The Texas Rangers have won the first championship in the franchise history, a history which dates back to their 1961 inception as the Washington Senators. They took home the Commissioner’s Trophy thanks to a ferocious lineup, a few tenacious veteran starting pitchers, and two relievers that got hot at the right time.

The Boston Red Sox finished last in the AL East for the second consecutive season and the third time in four years. They bottomed out late in the year thanks to an inconsistent lineup, several fragile starting pitchers, and atrocious defense.

On the surface, these two teams appear to have nothing in common. What traits could the best team in baseball possibly share with a team whose fanbase was on the fringe of outright revolt up until the head executive was fired two months ago?

I made this point on Monday’s podcast, and John’s cardiologist has been on standby ever since. But let’s face it, John’s never been big on thinking. 

I’ll admit that you have to dig a bit to find the similarities, but they are certainly there. When you step back and take a look at the genetic makeup of these two franchises, there’s actually a lot of common ground. And that’s good news for Red Sox fans.



The Rangers and Red Sox have both developed and acquired a wealth of promising positional talent. However, neither organization has a clue about how to develop young pitchers.

The Rangers were forced to seek starting pitchers from outside the organization in the past calendar year in order to fill out a respectable rotation, netting headliners Jacob deGrom and Nathan Eovaldi in free agency before adding Jordan Montgomery and Max Scherzer at the trade deadline due to mounting injuries to the staff (including injuries to both deGrom and Eovaldi).

As of November of 2023, the Red Sox starting rotation looks as bleak as the Rangers front five from this time last year. Thanks to Chris Sale’s body falling apart before our very eyes and the unmitigated disaster of the Corey Kluber signing, the Red Sox at this time find themselves without a legitimate ace or number two starter.

Just as the Rangers did last year, the Red Sox are expected to acquire those pivotal rotation pieces in the coming weeks via free agency and/or the trade market. According to the sources of every beat writer in town, those acquisitions are expected to be big names on the level of deGrom and Eovaldi, marquee signings that show the baseball world that the Red Sox are officially back in business.



The Rangers were an offensive force in 2023. They had the second highest team batting average in baseball (.263) and the third highest team OPS (.790). And this was no one-year freak occurrence.

Marcus Semien (2029) and Corey Seager (2032) are the only position players that are locked in long-term for big money, and with Mitch Garver’s contract expiring this year, no other Rangers position player is currently due to hit free agency before 2027. While the Rangers have spent quite a bit of money on players over the past two years, their offense is comprised of two elite stars surrounded by a supporting cast of talented young players who will be relatively cheap for the next few years.

The Red Sox featured a potent, yet inconsistent offense in 2023. They were sixth in MLB in team batting average (.258) and ninth in team OPS (.748).

This offense did not rake at the same level that the Rangers did, but it’s important to consider two factors:

  1. Triston Casas endured Pedroia-esque rookie scuffles through mid-May before finding his big league stroke. 
  2. Trevor Story never regained his timing at the plate after returning from elbow surgery in August. 

Casas is expected to sidestep the early season struggles in his sophomore year, just like Pedroia did. 

Story is the big concern here. Can he get his mojo back and perform the way he did prior to 2022?

If so, the 2024 Red Sox offense will look very much like the 2023 Rangers offense: a lineup of two top stars surrounded mostly by young, cost-controlled talent that are all locked in for years. Assuming that Alex Verdugo is traded away and Adam Duvall signs a short-term deal to return (both of which are expected to happen), Duvall would be Boston’s only positional player of significance due to hit free agency until 2027.  

If the macro-level examination of the Rangers and Red Sox rosters have not convinced you that these two teams are similar, perhaps a series of player-by-player matchups will illuminate you.


Corey Seager SS/Rafael Devers 3B

Two lefty infielders who are among the top run producers in the game and World Series champions. Seager and Devers are elite hitters that each of these teams rely on to steer the ship offensively. While Seager contributes significantly more on the defensive side and now has a World Series MVP on his resume, Devers has typically been healthier and driven in more runs.


Adolis Garcia RF/Triston Casas 1B

I understand your apprehension at this comparison. These guys are seven years apart in age, they play different positions, and Garcia is an excellent defensive player while Casas was a pretty shoddy fielder in his rookie season. Offensively speaking though, these two are much more alike than you would have thought. They are both power hitters who strike out a lot and, thanks to Garcia’s improved plate discipline, both draw a lot of walks. Garcia is now a bona fide superstar while Casas is still on the upswing, but the fact that Casas is still improving makes my case even stronger. While Garcia had far more home runs (39 to 24) and RBI (107 to 65) in 2023 (in 126 more at-bats), his slugging percentage was only a bit higher (.508 to .490) than Casas’. On the other hand, Casas’ batting average (.263 to .245), OBP (.367 to .328), OPS (.856 to .836), and OPS+ (129 to 123) were actually higher than Garcia’s.

If you really want a jolt to your system, compare the numbers that these two players put up in the second-half of 2023, at which point Casas was far removed from his April struggles and swinging the bat with much more frequency. Triston Casas absolutely shredded Adolis Garcia in offensive production from the All-Star break until the end of the regular season.


Marcus Semien 2B/Trevor Story SS

Semien and Story are middle infielders that have each alternated between MVP-level seasons and staggeringly disappointing seasons. They are both unlikely to be the best player on a great team, but they are standout talents that can be excellent consigleries to their respective Dons. Semien is a traditional power threat playing a position that very few sluggers play. Story is a dynamic, yet streaky player who can carry an offense for a couple weeks at a time, run the bases tremendously, and play shortstop as well as anybody in baseball. At their best, they are elite stars. At their worst, they are rally-killing albatrosses.


Jonah Heim C/Connor Wong C

Jonah Heim blossomed into an All-Star catcher in his fourth season while Connor Wong struggled defensively in his rookie campaign, but Wong’s progression is actually quite encouraging when compared to the path of Heim’s career. While Wong’s offensive production was nowhere near Heim’s in 2023, his slash line of .235/.288/.385/.673 was actually far better than Heim’s production in his rookie season of 2021 (.196/.239/.358/.598). Heim’s overall defense is clearly superior to Wong’s at this point in time, but Wong has caught base stealers (21%) at roughly the same rate that Heim did as a rookie (23%). Wong is not your traditional catcher, but his raw power, his arm, his speed, and his ability to play the infield in a pinch give him the potential to be as productive as Heim over the next couple years.


Leody Taveras CF/Cedanne Rafaela CF

The skillsets of these two guys are mirror images. Taveras was the top-rated prospect in the Rangers organization when he debuted in 2020 as an exceptional center fielder with questions surrounding his offensive capabilities. After hitting well enough to appear in 99 games in 2022, he evolved into a solid bat with decent pop this season (.266 BA, 14 HR, 67 RBI). Rafaela is another defensive dynamo who had serious questions surrounding his bat until this season, where he mashed Triple-A pitching and earned a late-season promotion. It remains to be seen if Rafaela can reduce his strikeout rate and earn his place at the table the way Taveras did, but the profiles, strengths, and perceived weaknesses of these two outfield whiz kids are identical.


Mitch Garver C/ Adam Duvall OF

Two injury-plagued, elder statesmen free agents trying to rekindle their former status as everyday sluggers from the right side of the plate. Garver battled knee, foot, and rib injuries this season, but managed to crank 19 home runs with 50 RBI in 87 games. Duvall broke his wrist nine games into the season, which halted his red-hot start to 2023, but finished strong, hitting 21 home runs and 58 RBI in only 92 games. Garver is a great fit into the Rangers lineup and worth running back on a short-term deal. Duvall will hopefully get the same in Boston, whose offense clearly needs his righthanded bat.


Evan Carter OF/Wilyer Abreu OF

These two promising outfielders got their first cups of coffee in the Majors this season, and they both raised a lot of eyebrows within their fanbases. Carter hit .306 with five home runs and 12 RBI in only 62 at-bats before hitting .300 with nine doubles in 17 postseason games. Abreu hit .316 with two home runs and 14 RBI in 76 at-bats. Carter is only 21 and Abreu is 24, and it’s not very often that lefthanded hitters are called up and show this kind of poise right out of the gate. Look for both of these guys to play significant roles in 2024.


Jacob deGrom P/Chris Sale P

We’ve covered all of the encouraging similarities between the World Champion Rangers and gear-shifting Red Sox, but we can’t leave out the depressing one. Each squad has a highly-paid starting pitcher that used to be the best in the game before burning out their arms and transforming into a ten-ton weight tied around the neck of their teams. The Rangers managed to win a championship in spite of the $37 million of nothing that deGrom gave them in 2023, and he won’t throw a pitch for them in 2024 until at least August. Chris Sale gave Boston three years of virtually nothing in exchange for the $87 million he was paid during that time, and contributed 20 starts and a 4.30 ERA for the $27.5 million he got in 2023. Red Sox fans have one more year of rolling our eyes at the mention of Sale’s name, after which we will finally be able to close the book on the Dave Dombrowski era, but the Rangers are stuck with deGrom for another four. 


Just because the outcomes of their 2023 seasons were so drastically different does not mean that the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox are vastly different teams. They are constructed in very much the same vein. The Rangers, however, got a two-year head start on embracing the youth movement and building a foundation that can compete for a number of years. Chaim Bloom got the Red Sox rolling in that direction four years ago, and Craig Breslow insists that developing the farm system will remain a priority moving forward. This is how you build sustainable success in this day and age.

The blueprint for MLB championship success has been well-documented over the past six years. The Red Sox have done their best to follow that script since 2020, and if Breslow can add the two front line starting pitchers they desperately need, the similarities between the 2023 Rangers and the 2024 Red Sox will be unmistakable.


By Luke

One thought on “Red Sox and Rangers: Two Strikingly Similar Teams”
  1. […] in Major League Baseball over the past decade, the 2024 Red Sox seem like a good representation of what a team looks like a year or two before they are ready to become winners in this day and age. Perhaps 20 years from now, we’ll look back on the patience and fiscal […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *