A look at the Rangers' Dream Bracket 2 team

May 20th, 2020

ARLINGTON -- The 1996 and 2011 Rangers will be the club's entries in MLB's Dream Bracket 2, a simulation tournament that will begin on May 21.

The 64-team simulation, in conjunction with Out of the Park Baseball 21, features two teams from every franchise as well as three Negro League teams and the 1994 Montreal Expos. Team must advance through the bracket by winning a best-of-seven series.

Fans can make their picks in the MLB Dream Bracket 2: Dream Seasons Challenge and compete to win an MLB prize pack featuring a $500 Fanatics gift card and more. Game simulations will begin with 16 round-of-64 matchups being played on Thursday, May 21, followed by the remaining 16 round-of-64 matchups on Friday, May 22. The finals, which will feature the top teams from the American League and National League squaring off, will take place on Monday, June 8, and Tuesday, June 9.

Here's a look at the Rangers' entrants:

1996 AL West Division Winners
Record: 90-72
Lost to the Yankees in the AL Division Series
Manager: Johnny Oates
First matchup: 1968 Tigers

The 1996 Rangers had a powerful offense, scoring 928 runs, the third most in club history. They were led by Juan Gonzalez, who won the first of his two AL MVP awards that season, and Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez.

The lineup also includes outfielder Rusty Greer and third baseman Dean Palmer, who had the best years of their careers, and veteran first baseman Will Clark, second baseman Mark McLemore, designated hitter Mickey Tettleton and center fielder Darryl Hamilton. The big surprise was shortstop Kevin Elster hitting 24 home runs with 99 RBIs.

The rotation is strong with Ken Hill, John Burkett, Darren Oliver, Bobby Witt and Roger Pavlik. The key will be for the Rangers to out-pummel the opposition and for the bullpen to hold up.

2011 AL champions
Record: 96-66
Lost to the Cardinals in the World Series
Manager: Ron Washington
First matchup: 2018 Red Sox

The Rangers believe they should have won it all in 2011, and this is certainly the best team in club history.

The lineup is stacked, with shortstop Elvis Andrus and second baseman Ian Kinsler up top and Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, Adrián Beltré, Nelson Cruz, David Murphy and Mitch Moreland in the middle.

This was also the year that catcher Mike Napoli emerged as a cult hero.

The rotation is strong with C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Alexi Ogando and Matt Harrison. Neftalí Feliz was at his peak as a closer atop a strong bullpen.

The Dream Bracket 2 is only a simulation, but this is a chance for the 2011 Rangers to show where they belong against the greatest teams in history. They just need to get that final out in the ninth inning.