3 clear Texas Rangers weaknesses Astros can exploit in 2024

This year's version of the Texas Rangers has several flaws.

Texas Rangers center fielder Evan Carter, Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve
Texas Rangers center fielder Evan Carter, Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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The Rangers bullpen is a mess

The Rangers starting rotation (which we'll address again in a moment) is not good. But it's quite possible that the Texas bullpen is even worse than it was a year ago. And that's saying something.

The Rangers bullpen ranked 11th in ERA (4.77) among American League teams last season. Only the Los Angeles Angels' (88) relief corps allowed more home runs than the Rangers did a year ago. Texas' relievers were also last in the league in strikeouts. This bullpen was abysmal in 2023, and they didn't get any better.

The Rangers lost Aroldis Chapman, Chris Stratton, and Will Smith to free agency. Though Texas added David Robertson and Kirby Yates, those two aren't going keep your bullpen afloat in the eighth and ninth innings if Jose Leclerq, Grant Anderson, and Danny Duffy run it aground in the sixth and seventh.

The Astros lost Kendall Graveman to injury and three talented relievers (Phil Maton, Hector Neris, and Ryne Stanek) to free agency. But Houston also brought in one of the best closers in the game when they signed Josh Hader.

Texas has done little-to-nothing to fix their biggest issue from last season, and it's assumed that they'll just have enough bats to slug their way out of it. Winning games 11-9 might work during the regular season, but if the Rangers hope to contend in the playoffs, they'll need to address the bullpen, because no lead will be safe in Arlington. Didn't Jose Altuve teach you that last year?