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Texas Rangers Clinch American League West
- Updated: September 24, 2016
Rangers Clinch AL West
On Friday night the Texas Rangers had all their weapons working for them. Ace Cole Hamels pitched seven innings of shut-out baseball and 3rd baseman Adrian Beltre hit a 2 run blast to lead the Rangers to a 3-0 win and their second straight AL West Division title.
The Texas Rangers have made it clear to everyone in baseball that they mean business in 2016. After being ousted last season from the playoffs by the Toronto Blue Jays, the Rangers have continued to add more depth to an already strong team. After Prince Fielder went done with a neck injury that ended up ending his career the Rangers knew they had to make a move. At the trade deadline they would add Carlos Beltran to replace the missing pop in their line-up. However, the Rangers would not stop there. They would take full advantage of a failed trade between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cleveland Indians and land All-Star Catcher Jonathon Lucroy to make a trade deadline splash that sent the message to everyone that the Rangers were going for it.
Along with the added players the Rangers have several key players that round out their team that helped propel them to the Division title. Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Ian Desmond have been a big reason for the Rangers success in 2016. Beltre leads the team in batting avg. (.298), Home runs (31), and RBI (100), while Andrus leads in OBP (.358) and Desmond leads in hits (173). Other notable players that have contributed this season are Rougned Odor with a .274 avg. and 31 home runs, and Rookie Nomar Mazara who has hit 20 home runs and is batting .275.
As if the powerful lineup isn’t enough, the Rangers also have a solid 1,2,3 punch in their starting rotation. Pitchers Cole Hammels, Yu Darvish and Colby Lewis should be a solid enough front end to their rotation to be battle ready for any playoff opponents they may face.
Now that the Rangers have been able to seal their playoff spot for 2016, they can start getting some of their older players the needed rest that will get them deeper into a playoff run. This should also help the Rangers get their rotation playoff ready.
The Rangers are back in the Playoffs and look like a team that is built to win, but only time will tell if the Rangers can make a run all the way to a World Series title.