MLB Opening Day Countdown Series- Texas Rangers


Texas Rangers

2017 Record: (78-84) T3 in AL West

Off Season Transactions:

Signed Doug Fister in Free Agency

Signed Mike Minor in Free Agency

Signed Bartolo Colon in Free Agency

Signed Darwin Barney in Free Agency

Signed Edison Volquez in Free Agency

Signed Trevor Plouffe in Free Agency

Projected Starting Rotation:

  1. Cole Hamels- He regressed last year a lot and wasn’t the same Cole we were used to seeing. He is good against lefties still but doesn’t bring the strikeout stuff he used to making right handed hitters viable vs him. If you’re going to take a bat against him make sure it is a right-handed hitter. He gets extreme ground ball percentages to left handed hitters and right-handed hitters hit the ball in the air and yield a high amount of hard contact. I don’t think I am going to roster Hamels at all this year unless he is in a phenomenal spot. Will mostly be looking to target a right-handed bat or two.
  2. Matt Moore- Take advantage of him pitching at the MLB level while you can because if he keeps pitching like he did last year it’s going to get ugly and he won’t make it. Full stacks are in play vs Matt Moore. He is a left-handed pitcher who is actually a reverse splits pitcher giving up around 2 HR/9 to the left-handed side of the plate. You can also very easily target right handed hitters vs him as well. The results were not as great last year but the advance stats indicate they could have been just as bad. He gives up hard contact to both sides of the plate but right-handed hitters actually elevate the ball better off him. You are going to want to stack against him but so is everyone else. Make sure to differentiate your stack or the rest of your lineup if you are stacking vs Moore. He is also moving from the SF pitcher ball park to TEX ball park where in the summer the ball flys out…. Not sure he will make it that far into the season though.
  3. Doug Fister- Very elite vs right handed hitters but poor vs left handed hitters. You can pitch him in games where there are right handed heavy lineups and weak left-handed bats. He has average strikeout stuff but his price is usually to the point where he can pay it off in a good outing. Mostly a cross off for me though unless the matchup is good. He is a ground ball pitcher as well. With that being said you can consider a left-handed bat or two vs Fister because he gives up hard contact and the advanced stats show he should can get touched up by then as well. So, keep an eye out for the lineup when you’re considering Fister because that is important. Also, left handed bats are in play, but I would avoid right handed bats.
  4. Mike Minor- He is a reverse splits pitcher where the left-handed hitters actually struggle more vs him than the right-handed hitters do. So honestly, I would feel more comfortable pitching him vs a left handed heavy lineup. I think this presents him with more upside. He has a higher strikeout rate vs left handers. He is a fly ball pitcher but does a good job at limiting the hard contact so that isn’t much of a problem for him. I think it would be fine to maybe consider a right-handed bat vs him but I wouldn’t get crazy. Would feel a lot better pitching him.
  5. Bartolo Colon- Big sexy is still pitching lol. The numbers will tell you to stack against him all the time and yes that would be a smart thing! However, he does have games where somehow, he just shuts down a lineup. It’s pretty crazy but that’s baseball. But stacking vs him will be a good option every day and one that should pay off more than not.


They have solid arms in the pen but if any of these starters gives up a high amount of runs in the early innings they also have guys who will come in and can give up just as many in shorter amounts of time.

Starting Lineup:

  1. Shin-Soo Choo (OF)- Not a guy I am in love with but does hit the ball hard vs right handed pitchers which gives him the ability to poke one out or drive in runs. He usually isn’t too expensive so makes a nice cheap/mid-tier options on some days.
  2. Elvis Andrus (SS)- A really good overall hitter who gets on base a lot has the ability to steal bases and can drive in runs. He has a little more power vs lefties so the upside is more there in that matchup but he makes a since solid player every day.
  3. Nomar Mazara (OF)- He is a left handed hitter who you are only going to want to take vs right handed pitching because he struggles be left handed pitchers. He is a streaky hitter so keep riding him if you catch him on one. At times he was priced cheap and other times he was very expensive. Wouldn’t be a guy I would pay up for but if his price is down he makes it into consideration for me.
  4. Adrian Beltre (3B)- Got 3,000 hits last year and wasn’t slowing down. He almost .400 vs lefties and almost .300 vs righties. Has power upside and even more so vs left handed pitching. He was a very elite play last year vs left handed pitching and still a good option when facing right handed pitching.
  5. Joey Gallo (1B)- Mr Boom or Bust. He will either get you a 25 point game or can get you a dud. You have to know that rostering him. But with Gallo he is very much in play for a double dong day every day with his pure power and his ability to hit the ball in the air with his bat path and launch angles. Honestly, he really isn’t matchup depended. He will be in good spots and bad spots but for how he is as a player that doesn’t matter all that much, the only thing it will change is the ownership on him.
  6. Rougned Odor (2B)- Really like rostering him as a cheap option at second base because he has huge upside especially on days where this Texas offense is firing.
  7. Robinson Chirinos (C)- Texas has optioned Nicholas down to the minors leaving Chirinos and Centeno so interesting to see how they will platoon these guys. Chirinos though has power upside and makes a decent punt option.
  8. Willie Calhoun (OF/2B)- A top prospect acquired by the Rangers in the Yu trade. Hits for power and has really good numbers down in the Minors. Will just have to wait and see how it translates to the MLB. Keep an eye on him.
  9. Delino Deshields (OF)- He has his days in DFS but honestly not my kind of play. Rather miss his good day and lose than play him multiple times in a week and lose. He has steal upside and in the offense, he can get driven home when it is clicking. I would only roster him in TEX stacks as like a 9-2-3-4.

Playing Field:

Globe Life Park in Arlington

Ball Park Factor- 7th

This is an extreme hitters park and when the summer comes and the temperatures in Texas are 90+ sometimes 100+, runs get put on the board quick.

“Must Knows” of the Texas Rangers going into 2018 MLB DFS:

I think the Rangers are going to be host to a lot of high scoring games just looking at their rotation and the hitters they have on their club. Production can come from any one of these spots in the lineup for the Rangers so don’t be fooled by a high run total and think you have to stack 1-4, get different and maybe stack the bottom of the order and allow yourself to get a stud pitcher and couple other decent bats.