Threat Level: 8 The Texas Rangers are a team that is tough to put a finger on. They seemingly have the talent necessary to win every year, but recently they have underperformed their roster. They made a big trade in the offseason to dismiss Ian Kinsler to make room for budding star Jurickson Profar, who then went down in spring training. Darvish has dealt with back inflammation this spring, so perhaps that is a lingering problem. Without Darvish, this team’s staff is greatly diminished, as it is comprised of young players and the oft-injured/currently injured Matt Harrison. Even though this team will score runs with the best of ’em, as the additions of Alex Rios and Shin-Soo Choo should help, if they can’t stop the other team from scoring, it may be another disappointing year in Arlington.
Major Acquisition: Prince Fielder In the rare swap of stars, Fielder was traded straight-up for second baseman Ian Kinsler. Fielder should thrive in the homer-happy ballpark in Arlington. And an amazing note: Fielder has only missed one, count it, ONE game over the last five seasons. We’ll see if the Texas heat gets to the rotund first baseman.
Yankee Killer: Prince Fielder In 19 games against the Yankees, Fielder has 16 RBIs and 5 home runs. 8 of those 16 RBIs came last year in only 6 games. A stat Yankee pitchers will hope to limit in 2014.
Ranger Killer: Brett Gardner Gardner has a career .326 average against Texas in 21 games started with 7 RBIs, 18 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases. After signing with the Yankees long term over the offseason, we’ll be seeing a lot more of him for the next couple years.