The Rangers single-handedly secured first place in the American League West this week, winning the head-to-head series against the Astros. And suddenly, they’re collecting a lot of believers, including ESPN’s Buster Olney. 

Getty Images
Getty Images

“I’m going to wind up picking the Rangers to come out of the American League to make it to the World Series,” said Olney (13:50 mark), with ‘Armen and Levack’, on Thursday afternoon.

“That team just gets better and better as the season goes along and you talk about adding experience between Cole Hamels and Mike Napoli, and having Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre, a lot of good stuff going on there.”

On August 2nd, the Rangers were eight games back of the Astros in their division. A few weeks earlier at the trade deadline, many believe that the Rangers were dead, even when they secured Hamels in a trade.

“I bet you part of that was because of the fact they were seeing the Astros starting to fray a little bit.”

Texas is now one of the hottest teams in baseball and Olney believes there are many storylines that could make this a magical post-season for the Rangers.

“I love the Rangers story this year because new manager Jeff Banister has gone in there; they are a great clubhouse culture and I love what’s going on with Prince Fielder.

"[Fielder] got a taste of life without baseball last summer and he’s come back and he’s all happy. He walked into his manager’s office on one of the first days of spring and said, ‘You know what? Mitch Moreland is a better first baseman than me, you want to play him there? I’ll be the DH’.

"And that’s been his attitude the whole year and he is being rewarded for it.  I think when you talk about American League comeback Player of the Year it comes down to Alex Rodriguez vs. Prince Fielder.”

ESPN’s Buster Olney joins Armen and Levack every Thursday at 5:15p ET, exclusively on 104.5 The Team, sponsored by All Star Wine and Spirits in Latham Farms.

More From 104.5 THE TEAM