Can the Texas Rangers keep dominating the AL West?

Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays
Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

Despite dropping the much anticipated one vs two series at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend, the Texas Rangers (41-23) still find themselves in first place in the AL West. They hold a five-game lead over the Houston Astros (37-29) and a 6.5 game lead over their next opponent, the Los Angeles Angels (36-31).

The Angels come to Arlington after taking two of three games against the Seattle Mariners. Both the Rangers and the Angels are 6-4 in their last 10 contests. Los Angeles have won six of their last seven, including a sweep of the Chicago Cubs. The Angels are one game under .500 on the road at 16-17 and the Rangers have a home record of 21-9. Against teams that are above .500, the Angels are currently 10-19, while the Rangers are 15-12.

Texas Rangers schedule against the Los Angeles Angels

Date and Time

Rangers Probable Pitcher

Angels Probable Pitcher

Mon 12th - 7:05 CT

Dane Dunning RHP 5-1, 2.52 ERA, 33 SO

Tyler Anderson LHP 3-1, 5.62 ERA, 38 SO

Tues 13th - 7:05 CT

Jon Gray RHP 6-2, 2.32 ERA, 63 SO

Jaime Barria RHP 2-2, 1.85 ERA, 37 SO

Wed 14th - 7:05 CT

Andrew Heaney LHP 4-4, 4.14 ERA, 65 SO

Reid Detmers LHP 1-5, 4.79 ERA, 68 SO

Thurs 15th - 7:05 CT * FS1

Nathan Eovaldi RHP 9-2, 2.49 ERA, 83 SO

Shohei Ohtani RHP 5-2, 3.32 ERA, 102 SO

This will be the second time that the two teams have faced off this year. The Rangers took two of three from the Angels in Los Angeles last month. The lone loss for the Rangers was a blown four run lead heading into the bottom of the 8th. The pen then allowed one run that inning and then a three spot in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game. In the 10th the Angels walked it off for a 5 to 4 victory. The Rangers didn't let that ugly loss keep them down, as they bounced back to take the next two games from the Angels.

This series will be a four-game variety, with all four games coming at night. As the series builds, there will be much anticipation about the Thursday nights pitching matchup of Nathan Eovaldi versus Shohei Ohtani. The Rangers missed Ohtani's spot in the rotation when they played out in Los Angeles, so this will be the clubs first look at the arm of AL MVP front runner this season. Thursday's game will not only air on Bally Sports Southwest but will be broadcast on FS1 as well.

Unless a team calls Los Angeles home, their all-time bWAR franchise leader doesn't still play for them. The only exceptions are the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (78.4) and the Angels' Mike Trout (84.5). It is not very often that we get to watch someone play that is the all-time leader for their team in bWAR and yet, that is what Rangers' fans will get to do when Trout plays this week.

The Angels are still scoring runs at a high clip, but also seem to be allowing them at a similar pace. They are currently ranked third in the American League in runs scored at 324, behind only the Rangers (400) and the Rays (391). However, only four teams in the AL have given up more runs than the Angels (310), while the Rangers (251) are tied for third fewest.

Texas will look to continue their winning ways against the AL West as they host the Angels this week. So far this season, the Rangers have won all six AL West series and have a record of 14-5 against their division rivals. Only two of the six series have been against the Angels and the Astros. These four games can go a long way in pushing forward to the desired goal of October baseball in Arlington.