The key to any successful team is to beat the bad teams and win enough against the good teams to get enough total wins to reach the playoffs. The bad teams typically lose most of their games against the good teams and struggle against other bad teams. The best example of this concept is the Philadelphia Phillies, who are 19-38 against teams over .500 and 10-19 against teams under .500. At this time, the Phillies have a 29-57 record which puts them 18 games behind the Washington Nationals and the worst record in the MLB.
The Texas Rangers have had an interesting year in terms of this concept. They have a 41-44 record with just three games left until the All-Star Break. They have been successful against teams that are at or over .500 this season, which would indicate that they have been a very good team. They have a 24-19 record, which is a .558 winning percentage, good enough for the third best record in the American League behind the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros. Considering the rough start to the year and the recent issues, it is amazing that they have such a great record against the good teams.
By what is expected based on their success against top teams, the Rangers should have an even better record against the bad teams. After losing both games to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Rangers record against teams under .500 has fallen to 17-25, a .405 winning percentage. In fact, the Rangers are only one of three teams in the American League to have a losing record against teams below .500. In comparison, the National League team has seven teams with losing records below .500 with the worst being the Phillies.
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In the second half of the season, the Rangers are going to need to to hold steady with their success against the the good teams, winning about half of their games against them. If the Rangers are able to turn around their record against teams that are under .500 then they will be in a good position for the remainder of the season. If the Rangers had been able to win half of their games against below .500 teams in the first half of the season then the team would be even closer to the division lead at just the games behind the Astros. They will have a chance this weekend to get back on track before the All-Star Break as they play a three-game series against the 39-48 San Diego Padres.
In addition to beating the bad teams, an area the Rangers need to turn it around against the rest of the teams in the division. For the season, the Rangers only have a winning record against the Astros, having gone 4-2. They have a combined 7-21 record against the rest of the division and have been swept by both the Athletics and the Angels in the past month. They will open up the second half of the season in Houston for a very important series that could set the tone for the rest of the year.