Predictions: ESPN writers on Texas in 2014

March, 31, 2014
Mar 31
7:30
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Now that we are just hours away from Opening Day, let's take a look at what some of the ESPN baseball writers predict for the Texas Rangers in 2014. As you can see, it's all over the map.

David Schoenfield, ESPN Sweet Spot: 88-74, first place in AL West

Comment: The additions of Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder will lead to a much-improved offense, helping the Rangers overcome some of the injuries to the starting rotation.

Mark Saxon, ESPN Los Angeles: 82-80, third place in AL West

Comment: The loss of Nolan Ryan will haunt the organization.

Buster Olney, ESPN: 84-78, third place in AL West

Comment: I went to spring training sure I would pick Oakland to repeat, but the injuries have turned the division into a mud bog, and now I'm guessing the Angels will bash their way to the top of the AL West. To repeat: It's just a guess. I could see any one of the three teams -- Oakland, the Angels, Texas -- winning the division, but the Rangers have to have seamless rehabilitations for it to happen.

Tim MacMahon, ESPN Dallas: 80-82, third place in AL West

Comment: The Curse of Nolan Ryan is too much to overcome for the injury-riddled Rangers.

Jim Bowden, ESPN.com: 90-72, first in AL West

Comment: I think they will have a dominant second half of the season when they're finally healthy and when the lack of depth of the Angels and A's starting rotations will get exposed.

Eric Karabell, ESPN.com fantasy writer: 86-76, third place in AL West

Comment: I predict the Rangers are tied with the Angels and Athletics for first place and the second wild card, but the Rangers end up in third and miss the postseason. The pitching depth appears a big problem, and while the offense has been upgraded, don’t expect a 40-homer Prince Fielder, either.

Tim Kurkjian, ESPN: 85-77, third place in AL West

Comment: I have never seen a team hit with so many injuries, some of them bizarre, in such a short time. I have dropped the Rangers from first to third in the division and out of the playoffs.

Jean-Jacques Taylor, ESPN Dallas: 84-78, third place in AL West

Comment: Rotation has way too many issues for 90-win streak to continue.

Jayson Stark, ESPN.com: 85-77, third place in AL West

Comment: A month and a half ago, I thought the Rangers were the most improved team in the AL. Now, I worry if they'll be able to put nine players on the field every night.

Andrew Marchand, ESPN New York: 92-70

Comment: The Rangers may be beset my injuries, but I think they will put it together by the end of the year and win the West.

Jim Caple, ESPN.com: 89-73, second in AL West

Comment: I was going to pick them first until the injuries piled up. Now I'm picking them second in the AL West and first on the disabled list.

Pedro Gomez, ESPN: 85-77, second place in AL West

Comment: It all starts and ends with starting pitching and there are just too many questions about the rotation.

Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com: 87-75, third in AL West

Comment: If they overcome all the injuries and win the AL West, Ron Washington should be a Manager of the Year lock.

Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas: 87-75, second place in AL West

Comment: Even with the injuries, they will stay in contention. But I don't expect a special season. What do I know? I cover a team that's .500.
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
9 2.92 159 126
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 15
RBIA. Beltre 55
RA. Beltre 53
OPSA. Beltre .888
ERAY. Darvish 2.92
SOY. Darvish 159