At 40-20, the Texas Rangers appeared to be a lock for the postseason. The Dallas-area MLB workforce at all times seems to have a loaded farm system, and people strikes trying towards the long run paid off on the identical 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! Properly, not Oakland, which has the biggest division deficit in baseball by six video games.
The highest trio of the AL West are all going all in without delay when there’s nonetheless a good likelihood 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 should fall the Anaheim Ohtanis method. Not making the postseason will make Los Angeles’ grip on the very best participant in baseball look dumber on the deadline. When the Halos might have acquired a complete farm system for Ohtani, who has given the workforce no confidence he’ll be an Angel on Opening Day subsequent season, why not top off? That call will both hang-out the franchise for a very long time to come back or be the important thing to staying related for the following technology 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 the complete month of August. On paper, the Rangers ought to use the following 31 days to solidify a playoff spot. Key phrase: SHOULD. With Corey Seager damage 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 can be the triumphant nature pennant winners present. In contrast to the Angels and Astros, the Rangers have probably the most religion from their fan base to determine it out compared to expectations. Issues haven’t seemed this shiny in Arlington since Rougned Odor made Rockin’ Robin greater than a Jackson 5 track.
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 by means of each trick within the guide, and a few which are moral too. And Houston is the unlikable workforce that has the expertise to proceed to achieve success. Nobody exterior of H-City needs to see the Astros have success, by some means making the Angels extra likable.
I discover it unlikely the playoffs gained’t characteristic the Rangers or Astros regardless of any earlier hassle this season. They’re simply straight-up higher than the Angels and are method much less reliant on a famous person duo than the opposite groups. That stability will meet up with Los Angeles finally and probably drop it out of the postseason altogether. Ohtani staying at this unbelievable run of type isn’t sustainable. Even dropping down a couple of notches retains him as the very best 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 unhealthy determination. And I’m right here for that chaos.