The Texas Rangers have 20 games left in the regular season, their magic number has been cut down to 12, and they have a 9.5 game lead over the Houston Astros. This Rangers situation begs the question, should they try and win as many games as possible and secure home field advantage or rest players in an attempt for everyone to be fresh for the playoffs?
This has been a question that appears every year in almost every sport and their isn’t necessarily a right answer. For the Texas Rangers, I would prefer for them to continue to try to win every game. Jeff Banister has created a culture that is focused on what the players can do about the game that lies in front of them.
This philosophy of not looking ahead and only focusing on the one game that you can do something about has led the Rangers to an 84-58 record. While they have the best record in the American League, the Cleveland Indians are breathing down their neck while just being 2 games behind them.
The home field advantage in Texas is a real thing when you start to get into September and October when fall is hitting around the country elsewhere and the Texas nights start to cool off. If you keep trying to win games and secure the best record in the A.L. then you also will carry some serious momentum into the playoffs.
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When teams decide to set their players and just try to make sure their players are rested then they also run the risk of the players altering their normal routine. To worry about rest or injuries then there is a more likelihood that the actions would result in more negative than positive. Many athletes say that when you start to worry about injury or pushing yourself too far then that’s usually when you make mistakes.
This team is about to add a starting pitcher in Colby Lewis that will allow the one type of rest that I would encourage. That would be within the starting rotation. It sounds like one of the starting pitchers will be skipped over just to ensure they are fresh when needed.
History probably suggest that it would be more beneficial to keep at it, keep your routine, keep momentum and keep on winning. This is the medicine for everything, keep on winning and don’t let up until you are done with your mission. Not to mention the team’s mantra is, “Never Ever Quite” so I don’t expect anything but for them to keep on winning!
What would you prefer the Texas Rangers to do? If you wish for them to rest then who would you rest and how long would you rest them?