Six Things In No Particular Order

  1. The Rangers playoff odds are as follows: 14.1% per FanGraphs; 14.2% per Baseball Prospectus; 12.3% per ESPN. One-in-seven to secure a WC spot, basically.
  2. The team's run differential is -28; in the American League only Houston (-40) and Tampa Bay (-41) have a worse +/- than do the Rangers, and they combine for a record of 48-70 (.407). At 29-29, Texas is still only a game out of the second wild card spot.
  3. The position players have produced a mere +4.7 fWAR in over 2,100 plate appearances, which ranks 23rd in MLB, and tied for 11th in the AL with the White Sox and Yankees. The Angels and Athletics, for example, rank 1st and 2nd, respectively, at +13.2 and +12.4 Wins.
  4. According to FIP-wins -- pitcher fWAR -- the Rangers' pitching staff is among the best in baseball, ranking 4th in MLB with +7.2 Wins, in spite of having the 3rd-highest ERA (4.29) in the AL. Yu Darvish (+2.7 fWAR) and Joakim Soria (+1.1 fWAR) have been exceptional, but aside from them it's been a revolving door of inconsistency. Texas's rotation currently features Nick Tepesch, Nick Martinez, Colby Lewis and Joe Saunders. Alexi Ogando has a 6.84 earned run average in the bullpen; Neal Cotts's is 3.63 after posting a 1.11 ERA in 57.0 IP last season, so he too seems drastically worse than most think he ought to be, even if what he is now is probably closer to his true talent level.
  5. Mitch Moreland has been acting as the team's de facto first baseman/number three hitter, and on the season he's hitting .268/.311/.389 (88 wRC+), and at -0.2 fWAR he's essentially what he always has been: The definition of a replacement-level player. I swear he could play here at least another year and some people are still going to say he's going to turn into Chris Davis someday. Sadly, the fond memories they remember -- where he hit a brilliant .348/.400/.550 during the Rangers' 2010 World Series run -- came in a BABIP-aided 51 plate appearances. That's not the guy Mitch was supposed to become.
  6. As a collective, the Rangers' starting outfield has been worth +3.7 fWAR in 2014. With Choo being an OBP machine, Martín growing into one of the better center fielders in baseball, and Alex Rios, who's solid at everything without being great at anything, I hope this isn't the last year we get to see this group together. Rios will be down to a $13.5 million option in 2015, which at the very least I assume the Rangers will pick up, but I won't be surprised to see Jon Daniels offer him an extension at some point during the offseason. If the Rangers could sign him to something like 2/24 with some sort of vesting option for 2017, it would be a bargain for a meaningful contributor to a championship team.