The Texas Rangers have played 131 games of a 162, leaving just 31 more in the regular season. With a record of 77-54 and an 8.5 game lead the team is in very nice shape. However, the next 25 games make or break the entire season.
Strange things can happen during September baseball. The God’s of baseball sometimes get involved and decide to alter the fates of one team over another. The Rangers have some good things working to help overcome some things.
At the top of the list is the return of Derek Holland. He has had two starts since returning and both of those have been brilliant! Colby Lewis will most likely return in the next week or so, which could give the team a huge boost of depth for the final month. A rotation of Hamels, Darvish, Griffin, Holland, Perez, and Lewis should take some pressure off things.
The other good news is that September allows for the expansion of rosters, which means the team can bring up anyone on the 40 man roster and have them available. The Rangers, despite all the trades still have a very deep farm system and this is where we get to see some of that.
The team just needs to continue to goal of winning each series, take 2 of every 3 is the goal. However, the math says that if the Rangers win 15 more games it makes them very hard to catch. While both the Astros and Mariners have 32 games left, being 8.5 games back means they have to be 8 games better than the Rangers just to tie. If the Rangers win 15, that would force either of them to finish 24-8 for the tie. That is not unheard of, considering the Rangers came back last year to unseat the Astros, and the A’s did it to the Rangers a couple of years ago. It can and does happen.
This team will face some of the toughest pitchers in the AL down the stretch, every play will be magnified, and this is the fun part of the season.
Another factor is that the Rangers, Mariners, and Astros all play each other. That means that teams can get hot and gain ground quickly, or become buried as quick. The Rangers also have more home games than the others down this stretch, and they have the best home record in franchise history this season.
All the signs are positive, everything looks good, but let’s all be cautiously optimistic. After all Sam Dyson walked the bases loaded in a one-run game in the bottom of the ninth today. That could have turned out much differently, but the God’s of baseball smiled on the Rangers today. Let’s all hope they continue to do so. Winning now, means playing in October, and everyone is ready for this season of promise to continue.