Oct 27, 2023 - News

How the Texas Rangers went from losing to the World Series

Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy, second baseman Marcus Semien and shortstop Corey Seager stand together for the national anthem.

Rangers manager Bruce Bochy, second baseman Marcus Semien and shortstop Corey Seager are three major parts of why the team is in the World Series. Photo: Ron Jenkins/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Texas Rangers went from heartbreakers to heroes in just two years.

Driving the news: Game 1 of the World Series is Friday night in Arlington. Texas is representing the American League against the National League Arizona Diamondbacks.

Why it matters: Both teams enter the series with a similar story. They each went from 100+ losses two seasons ago to defeating the current Goliaths of baseball.

State of play: The Rangers have been to the Fall Classic twice — and lost — but this is their first time with home field advantage.

Catch up fast: The team was abysmal in 2021, with 102 losses in their second year in the new Globe Life Field.

  • The Rangers spent $561.2 million in free agency during the offseason, more than any other MLB franchise. They couldn't find a rhythm most of the 2022 season, and the owners fired longtime president Jon Daniels and the team's manager.
  • They ended last season with a 68-94 record.

What happened: The Rangers hired retired World Series-winning manager Bruce Bochy last offseason.

  • He managed the San Francisco Giants during their 2010 World Series win over the Rangers.
  • The Rangers also brought back pitching coach Mike Maddux, who was with the team during their back-to-back trips to the Fall Classic more than a decade ago.

The big pitcher: The Rangers invested heavily in pitching during the offseason, namely adding two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom on a five-year $185 million contract.

Yes, but: DeGrom has been out since June for Tommy John surgery.

Then: The Rangers added another ace, Max Scherzer, before the trade deadline.

The intrigue: The Rangers led the AL West almost all season, until an eight-game losing streak in August. Their slump put them at just a 38% chance of making it to the playoffs by early September.

  • Around that time, the Rangers called up top prospect Evan Carter from the minors. He's also been integral to this playoff run.

The bottom line: This team managed to pull out of a nosedive, shut out the Tampa Bay Rays in the wild card series, shut out the Baltimore Orioles in the division series and then upset the defending champion Houston Astros.

  • Let's do this!
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