2023 Tale of the Tape Breakdown: Playoff Contenders, Mariners vs Rangers
So… The Rangers or the Mariners?
You have major holes in your roster when you go 68-94. The Rangers made arguably the biggest splash in free agency and should be rewarded if deGrom is healthy. When he is on, he's just flat-out better than Luis Castillo or Robbie Ray's best. We also know health is already a concern for him and if he's not the caliber of pitcher they paid for, the Mariners will not be threatened.
The offense has two legitimate stars, and they also have solid players in Nathaniel Lowe and Adolis Garcia. The rest of their lineup, and specifically outfield may be one of the five worst groups in all of baseball. One injury or slump and their ability to score runs will tank.
Their bullpen was a middle of the road group in 2022, which simply wasn't good enough. In last year's playoffs, eleven of the twelve playoff teams ranked in the top fourteen in bullpen ERA. The Rangers will look to their farm system for upgrades in the pen, but they lost their best reliever in Matt Moore, who posted a 203 ERA+ before signing with the Angels a few weeks ago.
What I'm getting at is that this team may have the biggest gap in superstar talent to roster depth in all of baseball. This team could be carried by 5-6 stars to 88, but any injuries or letdowns and this team is right back in the low 70's win mark.
Even if deGrom shoves, the Mariners rotation as a whole is still stronger than Texas. Give me the Mariners massive advantage in their bullpen, as well as the depth in their lineup with Julio Rodriguez, Ty France, Eugenio Suarez, Cal Raleigh and Teoscar Hernandez over Seager and Semien.