ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 22: Jered Weaver #36 (R) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrates with teammates after shutting out the New York Yankees to end the eight inning in Game Five of the ALCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Angel Stadium on October 22, 2009 in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Yankees 7-6. (Photo by Jacob de Golish/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jered Weaver
After some peaks and valleys over the past month in the AL West race, your Texas Rangers hold a siim 2 1/2 game lead over the Los Angeles Angels.
Tonight, the Rangers take the field at the Trop again to face the Tampa Bay Rays with C.J. Wilson on the hill. The Angels send Ervin Santana out against Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners.
It's coming down to crunch time, folks, and at least one "expert" says the Angels will catch the Rangers in the race for the West.
ESPN.com's Jim Bowden, a former general manager of the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals, said the Angels will catch the Rangers and chalked it up to their starting rotation, which is basically three great starters and two spares.
He gives the rotation argument as his top point, and as we know, the Rangers rotation has hit a wall over the past month. But the depth is still better than the Angels'.
Bowden also brings up the catchers, saying the Angels' backstops are great at calling games and framing pitches, which isn't a surprise considering Mike Scioscia is their manager. But they're terrible at the plate. The Rangers' catching tandem of Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli has been great at the plate, and pretty darn good behind the plate. The Rangers brought back Matty May Treanor to be the third catcher.
He also brings up the remaining schedules, as the Angels have 12 of their 22 remaining games at home, including three against the Rangers to end the season. The Rangers have just nine home games remaining. The Angels, however, still have to go to The Bronx and to Toronto. During both of those series, the Rangers will be playing the lowly Oakland A's, once in Arlington and once in Oakland.
Give me the Rangers to prevail in the West, but make no mistake, it's going to be a race to the finish.