The Rangers are considered a contender to win the American League West this season in offshore betting and Kinsler is a major part of their lineup.
Bookmaker numbers list Texas as a close third choice behind the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners in the American League West. The Rangers really can’t afford to have Kinsler out for long but they may start the season with him on the 15-day disabled list. Texas opens up the season at home against Toronto and they are favored by the bookmaker in that first game even without Kinsler in the lineup.
Kinsler was hurt on March 12th and has not played since. If the team puts him on the DL he could return on April 10. "We want him back as soon as he's ready, but we're going to be smart about it," general manager Jon Daniels said. "We don't want this to be an issue later in the year." The Rangers will probably use Andres Blanco at second base in place of Kinsler.
Kinsler was a major player last season in the middle of the Texas order. He hit .253 with 31 homers, 31 stolen bases and 86 RBIs in 144 games last season and made an impact on results vs. the odds at the bookmaker. He was expected to hit behind Vladimir Guerrero in the lineup.
Texas was a very good home team last season as they went 48-33 in offshore betting. The Rangers were 10th in the league in runs scored but their pitching was below average at 18th in the league. If the Rangers are to make a major impact this season they will need to improve their pitching numbers. That might be difficult since the team lost Kevin Millwood in the off-season. Scott Feldman gets the Opening Day start and he is favored by the bookmaker against the Blue Jays.
One thing that helps the Rangers as they start the season is that they begin at home. They play a Toronto team they should be able to beat and then they get a Seattle team who is supposed to be improved but the jury is still out. That will be an interesting series between the Rangers and Mariners that begins later this week.