Rangers-Angels Take Baseball's Center Stage. Or at Least They Should.
There are only two division races in baseball.
And only one with playoff implications.
As we play the regular season's final month the Tigers, Phillies, Brewers and Braves each have leads of at least 7 games with only 20 remaining. In the AL East the Yankees lead the Red Sox by 2.5, but both will make the playoffs as division champ or wild card.
That leaves us -- an all of America's past time -- with Rangers vs. Angels. And thanks to another stifling performance by Tampa's James Shields in a 5-1 Labor Day win and another give-up loss by the Mariners in Anaheim, it's getting more interesting.
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After a Texas loss and an Angels' win, the Rangers' magic number is stuck on 19.
Texas' remaining schedule features two more with Tampa, three with the Indians next week in Arlington and the remaining 15 against the AL West. That's good news as the Rangers have beat up the A's and Mariners to the tune of 19-7 this year, including winning 13 of their last 14 games against the door mats.
The Angels finish with two more with the Mariners, three against the Yankees, seven on the road against the Blue Jays and Orioles and six against the A's.
The season ends, of course, with what could be a dramatic Rangers-Angels three-game series in Anaheim Sept. 26-28. I still think the Rangers will win this thing. They are the better team with the easier schedule down the stretch.
That said, no doubt our burying of the Angels last month was premature.
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