ARLINGTON -- The Rangers were "expected" to have a final record of 82-80. Instead, they finished 95-67 and won the American League West title for the second straight season.Texas' expected won-loss record is supposed to be in proportion to the difference in runs scored and runs allowed. Since the club
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers were "expected" to have a final record of 82-80. Instead, they finished 95-67 and won the American League West title for the second straight season.
Texas' expected won-loss record is supposed to be in proportion to the difference in runs scored and runs allowed. Since the club scored 765 runs and gave up 757 -- a difference of nine runs -- the Rangers should have finished 82-80. Instead, they ended up with the AL's best record.
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That they won 13 more games than expected is the biggest reason why Jeff Banister should win the Baseball Writers' Association of America's AL Manager of the Year Award for the second straight season. Banister will find out on Tuesday if he becomes the second man ever to win Manager of the Year in consecutive seasons.
The only other manager to do so was Bobby Cox with the Braves in 2004-05. Banister is up against Terry Francona of the Indians and Buck Showalter of the Orioles. Cubs manager Joe Maddon also has a chance to equal Cox's feat, as he is up for the National League honor.
The Manager of the Year Awards for both leagues will be unveiled on Tuesday during a 5 p.m. CT special on MLB Network.
Esurance MLB Awards week concludes Friday on MLB Network and MLB.com at 7 p.m. CT with the MLB Awards. Categories include Best Major Leaguer, Hitter, Pitcher, Rookie, Executive and Manager.
The Rangers beat their anticipated won-loss record because they were 36-11 in one-run games. That extraordinary .766 winning percentage was the highest for any team since 1901. Their record in one-run games was aided by 49 comeback victories, also best in the Major Leagues. They also won a club-record eight games when trailing after eight innings and led the Majors with 21 victories in their last at-bat.
The Rangers also won 95 games despite a 4.37 ERA. That's the 11th-highest ERA for a club that won at least 95 games in Major League history. The Rangers' pitching staff had to deal with a significant number of injuries, as starters Colby Lewis, Yu Darvish, Derek Holland and A.J. Griffin all spent significant time on the disabled list. The club ended up using 31 pitchers and are only the second team since 1969 to win at least 95 games despite using that many pitchers.
Texas also had a .659 winning percentage against teams that finished at .500 or better. That's tied for the fifth-best mark in the Majors since 1920.
All of that is remarkable for a team that should have finished 82-80. Beating the odds is why Banister deserves to win AL Manager of the Year for the second straight campaign.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.