The Rangers are going to make the playoffs. A bold prediction? Hardly. You’ll have to search far and wide to find someone who disagrees with this projection. Rather, the question now is whether or not they finish 2012 with the best record in the American League, and where the team’s final tally will line up among the great teams of recent memory.
The incentive to finish the season with the league’s best record is the highest it has been since divisional play began in 1969. The team with the best record will secure home field advantage, and have the opportunity to potentially play the league’s fifth best team, and a team weakened by pitching its ace in a one game wild card playoff.
Despite a recent “slump” that left them on the losing side of series against Tampa Bay, Toronto, and Cleveland, the Rangers are currently on pace to win 106 games.
The Rangers play a very favorable schedule from here until the All-Star Break. Their opponents combined for a .472 winning percentage in 2011. Furthermore, their schedule is heavily weighted towards the laggards, including two series a piece against Houston, Seattle, and Oakland.
In other words, it’s time for the Rangers to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the American League, and move a step closer to finishing their unfinished business from 2010 and 2011.