The Texas Rangers have had a very good 2023 season and their postseason hopes are going to come down to the wire. The Rangers are currently 80-64 and they are one game back of the Houston Astros for first place in the American League West division. The Rangers are in a position where they can win the division and make the playoffs because of that, or they can get in with a wild card spot. Right now, being in the second place in their division, Texas possesses the second wild card spot in the American League, and they won't catch the Tampa Bay Rays who are 8.5 games up. The Rangers are only .5 games up on the Toronto Blue Jays, however, who are on the outside looking in.
Those playoff hopes for the Rangers took a bit of a hit on Wednesday when it was announced that star pitcher Max Scherzer would not pitch for the remainder of the regular season. It is also unlikely that he will pitch if the Rangers do end up making the playoffs. This is extremely unfortunate news for Texas to get in such a tight postseason race, but even without Scherzer, the Rangers are still going to make the postseason.
Max Scherzer was traded to the Rangers in late July and came to Texas to help the team get to the playoffs. Now, he is out for the rest of the season with a strained teres major. Scherzer was able to start in eight games for the Rangers and had a 4-2 record in those games with two no decisions. He pitched 45 innings and struck out 53 batters and walked 15. Scherzer is a terrific pitcher, and he will be missed, but Texas is going to be just fine.
Baseball is a unique game. In many sports, one player can make or break a team, but that isn't the case in baseball. Just look at the Los Angeles Angels. They have had Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, two of the best players in the game, on the same team and they haven't even made the playoffs with them. This isn't a sport where you can give your best player the ball whenever you want and they can take over a game. A star player in a baseball game can go the entire game without touching the ball in the field, and if their teammates aren't hitting well, they could only get three at bats to try to make an impact on the game. Baseball is different from other sports, and that's why the Rangers will be okay without Max Scherzer.
The season is winding down and Texas has 17 games left. The Rangers also have a starting pitcher rotation that includes five pitchers. Scherzer is only involved in one out of every five games. He will miss his final three starts because of this injury, so he is essentially missing three games, not 17 games. Someone else is going to have to pick up the slack on the mound in those three games, but losing Scherzer for the rest of the season isn't as detrimental as it sounds.
At the end of the day, it's going to a be very tight race to see who gets in the postseason, and Scherzer was only going to affect that race in three games. The Rangers might end up missing the playoffs, but if they do, it's not going to because of Scherzer's injury.