The 2012 Texas Rangers are in the midst of a pennant race, leading the AL West and fighting for a chance to get back into the World Series.
How will this year’s team compare to that of the past two years? There are two very key factors that come into play for the Rangers: experience and depth.
Ron Washington and the Texas Rangers have been to the World Series two years in a row, and while it seems nearly impossible, they are trying for a third. The first time around, it wasn't very pretty; the Rangers got blasted by the surprise Giants and were dispensed relatively quickly.
Then last year, they were in a battle with the St. Louis Cardinals and were one strike away from winning when they let it fall by the wayside. Two tough ways to lose a World Series, and now fans are thinking, "Third time's the charm, right?"
Well, not so fast. There is a lot of work to do before they get there.
If the Rangers can make another postseason run and get back to the World Series again, then the question would be: Why are they better suited for it this season?
The Texas Rangers have always been deep off the bench when it comes to big bats, but they have lacked pitching help that could equalize the opponent in those tough games in October. This year, the Rangers look to have the deepest pitching rotation and bullpen they have probably ever had.
There is a quality mix of veterans and young pitchers. The Rangers will rely heavily on their starting rotation to eat up a majority of innings to keep the games short for the bullpen, but if they have to tap into the pen, then they will have a nice selection of players to choose from.
Pitching won't hurt the Rangers this year, with most of their staff having playoff experience. The only question will be whether the young guys can shine when the spotlight is the brightest.
I’m not saying the Rangers are going to win this year’s World Series, but they are in a better position this year than the two previous trips. Obviously anything can happen when the playoffs start, but if the Rangers can do what they did last year, then they will have a better chance at finally bringing home a championship.