Maybe it’s not the Houston Astros the Rangers need to be worried about.
While Texas has lost three in a row and Houston two, the Seattle Mariners have won five straight and have pulled to within four games of first. One month ago they were ten games back.
The National League East and National League west have both been determined. Atlanta has a 13.5-game lead in the East and Los Angeles a 12-game lead in the West. Those division races are over.
In the A.L. West, it’s a three-team race. Texas leads Houston by 2.5 games. Just 1.5 games behind them is Seattle. While the Rangers have had the benefit of Corey Seager having the best season of his career and carrying the Rangers offense while he’s been healthy, Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez has been out of this world this week. Four hits Wednesday, five Thursday, four Friday, and four yesterday. In fact, he’s had twenty-one hits in his last seven games.
When one guy gets red hot like this, he carries a team.
The Rangers have had the benefit of a number of guys getting hot at once. They’ve also had a number of guys get ice cold at once. Adolis Garcia is batting .156 the past fourteen days, with just four home runs. While Garcia has gone cold, Nathaniel Lowe has joined him, hitting .216 with just five RBIs in that stretch.
So, the Rangers three and four hitters are slumping. The heart of their order is having palpitations. It’s not a full-on cardiac arrest, but they need to find a heartbeat soon. With their lackluster 6-1 loss to Milwaukee yesterday, the Rangers have now dropped three straight and are in danger of tying their season-worst four-game losing streak with another loss today.
Houston and Seattle play today. So that means, one of them would pick up a game on Texas should Texas lose.
Either way, it’s a three-team race now in the West. And the only way you win a race is to win.