Opponent: Boston Red Sox (88-68, as of Sept. 21)
Likelihood of facing Rangers (on scale of 1-10): 5, while the Red Sox are fading fast, they still have to be the favorites to take the American League Wild Card with a 2 1/2-game lead over the Rays and Angels with six to play.
What needs to happen: The Rangers would have to pass up the Tigers for homefield in order to draw the Wild Card in the first round. Right now, the Rangers and Tigers are tied with a 90-65 record and the Tigers hold the tiebreaker.
Texas pitching against Boston: C.J. Wilson (1-0, 1.46 ERA), Colby Lewis (1-2, 8.22 ERA), Derek Holland (1-0, 0.00 ERA), Matt Harrison (2-1, 4.74 ERA), Alexi Ogando (0-1, 13.50 ERA)
Boston pitching against Texas: Jon Lester (0-0, 8.44 ERA), Josh Beckett (1-0, 1.50 ERA), Erik Bedard (1-2, 4.50 ERA), John Lackey (1-2, 11.15 ERA), Tim Wakefield, (0-0, 1.50 ERA), Andrew Miller (1-1, 7.04 ERA)
Who wins: If this series happens, Texas will have homefield. The Red Sox are on a slide that would be nearly unprecedented for a postseason team, winning just five of their past 21 games. Josh Beckett is scary good, but isn't any better than C.J. Wilson. Jon Lester, despite his struggles against Texas this year, is also good. After that, the Rangers' pitching depth is much stronger and the Rangers' offense is much better at the moment. Plus, the Rangers have been at Fenway and have owned the Red Sox over the past two seasons.
Texaswins in 4 and advances to the ALCS.