Though the Texas Rangers entered 2011 fresh from their first ever World Series appearance, there are those that believe that it was some sort of mirage, and that we shouldn't expect them to be as successful this season.
Of course, while a massively talented squad, the Rangers did benefit from a weak AL West last season and a helping hand from the league when MLB took control of the franchise before handing over the reigns to the Greenberg/Nolan Ryan ownership group.
However, the 2010 Rangers were a juggernaut down the stretch, as well as through the first two rounds of the playoffs, before running into a pitching-laden San Francisco Giants team in the Fall Classic.
The 2011 version of the Rangers entered the season with its share of question marks, notably the loss of Cliff Lee, the Michael Young saga, a sudden departure of part-owner Chuck Greenberg, and a core of players who tend to get injured more frequently than most.
Despite those various concerns, the Rangers have stormed out to a strong start in 2011, utilizing their always potent offensive attack to support ace-like pitching performances out of some surprising arms so far in April.
Let's take a look at some of the reasons that the 2011 Texas Rangers may defy those that doubt them, and out-perform expectations as they cope with a host of issues early in the new season.