Following Sunday afternoon’s loss to the Oakland Athletics which clinched the series sweep for the A’s, the Texas Rangers‘ playoff chances took a huge hit. Oakland is now 6.5 games ahead of Texas for the division lead with only 14 games left to play.
By failing to gain any ground on the A’s, the Rangers have let slip away any realistic chance of winning the division. They are still currently in control of one of the two Wild Card spots in the AL, but if they continue to lose at the rate that they have been, they’ll soon be on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. The Rangers have won just one game out of their last 10 contests.
If they are going to turn their fortunes around, now is the time to do it. They’ll be heading to Florida for a four-game series against the other current Wild Card team, the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay has been on a bit of a slide as well, only winning four of their last 10. Handling the Rays would go a long way towards ensuring a playoff berth for the Rangers, being as the Rays are their most direct competition for the spot.
As recently as the beginning of September, the Rangers were in great position, building up as much as a three-game lead over the A’s for the division lead. In the two weeks since then, the Rangers have lost a staggering eight games in the race for the division lead.
According to mlb.com’s postseason probabilities chart, the Rangers have dropped from a 98 percent probability of making the playoffs to a 69 percent probability just over those two weeks.
Fortunately, it isn’t too late for Texas to get back on track and make the playoffs as a Wild Card team. However, they’ll have to get off this catastrophic slide before they fall out of contention for the Wild Card spots, just like they did with the division race.