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Is it possible that this year's Rangers team is better than last year's AL championship team, even without Cliff Lee? Absolutely. At 14-7 and atop the AL West, the Rangers have played terrific baseball in April, and the biggest key has been strong starting pitching.
The great surprise for Texas is the emergence of Alexi Ogando, a reliever last year who is 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA as a starter this year. Behind him, C.J. Wilson, Derek Holland and Matt Harrison have all been great to start the year. With Neftali Feliz back to his usual shut-the-door ways, Texas' pitching is better than ever.
It goes without saying that the Rangers offense is one of baseball's best. Texas is getting great offensive production across the board, and its lineup has few, if any, holes in it. Once Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus get out of their respective slumps, this team will be hard to beat.