Texas finished off Oakland this afternoon with a 9-4 win. It was their most lopsided win in almost a month. They finished off their penultimate homestand 3-6 and lost their spot in the playoffs in the process. They did win the series against the A's and picked up ground on Seattle. They are now only 0.5 game back of the Mariners for the final wild card spot and remain three games behind the Astros in the AL West.
It was good to see the offense bust out in a big way. Marcus Semien had two home runs including a Texas Rangers' record setting 8th leadoff home run in a single season. Corey Seager hit his 30th home run of the year and became the 3rd player in Texas Rangers' history to have 30 or more home runs in his first two seasons with the organization. They also got contributions from Nathaniel Lowe who had a two-run single. Josh Smith had an RBI-triple and Evan Carter had his first RBI in the majors with a seventh inning sacrifice fly. It was a great and needed day by the offense.
There is an asterisk to place on this because it was against one of the worst team in baseball in the Oakland A"s. The A's are 44-99 and have a -303 run differential. They are an all time terrible team with a terrible owner who is just trying to play out the string until he can move the team to Las Vegas. The A's horrendous play this season has played a part in the AL West divisional race and will continue to do so down the stretch. In a division that is looking like it will be decided by just a couple of games or less how each team fared against the A's could make a significant difference.
How did each of the three AL West contenders fare against Oakland?
Houston to this point has played Oakland in 10 games and will finish off their series this week at home against the A's. They have compiled a 9-1 record against the A's this season. Houston in their prior three series has swept the A's twice both at home and in Oakland. The only game they lost was in Oakland back in July in the middle of a four-game series. They have a +24 run differential in the first 10 games against Oakland. Houston has a chance this week to add to that win total at home and finish with 10 or more wins against the A's.
Seattle like Houston still has games remaining against Oakland. They are 9-1 though and have series sweeps in Seattle and Oakland back in May. They did lose in Seattle in the middle game of a three-game series at the end of August. They will play three more against Oakland from September 18th-20th just prior to their three games series in Arlington against Texas. Seattle has a +30 run differential against Oakland this season. They will have a chance to get to 10 or more wins against the A's with that series in Oakland.
Texas this season finished with a 9-4 record against the A's this season. They played four series against Oakland and failed to come up with a series sweep against the A's in any of the four series. Their run differential against the A's this season ended up at +40. They blew a late lead at home against Oakland in April, had a walk-off loss in May, couldn't score against the A's bullpen in August, and then Oakland hit around Jordan Montgomery on Friday night. They finished up with four painful losses against Oakland in a series where they likely needed to win at least 11 games.
I tweeted this out back on May 11th.
The Rangers just failed every series to get that sweep that they needed to get. I am not saying that is what is the difference. In a division race that is looking like it will be decided by five games or less it will matter that Seattle and Houston both will likely have two or three more wins against the A's than Texas was able to get.
That is not the only thing between Texas and competing for the division. This stretch of losing 16 out of 20 has played a massive role with where they are at in the standings currently. The season marches on next to Toronto in a four-game series that will have massive wild card implications. Texas now can put Oakland in the rear view mirror and focus on the teams left on their schedule as they continue to chase a postseason berth for the first time since 2016.