An impressive first half of the season is behind them; now, the Texas Rangers learn whether they have the makings of a championship contender.
The Rangers haven't been to the playoffs in 10 years. They
finished second in the AL West last season, the first time they
weren't third or fourth since 1999. But their losing record trailed
the Los Angeles Angels by 21 games. Texas had the highest-scoring
offense in the majors, along with the worst pitching staff.
Things are different now. Even with two rookies in the starting
rotation, the Rangers are relying on their pitching this time.
The Rangers went into the All-Star break trailing the AL
West-leading Angels by only 1½ games.