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Looking at the Rangers Schedule Heading to the Trade Deadline

With a single trade deadline this year, the month of July looms large

MLB: Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers are headed to Tampa Bay with a half game lead in the second AL Wild Card and just four and a half games back in the division. Four. And. A. Half.

I’ve been comparing this team to the 2015 Rangers a lot, because they have many similarities which I’ll touch on more in a later article, but we’re at the halfway point of the season and the 2019 Rangers actually have a better record and are on pace for 90 wins. (The 2015 Rangers were 41-40 at this point in the season.)

While the Rangers played that 21 game stretch before finally getting their off-day, playing basically all of it without Joey Gallo and the last part of it without Hunter Pence, it was seen as the period of time that would potentially make or break their hopes of a playoff spot.

While that was the case because the managed to make a lot of ground in both the wild card and the divisions, the next couple of weeks also have the potential to really show if the Rangers have what it takes to make a run and therefore go and buy pieces to fill in gaps as the trade deadline approaches.

They’re going to play Tampa who had been going back and forth for the AL West with the Yankees until recently when the Yankees surged to a six and a half game lead.

Tampa only has a one game lead.

The Rangers could head home on Sunday with as much as a two game lead for the first wild card spot.

After leaving Tampa, they’ll then play four games at home against the Angels before heading to Minnesota to play the best team in the American League.

Then they’ll have three days off for the break… except for Hunter Pence, who will be in the ASG and therefore only have Wednesday July 10th off before coming home to play a four game series against Houston.

In fact, they’ll be playing Houston in seven of their first nine games following the All-Star break.

After the six game home series, which includes a two game series against Arizona book ended by off-days, the Rangers go on a 10-day road trip facing division teams. Three in Houston, three in Seattle, and four in Oakland. And off-day to head home, then two games against Seattle to end July.

All this to say, these series and next few weeks will go fast and will be important. Especially since the Rangers could potentially make a legitimate run at the division title. These next few series should give the front office an idea of what kind of moves they need to make at the trade deadline, and remember there are no waivers this year, July 31st is it.

Before the last week or so, there was a lot of talk of the Rangers moving Mike Minor, who now leads the AL in ERA and is 2nd in MLB at 2.40, but with the Rangers currently being in a playoff spot and the potential to be stay there, doesn’t seem like that’s a possibility and instead the Rangers could be buyers.

Much like they were in 2015.

Not saying they’re gonna get a Cole Hamels type pitcher, they kind of already have one by the looks of Minor and even Chavez, but there were very low expectations for the 2015 Rangers, they could’ve been sellers. Yet somehow, they managed to be buyers and make it to playoffs.

The 2019 team could very well do the same and possibly better and I never even imagined I’d be saying that this season.