The Texas Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics on Saturday to clinch their first playoff birth in 11 years.
The Rangers have never won a playoff series, facing the Yankees in every series, and after winning the first game, they have lost nine straight playoff games. The Rangers finally clinched a postseason birth this year, thanks to the stellar play of Josh Hamilton, and the production of young players such as Elvis Andrus and Neftali Feliz.
The Rangers look to ace Cliff Lee and C.J. WIlson, who is having a great season, to anchor their postseason rotation. The Rangers are looking to play in their first World Series.
However, here are five reasons the Rangers will not win the World Series.
Cliff Lee is an All-Star pitcher, who is an ace on whatever pitching staff he occupies.
He is a Cy Young and a World Series winner. He has a career ERA of 3.85. Before coming to the Rangers, Cliff Lee had an ERA of 2.34 with the Seattle Mariners with a record of 8-3.
Since coming to the Rangers, Cliff Lee has struggled. He is 4-6 with a 3.98 ERA. He has not been that bad with the Rangers, but he has struggled with inconsistency. His pitch counts have been high as of late, and that is not something you normally see out of Cliff Lee. If the Rangers are to advance in the postseason, Cliff Lee will need to regain his dominance.
The Rangers have just clinched their first American League West title since 1999. They have done so however with a relatively young team. All-Star starting shortstop Elvis Andrus is in only his second season. Neftali Feliz, All-Star closer, who has just set the MLB rookie save record is inexperienced, and did not even begin this season as the closer.
Outfielder Julio Borbon is in his second year as well, and figures to get a significant amount of playing time in the postseason. Derek Holland is in his first season, Matt Harrison is in his second, and both expect to pitch at some time. Pedro Strop and Alexi Ogando, both of whom are significant bullpen contributors, are rookies.
There is nothing wrong with playing rookies, but they have never been to the postseason before, and you do not know how they will perform under pressure. Look for the players who will crack under pressure, and the players who will rise up to the challenge.
The Texas Rangers have been in the playoffs three times, and each time they have faced the New York Yankees. After winning the opening game in 1996 against the Yankees, the Rangers have lost nine straight games, and three straight series' against the Yankees.
The Rangers are the only team in MLB that has never won a playoff series, and are one of only three teams to never play in a World Series. The Rangers have perhaps had the worst success of any professional team in any sport, and yet Cubs fans think that they have it bad.
The Rangers may face the Yankees in the opening round again this year, and who is to say that they can finally win a postseason series? They need to get the monkey off of their collective back and win a playoff series, or they are in serious danger of becoming the worst sports franchise ever.
History will not be on their side.
The Rangers have had a great record at home this season, but they have struggled at times on the road. They have a 39-42 record on the road, as opposed to a 50-28 record at home. They have yet to win a series on the road against the Rays or the Yankees one of which they will face in the first round.
The Rangers will not have home field advantage in the playoffs, and will have to win games on the road if they want to advance deep into the postseason, and they have yet to prove that they can do that.
The Rangers need to find success on the road very quickly, or it will be an early exit for the Texas Rangers.
Today will be the first game that Josh Hamilton has played in over three weeks. He is the star player for the Texas Rangers and the face of the franchise. He is the Major League leader in batting average, batting .361.
The Rangers are looking to get Hamilton some at bats before the postseason so that he will not be rusty. He is on the roster as the DH tonight and will look to regain his MVP form before the postseason. If he does not return to form, then there is no way that the Rangers will advance.
Every swing will result in pain for Hamilton, and he will need to play through it for the Rangers to have success.
The Rangers are looking for their first playoff series win.
Will They get it?
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Paul Ferguson is an intern at bleacher report.
Follow him on twitter at: @paulwall5