There are twenty-two games left of the regular season & now is the time most fans are curious about “magic numbers” & eliminating division rivals as soon as possible. I wanted to take some time & break down the numbers for those who are curious & may not have time to check.
The AL West magic numbers look as such:
- Oakland: 03.0 games back, 20 games to elimination
- LA: 06.5 games back, 16 games to elimination
- Seattle: 16.5 games back, 06 games to elimination
Seems scary, right? The thing to remember is that every time Texas wins & Oakland/LA loses, the number goes down by two. So, the numbers actually look like this:
- Oakland: 10 losses + 10 Texas wins to elimination
- LA: 08 losses + 08 Texas wins to elimination
- Seattle: 03 losses + 03 Texas wins to elimination
The schedules for Oakland & LA are interesting, but I’m going to focus on Oakland for this next part.
In the next thirteen days, Texas faces: Cleveland (3 games), Seattle (3 games), LA (3 games) & Seattle (3 games). Oakland faces: LA (3 games), Baltimore (3 games), Detroit (3 games) & New York (3 games). Oakland’s schedule is tough because each of the teams they’re playing have something to fight for thanks to the new wild card system, while Texas has a very favorable schedule in which to gain some ground.
Let’s end with some more numbers, using what I believe to be a probable scenario:
Let’s assume Texas wins each series (8-4 record) & Oakland wins two series & loses two series (6-6 record). The magic number to eliminate Oakland, going into the series against them, would be down to six. If that’s the case, a series win against Oakland would leave Oakland at one game to elimination; a sweep would eliminate them.
Texas obviously needs to keep winning, but Oakland will face a tall order as well and hopefully the Rangers will do their part and reap the rewards of playing good baseball.