While the Rangers' offense gets all of the attention, their rotation is nothing to gloss over.
Actually, this starting staff is better than either of the rotations that were used during the last two playoff runs.
Right now, the starters are ravished with injuries, as Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz and Alexi Ogando are all on the DL with a myriad of injures. But when healthy, the Rangers have five starters capable of going deep into games and, most importantly, keeping runs off of the board.
The staff is led by Colby Lewis.
Lewis may be a career journeyman, but he's quickly shedding that label and has been the most consistent pitcher in the Rangers’ rotation. He is 6-5 with a 3.00 ERA, good for the eighth best in the American League.
Behind him, 26-year-old Matt Harrison is quietly putting together an All-Star-caliber season. He is tied for first in the AL with nine wins and has a very solid 3.41 ERA. Harrison is starting to pitch with the poise of a veteran and has made quality start after quality start this year.
But it’s the pitchers following Lewis and Harrison that have the real top of the rotation talent, starting with Japanese phenom Yu Darvish.
Darvish has been very good in his first season on this side of the Pacific. He has eight wins, a 3.47 ERA and 88 strikeouts early on and has made hitters look absolutely silly at times with his terrific repertoire, highlighted by a 10-strikeout performance against the Yankees.
Darvish has been great so far and will be in contention for Rookie of the Year all season.
After Darvish, you have the young fireballers Holland, Feliz and Ogando. Despite the fact that all three of these guys are spending their Junes on the DL, when healthy they are very solid additions to the back end of the rotation.
The Rangers have the eighth best starters' ERA in baseball and the fifth best opponents’ batting average against at only .241. The offense might get all the hype, but the starting staff is perfectly capable of carrying the Rangers come October.