It has been a whirlwind of a regular season for the Texas Rangers. It wasn't that long ago that it looked like Texas was collapsing in front of our eyes in August and early September. However, after a five game winning streak and some help from the floundering Astros, the Rangers have a 2.5 game lead in the AL West and are closing in on clinching the division title.
However, this race is not over as the Rangers have some important games coming up. After a three game set at the ghost of the Angels, the season will ultimately be decided when the Rangers face the Mariners for four games to close out the season. Fortunately, the Rangers are very close to locking things up and don't have to necessarily be perfect over the next week and a half to lock this thing up.
Texas Rangers Magic Number and Playoff Odds - 9/25
While there are a lot of playoff scenarios still in play for the Rangers as we enter the final seven games of the regular season, we do know for certain that Texas' magic number to win the AL West currently sits at five over Seattle and Houston. Importantly, the Rangers do not hold the tiebreaker over Houston as they lost the season series, but would win a tie against Seattle regardless of how the final series of the season goes. All things considered, the Rangers would much prefer the Mariners be in second place going into that final series as it would essentially give Texas another game in hand.
As for the Rangers' playoff odds, they are in tremendous shape. Fangraphs currently has the Rangers with an 82.8% chance of winning the AL West and a 97% chance of making the playoffs. Baseball-Reference is a little more cautious about the Rangers' chances, but only slightly, as their engine gives Texas a 98% chance of making the playoffs and 79.9% chance of winning the division.
It is remarkable that the Rangers have been able to salvage their season after that awful slump they were in. Hopefully over the next few games, they will continue to trim their magic number down some more so that there isn't too much drama in that final showdown against the Mariners.