Published: Fri, July 08, 2016
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Can Texas Rangers finally win World Series?

Can Texas Rangers finally win World Series?

" Texas Rangers " ( CC BY-SA 2.0 ) by  Keith Allison

The Texas Rangers are making a strong surge towards a third appearance in the World Series in their attempt to end their title drought.

The club reached the World Series for the first time in their history in the 2010 campaign under the tenure of Ron Washington, only to endure a crushing 4-1 defeat at the hands of the San Francisco Giants.

Texas returned to the finals the following season after another triumph in the AL Championship series, but were denied their first crown by an inspired performance from the St Louis Cardinals.

Washington’s men came back once again with a strong campaign in 2012, but were dumped out in the first round of the playoffs by the Baltimore Orioles.

Two failures on the spin in 2013 and 2014 led to the departure of Washington as he tendered his resignation due to his team’s fifth-place finish in the AL West.

Jeff Banister arrived at the club as Washington’s replacement, and had an immediate impact in his first term, guiding the Rangers back to the post-season courtesy of an 88-win campaign that secured the AL West.

Banister was named Manager of the Year for his exploits in his debut season, while Prince Fielder collected the Comeback Player of the Year Award.

However, Texas’ playoff troubles reared their heads once again, losing 3-2 to the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL Division Series, despite holding a 2-0 lead following victories at the Rogers Centre.

Banister has managed to rally his side once again for a push to the playoffs in the 2016 season, and at the time of writing were backed at 1/10 to clinch the AL West by 32Red Canada.

Texas had a mediocre start to the campaign in April, beginning the term with a 14-10 record, with 10 of their wins coming on home soil.

Pitchers Cole Hamels and AJ Griffin completed a month without a blemish on their record, while Shawn Tolleson collected eight saves in the 20 matches.

Banister’s men were solid again through May, although an on-the-field melee against the Blue Jays overshadowed their performances as second baseman Rougned Odor was suspended for seven games for punching Jose Bautista in the face.

The Rangers avenged their defeat to Toronto by taking the May series 2-1, but they were immediately halted in their tracks by a three-game losing streak on the road at the Oakland Athletics.

However, following their defeat to the As the club won nine of their next 11 matches to pull clear of their rivals in the AL West with a 31-22 record at the end of the second month of the term.

Texas made their intentions for the top seed in the AL known in June with an outstanding run of form throughout the month.

The Rangers’ offense and defense clicked into a perfect rhythm, leading to a 20-8 record, which included winning runs of five and seven matches.

Hamels, Perez and Colby Lewis rose to the challenge throughout the month, delivering victories in all but one of their matches, while Sam Dyson took over closing duties and racked up his 16th save of the campaign with a 9-6 win over the New York Yankees.

Offense has also been on form for the Rangers, with Ian Desmond leading the way with a .320 average, striking 15 home runs along with 102 hits on the campaign as of July 2.

The 30-year-old has been supported well by Nomar Mazara, Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Mitch Moreland and Odor. As a result, only the Boston Red Sox and Orioles boast better offensive statistics in the American League.

Texas’ defense gives them an edge over both of their rivals from the AL East in the hunt for the top seed, with 32Red and 10Bet backing them to win the AL crown, although the pitching of the Cleveland Indians could give them trouble in the post-season should they remain on a collision course.

There is more than enough talent in the Rangers’ lineup to be the AL’s representative in the World Series, but their biggest challenge may not come from a rival side.

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