangers in playoff antepost are a case of “bettor’s beware.”
Further reading: be careful of the Cincinnati Bengals too, following the Joe Burrow injury.