Rangers MLB Odds Could Improve when Cruz Returns

The MLB odds on the Texas Rangers could improve when the Rangers get outfielder Nelson Cruz back into the starting lineup.

It is likely the Rangers slugger will return on Friday when the Rangers visit Toronto.  Texas is definitely a contender in baseball odds to win the American League West this season and getting Cruz back definitely helps their chances.

MLB odds list Texas at 21-1 to win the World Series.  With the Los Angeles Angels looking weaker this season it is very possible that Texas could win the AL West.  Cruz is a major part of the Texas offense.  He is hitting .323 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs. He went on the DL on April 27th with a strained right hamstring.  When Cruz returns it will mark the first time that he and Ian Kinsler will be in the lineup at the same time this season.  Kinsler started the season on the DL. "We're starting to get a little momentum. We're starting to get comfortable with how our lineup is set," Kinsler said. "We miss Nellie. Our projected opening day lineup hasn't been together much, so we haven't gotten close to reaching our potential. Hopefully we can get there by September."

The Rangers had an ERA that was in the Top 10 in the league. Their offense numbers were just average but considering that Cruz and Kinsler have not been in the lineup at the same time, those numbers should improve. Texas was averaging 4.62 runs per game so it figures those numbers will go up with everyone healthy.  "We'll finally have the lineup we thought we were going to open the season with," said manager Ron Washington, "It certainly will make us look like we're a murderer's row. Now we just have to go out there and perform." If the Rangers can continue to get pitching that ranks in the Top 10 in the league they are going to be a very tough team vs. the MLB odds.

It should be noted that Texas really has not had all of their players healthy this season, yet they are still in first place. "I like where we're at right now," said third baseman Michael Young, "The biggest positive for this team is we're not focusing on where we are in the standings. ... We know that to win this division, we're going to have to get better."  The Rangers have been solid while Los Angeles and Seattle have struggled vs. baseball odds. Only Oakland has performed better than expected.