At 40-20, the Texas Rangers appeared to be a lock for the postseason. The Dallas-area MLB staff at all times seems to have a loaded farm system, and people strikes wanting towards the longer term paid off on the similar time the big-money signings stayed wholesome. Along with all that, pitching whisperer Bruce Bochy labored his magic from the dugout, and gave the Rangers a bonus from the mound for probably the primary time within the franchise’s existence. Since that 20-games-over-.500 mark, Texas is 20-26, and now solely has a one-game lead within the AL West over the Astros. And people pesky Angels are solely 5 video games again. The Mariners have turned a nook and are solely 5.5 again. And Oakland! Effectively, not Oakland, which has the most important division deficit in baseball by six video games.
The highest trio of the AL West are all going all in directly when there’s nonetheless a good probability not less than one in every of them doesn’t make the postseason. The Angels and Mariners are 4 and 4.5 video games again within the Wild Card races heading into Monday’s video games. Not insurmountable by any stretch, however tons of variables need to fall the Anaheim Ohtanis means. Not making the postseason will make Los Angeles’ grip on the most effective participant in baseball look dumber on the deadline. When the Halos might have acquired a complete farm system for Ohtani, who has given the staff no confidence he’ll be an Angel on Opening Day subsequent season, why not fill up? That call will both hang-out the franchise for a very long time to return or be the important thing to staying related for the subsequent era of baseball followers. And with fourth place within the AL West probably one loss away, the Angels are probably the most all-in amongst their division rivals. They’re those with probably the most doubt past this November.
After a brutal stretch for the Rangers, dropping seven of 9, counter-balanced their 6-game win streak to start out the second half of the season, Texas’ schedule is fairly mild for your entire month of August. On paper, the Rangers ought to use the subsequent 31 days to solidify a playoff spot. Key phrase: SHOULD. With Corey Seager harm once more, Jonah Heim probably out for the season, and Nathan Eovaldi on the DL, it might seem that Texas is falling aside. That’ll come to actuality with a so-so August or worse. Overcoming these pace bumps could be the triumphant nature pennant winners present. Not like the Angels and Astros, the Rangers have probably the most religion from their fan base to determine it out in comparison with expectations. Issues haven’t seemed this brilliant in Arlington since Rougned Odor made Rockin’ Robin greater than a Jackson 5 tune.
The Astros have the deceiving look of not being all in as a result of having pushed their chips to the middle of the figurative poker desk has been their fixed state since 2015. Their strikes aren’t as flashy. They made these already via each trick within the e book, and a few which are moral too. And Houston is the unlikable staff that has the expertise to proceed to achieve success. Nobody exterior of H-City desires to see the Astros have success, someway making the Angels extra likable.
I discover it unlikely the playoffs gained’t function the Rangers or Astros regardless of any earlier bother this season. They’re simply straight-up higher than the Angels and are means much less reliant on a famous person duo than the opposite groups. That steadiness will meet up with Los Angeles ultimately and probably drop it out of the postseason altogether. Ohtani staying at this unbelievable run of kind isn’t sustainable. Even dropping down a number of notches retains him as the most effective participant in baseball. And it gained’t be his fault if carrying the Angels on his again isn’t sufficient to place them within the postseason. And the gamble of holding onto him on the commerce deadline will seem like a team-altering dangerous resolution. And I’m right here for that chaos.