As per usual, I was in the desert working all weekend so I wasn't able to write about the Rangers' big Houston series. Luckily for me, the club got the one necessary win out of three -- rather than being swept, which is what the Astros really needed to happen -- and spared me from writing my Don't Panic, Guys article right now.
So here's how the American League West looks with one week left in the regular season:
- Texas, 84-71 (+2.5, Magic Number = 5)
- Houston, 82-74 (-2.5, +0.5 on WC2)
- Anaheim, 81-74 (-3.0, -0.5 on WC2)
Texas ends the season with 7 games at Globe Life Park, where they've won 23 of 30. There, they will host Detroit -- who has nothing to play for -- before finishing with a four game set against the Angels, who could very well have something to play for.
Meanwhile, the Astros are going on the road to close out the year, where they are 29-46 (.387) in 2015.
The math is on the Rangers' side right now, as FanGraphs has them as 81.4% favorites to win the West, with the Angels (9.7%) and Astros (8.9%) following as 10:1 dogs.
Even if Texas closes the year out 2-5, Houston would still have to win 4 out of 6 on the road just to tie; a mere 3-4 finish would still force the Astros to win 5 out of 6. And again, that's just to tie. Ideally the Rangers are (at least) taking 2 out of 3 against Detroit, and (at least) splitting with Anaheim. That's 4 wins and would mean Houston has to win out.
This is all hypothetical fun with numbers, but it illustrates just how difficult it's going to be for the Astros (or Angels, for that matter) to execute such a comeback.