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Who Is The Rangers’ Top Star?

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(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

 

The Texas Rangers were a lousy team in 2021, and, frankly, they have been bad for a while.

They finished last in the American League West with a 60-102 record.

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But better times seem to be ahead.

Under the guidance of general manager Chris Young, the Rangers approached the 2021-22 offseason determined to make a splash in free agency.

They spent $175 million on Toronto Blue Jays middle infielder Marcus Semien.

Then, they handed out the biggest contract of the offseason so far: they signed Corey Seager, formerly on the Los Angeles Dodgers, to a 10-year, $325 million pact.

With so many contenders after his services, including the New York Yankees and the Dodgers themselves, it was shocking to see the Rangers winning the bid.

With outfielder Kole Calhoun and pitcher Jon Gray also in the fold, the Rangers are starting to look better.

They already had up-and-coming talent Adolis Garcia, defensive wizard Isiah Kiner-Falefa, an underachieving former top prospect in Willie Calhoun (who is still full of potential), and solid young players Nathaniel Lowe and Nick Solak.

The roster can still use lots of improvements, especially on the pitching side, but as of now, it’s fair to wonder who is the Rangers’ top star.

 

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Semien vs. Seager

Semien leads the majors in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) over the last three seasons combined, with 15.4.

He played the whole 162 games last year with the Jays, hitting .265/.334/.538 with 45 home runs, 115 runs, 102 RBI, and 15 stolen bases.

He also offered very good defense at second base, which is presumably the position he will play with the Rangers.

However, Seager is the Rangers’ biggest star.

Again, there is a chance Semien is the more complete player because he can run faster than Seager and is better with the glove.

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But there is a reason he got $325 million and Semien received $175 million.

Injuries have affected Seager’s career, but when he is healthy, he is a game-changing offensive player.

For his career, Semien is a .256/.324/.444 hitter with a .768 OPS.

Seager, on the other hand, checks in at .297/.367/.504 with a .870 OPS.

If we consider that Semien broke out in 2019, then let’s compare the players’ ceilings.

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That year, Semien posted his highest OPS with .892.

Seager had a .943 OPS in 2020 and a .915 mark this year.

He has also surpassed .800 five times in his career, and Semien has done it just twice while playing two more years in the majors.

 

A Truly Game-Changing Bat

Then, there is Seager in the playoffs.

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He practically gave the Dodgers their 2020 title: he was named the National League Championship Series MVP and then the World Series MVP.

It was a truly impressive performance, and he got paid (a lot) because he is the best-hitting shortstop of this free agent class, and that includes Carlos Correa.

He has the potential of taking over a series, even in a loaded lineup.

Semien and Seager are the Rangers’ two best players and their biggest stars.

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But if we have to choose one of them, Seager is the name to pick because his offensive floor and ceiling are off the charts.

He may be a burden in the last few years of his 10-year contract, but right now, he will be tasked with turning around a franchise that has been used to losing for a while.

The post Who Is The Rangers’ Top Star? appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Three Stars from Day 3 of WJC: Canada’s McTavish joins elite company – Sportsnet.ca

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Canada and the U.S. dominated in their second game of the tournament while Czechia and Finland went toe-to-toe and needed a shootout to determine a winner on Day 3 of the World Junior Hockey Championship.

The Canadian team rebounded from a sluggish performance with an 11-1 win over Slovakia, a game in which captain Mason McTavish added his name to the country’s record books.

Against Switzerland, the United States took their game to another gear that their opponent could not match as they cruised to a 7-1 victory to improve to 2-0 at the tournament.

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Finland dropped a crucial point as they had to overcome a 2-0 deficit but were able to pick up the shootout win over their rival Czechia.

Here is a look at the top performances from Day 3 of the world juniors.

3rd Star: Luke Hughes, USA

Coming from a great hockey family, Luke Hughes is making most of his opportunity as one of the top defencemen for the U.S. 

The younger brother of Quinn and Jack displayed his mobility and vision against Switzerland with a three-point effort. He now has five points in his first two games of the tournament — more than either of his brothers ever achieved at this event in fewer games.

Hughes leads all defenceman in scoring so far in the tournament and is tied for fourth overall.

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The 18-year-old played 21:18 against the Swiss to lead the U.S. in ice time playing on the top pairing with Brock Faber. His play from this point will be a crucial part of his team’s success given the creativity he displayed, especially on Matt Coronato’s goal in the second period.

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He made another top-notch set up on Thomas Bordeleau’s power-play goal in the third period as he delayed enough to get the defenders to pull towards his side of the ice.

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2nd Star: Carter Mazur, USA

Coming into the tournament, Carter Mazur is looking to build off an impressive season at the University of Denver. 

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While he was in a scoring slump in his first NCAA season, the Detroit Red Wings prospect made a call to his NHL team’s assistant director of player development, Daniel Cleary. After that, he would go on to finish with 14 goals and 38 points in 41 games.

Those tips have now turned Mazur into a scoring machine as he accounted for two of the team’s seven goals and was also named the player of the game as the top line of Mazur, Landon Slaggert, and Thomas Bordeleau had an impressive performance against Switzerland

After a scoreless first period, Mazur wasn’t going to make any mistake on a point-blank chance in front of the net with Mackie Samoskevich making a great pass from behind the net.

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With the Americans looking to add to their lead, Mazur was once again the beneficiary of a great pass from Slaggert as he made no mistake from the front of the net.

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He added another assist on Slaggert’s goal later in the period for his third point of the game. Through his first two games at the world juniors, Mazur has four points and is tied for sixth in scoring.

1st Star: Mason McTavish, Canada

On a night where Canada dominated from start to finish, Mason McTavish joined some elite company with a night he’ll certainly remember for a long time.

The 19-year-old joined Mario Lemieux, Simon Gagné, Brayden Schenn, Taylor Raddysh, Maxime Comtois and teammate Connor Bedard as the only players to score four goals in a single world junior game for Canada. The tournament record for goals in a single game is held by Sweden’s Ola Rosander who had six back in 1987.

With his performance against Slovakia in a dominant win for Canada, McTavish now sits atop the scoring lead with eight points in two games after registering six points in this game.

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McTavish scored his first goal of the game on a breakaway — with Canada already leading 5-0 midway through the second — making no mistake to beat Tomas Bolo, who came into the game after starter Simon Latkoczy was pulled going into the second period.

His second goal came off a great play by Joshua Roy who flipped the puck in the air to Brennan Othmann who then set up McTavish as he finished with a backhander to put Canada up 7-1. McTavish would complete the second-period hat trick, a day after Alexander Blank did the same for Germany, after a selfless pass from Roy on a 2-on-0 break.

Canada would capitalize on a turnover on McTavish’s fourth goal as Othmann set him up alone in front of the net and he made no mistake.

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There was some doubt about whether McTavish would suit up for Canada after playing a fair amount of hockey last season. Making his NHL debut with the Anaheim Ducks, the third overall pick from the 2021 NHL Draft played in a total of 72 games between the NHL, AHL, OHL, Memorial Cup and the Olympics.

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Instead, McTavish decided to join the team in Edmonton and take on the role as captain where he has excelled centring Canada’s top line with Bedard and and a rotation of Roy and Othmann.

Canada will now look forward to a matchup against Czechia with a chance to improve to 3-0.

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Field of Dreams Game 2022: A celebration of baseball memories in an Iowa cornfield

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The Field of Dreams is an opportunity for fans and players alike to reflect on the people and places that taught them to love baseball, Jake Mintz writes.



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Ravens extend NFL record for consecutive postseason wins following Thursday’s victory over the Titans

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USA Today

The No. 21 is now synonymous with the longest winning streaks in NFL regular and preseason history. the 2003-04 Patriots won 21 consecutive games, an NFL record. On Thursday night, the Ravens won their 21st consecutive preseason game after securing a 23-10 decision against the Tennessee Titans

Baltimore has not lost a preseason game since 2016. Joe Flacco was their starting quarterback when the streak began, while Steve Smith Jr., who this past year was eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the first time, was heading into his final NFL season. Baltimore’s roster also included Terrell Suggs, who was entering his second-to-last season with the franchise. 

Along with not losing preseason games, another constant in Baltimore over the past six years has been kicker Justin Tucker, who is entering his 11th season with the Ravens. Tucker’s field goals of 47, 25 and 47 yards on Thursday night helped Baltimore pull out the win after falling behind midway through the second quarter. 

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The Ravens won Thursday’s game by winning the turnover margin while holding the Titans to 1 of 3 red zone efficiency. One of those turnovers was scooped up by Kyle Hamilton, the Ravens’ first-round pick in this past year’s draft. 

Baltimore won despite the efforts of Malik Willis, the Titans’ rookie quarterback who overcame a slow start to score his first NFL touchdown, a 7-yard run early in the second quarter. Speaking of quarterbacks, the Ravens received a strong night from Tyler Huntley, who completed all but two of his 18 pass attempts that included his game-winning touchdown pass to Shemar Bridges



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