Astros News

Astros: 2020 AL West preview has Houston as clear favorite

WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - MARCH 10: Houston Astros sit in the dugout during the spring training game against the New York Mets at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on March 10, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - MARCH 10: Houston Astros sit in the dugout during the spring training game against the New York Mets at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on March 10, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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ARLINGTON, TEXAS – APRIL 01: An aerial drone view of Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers MLB team, on April 01, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. The grand opening of Globe Life Field has been postponed after Major League Baseball delayed the start of the 2020 season in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – APRIL 01: An aerial drone view of Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers MLB team, on April 01, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. The grand opening of Globe Life Field has been postponed after Major League Baseball delayed the start of the 2020 season in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Texas Rangers

Coming off a 78-84 record and third place finish, the Rangers are looking to open their new Globe Life Field with a postseason run. Manager Chris Woodward will have his work cut out for him, though, as there are some areas of uncertainty with this team.

Surprisingly, considering their history, they have some questions on offense. They had only one player hit 30 homers last year, and that was Rougned Odor, who had a dismal .283 on-base percentage. A healthy season from Joey Gallo would help with that, but they’ll need more.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JULY 06: Joey Gallo #13 of the Texas Rangers bats against the Minnesota Twins on July 6, 2019 at the Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rangers 7-4. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JULY 06: Joey Gallo #13 of the Texas Rangers bats against the Minnesota Twins on July 6, 2019 at the Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rangers 7-4. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

They made a couple of additions that will help. Infielder Todd Frazier will add some pop, as will the return of Chirinos, who spent one year down south with the Astros. Danny Santana had a breakout 2019, and veterans Shin Soo Choo and Elvis Andrus return as well. Hunter Pence is gone, but further progress from youngster Willie Calhoun will make up for that.

On the flip side, the Rangers rotation looks strong. Mike Minor and Lance Lynn return and are joined by former Indians ace Corey Kluber. The team also added Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles to the mix, so their starting five looks to be set. This could well be one of the strongest overall rotations in the game.

The bullpen could be another story. Closer Jose Leclerc had some struggles last year but does have upside, but there aren’t really any sure things aside from that. The makeup of the team’s bullpen will have to be figured out in camp and as the season goes along.

So overall, the offense should be solid and has the chance to be stronger. The rotation looks stout, but the bullpen is a concern. This team has potential but has some legitimate question marks and looks to be more likely to flirt with 30 wins. It’s a short season, though, which means anything is possible.

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