The Texas Rangers simply cannot overlook the Kansas City Royals if they have any ideas of making the playoffs as a Wild Card. It should go without saying, but with the way the Rangers have been playing lately, nothing can be taken for granted.
The Royals haven’t been a great a team this year, but they are eight games over a .500 record. The Rangers looked better in their series against the Tampa Bay Rays, and they’ll need to build on that during this series against the Royals. Texas is hoping it can keep Mitch Moreland, Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus hitting the ball well, while hopefully getting Adrian Beltre swinging the bat better.
The Rangers have series against the Royals, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels remaining. Of the three, the Royals have the best record, but the Rangers will have to make sure that they don’t overlook any of them. The Rangers have a history of playing to the level of their competition. They need to really focus and take care of the teams in front of them.
Since the start of September, the Rangers have lost any realistic shot of winning the division, and are now trying to hold on to a Wild Card spot. If they can manage to win the three series, that should be good enough to clinch one of the two spots. Losing any of them may be too much to come back from.
Before worrying about the playoffs, though, the Rangers just need to worry about beating pitcher Earvin Santana tonight, then handle the Royals for that series. Texas has been blessed with a reasonably easy schedule to finish out the year, and they need to capitalize on this chance to get back on track.