The defending World Series Champion Texas Rangers have fallen into third place in the American League West division, trailing both the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros.

Texas got off to a slow start in the 2024 season following its World Series victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks. As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the Rangers fell under .500 for the first time since manager Bruce Bochy took over in 2023.

One of the most crucial series losses this season came in a three-game sweep by the Mariners. Texas went into the series just 5.5 games out of first place in the division and left the series trailing by 8.5 games.

Bochy explained after the series that Texas had to “find a way to put some runs on the board, and we just couldn’t do it,” per Bally Sports Southwest.

The Rangers’ struggling offense has been a concerning trend in their losses this season, as the team has averaged only 2.33 runs in the 40 losses.

Conversely, the Rangers have put up an impressive 6.44 runs during their wins, spotlighting the significant difference when the offense is able to put runs on the board.

The Rangers followed this series loss with two straight losses against the New York Mets, bringing their losing streak to five games.

Texas has bounced back slightly from its downward trajectory with a win against the Mets and two straight against the Kansas City Royals. The possibility of the Rangers’ first three-game series sweep this season is in sight as they prepare to take on the Royals on Sunday at 1:25 p.m. CT.

The team will look to continue this winning streak as right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer makes his season debut against Kansas City just six months after a herniated disk surgery, per CBS Sports.

Scherzer was initially slated to make his season debut on Saturday but was pushed back as a precaution. The 39-year-old said the team was choosing to be “ultra-careful” about his return.

“I had shown some loss of grip strength over the past couple of days there, so I wanted to let that get completely out of the system, get my thumb and hand back in position. When you lose grip strength, that’s kind of a precursor before bad things happen to your arm. So wanted to make sure to get that fully behind me and then go out there and pitch,” he said, per CBS Sports.

Scherzer has faced off against Kansas City 22 times in his 18-year career, finishing with a 12-5 record and a 3.34 ERA, per StatMuse.

A solid return performance from Scherzer could help the Rangers secure the victory and sweep as the team continues to fight back into the MLB Playoffs.