Ten days, and ten games. That is what is left of the Texas Rangers regular season schedule. What started way back on March 30th, will come to an end Sunday, October 1st. The season has been a success on so many levels, but if the Rangers fail to make it into the postseason, there is no doubt that this will be deemed as a squandered opportunity.
The race for the AL West is as tight as it has been all season, plus there is a three-team wrestling match over the final two AL wild card spots as well. Four teams (Texas, Houston, Seattle, and Toronto) head into the last ten days of the regular season with only a 0.5 game separating all of them. Three will get in, but one will be left without a chair when the regular season music stops.
Texas Rangers current playoff odds
As it has been well documented, the Rangers playoff odds have looked like a volatile stock chart. It has been all over the place, from a high of 95.1% (August 15th) to a low of 38.6% (September 8th). The topsy turvy second half of the season has left no Rangers fans surprised that the numbers have swung in such a vast manner.
Currently if the playoffs ended before play today, the Rangers would get into the postseason as the third wild card team in the American League thanks to holding the tiebreaker over Seattle. Houston sits atop the AL West, but they only hold a 0.5 game lead over both Seattle and Texas. Toronto is currently in the second AL wild card spot, but again, they are only 0.5 game ahead of both Seattle and Texas.
With the remaining schedule being taken into consideration, Fangraphs gives the Rangers a 69.1% chance at making the postseason and a 18.7% chance of winning the AL West. Houston remains the odds-on favorite to win the division, at 52.5%, and Fangraphs has their odds at making the playoffs at 90.5%.
Seattle's odds of winning the division are higher than the Rangers because of two factors. One, they still have three games remaining against Houston. And perhaps just as importantly, they hold the tie breaker against them as well. The Mariners currently are given a 63.9% chance to make the playoffs and a 28.9% of winning the division.
Toronto's odds of making the postseason is set at 76.5%. The Rangers do hold the tiebreaker over them, thanks to their four-game sweep of their Canadian foe last week. With four teams in the mix coming down the stretch, there is sure to be some intense scoreboard watching going on across many fan bases.
Texas Rangers rotation set for pivotal weekend series
The rotations have been set for the last home games of the regular season. Globe Life Field will be a buzz as the series this weekend against Seattle will have a playoff feel to it for sure. And why wouldn't it, as the Mariners come into town in a tie with the Rangers for the last wild card spot.
The Rangers will square off against the Mariners seven times over the last ten games. The Rangers were able to set their rotation in such a way that their three best pitchers going will be facing Seattle this weekend. They will open with Dane Dunning tonight, toss the ball to Jordan Montgomery on Saturday, and then lean on bulldog Nathan Eovaldi to finish off the series on Sunday afternoon.
Seattle's pitching is their strong suit, but the Rangers will not have to face George Kirby (he handed the Rangers their only loss to Seattle earlier this season) or Luis Castillo this weekend. Both Montgomery and Eovaldi will face the Mariners twice over the next two weeks. They will also be in line to start a potential wild card series, if the team can get to that point.
The Rangers are at 84 wins and counting. If they can get to 90, they have a high chance of making the playoffs. 89 wins, and it might happen, but they need some things to break their way. 91 wins and they should be in for sure with an outside shot at the division. 152 games down and ten more to go. Nobody said that playoff races were for the faint of heart, but one thing is for sure, they beat the heck out of playing meaningless games this time of year. Let's go Rangers!