Opponent: Detroit Tigers (90-66, as of Sept. 22)
Likelihood of facing Rangers (on scale of 1-10): 1, This is highly unlikely to happen, but if the Rangers end up facing the Tigers in a 5-game series, it could be a short postseason in Arlington.
What needs to happen: To be frank, a miracle. The Los Angeles Angels would need to pass Tampa Bay and Boston in the American League Wild Card race with just six games remaining. That would take some divine intervention such as that in the movie "Angels in the Outfield", especially after the Angels lost in 12 innings to Toronto on Thursday night.
Texas pitching against Detroit: C.J. Wilson (0-0, 5.40 ERA), Colby Lewis (0-1, 15.95 ERA), Derek Holland (hasn't faced this year), Matt Harrison (0-2, 6.30 ERA), Alexi Ogando (3-0, 1.29 ERA).
Detroit pitching against Texas: Justin Verlander (0-1, 2.00 ERA), Brad Penny (0-1, 4.73 ERA), Max Scherzer (1-0, 4.76 ERA), Rick Porcello (1-0, 1.50 ERA), Doug Fister (1-1, 3.68 ERA).
Who wins: This is the part Rangers fans aren't going to like. The only Rangers pitcher with any success against Detroit this year is Alexi Ogando, who has all but been excluded from any postseason rotation talk after hitting the proverbial wall in his first season as a starting pitcher after moving from the bullpen. The Rangers lost 6 of 9 games this year to Detroit and even though they beat Verlander that was when Ogando was pitching out of his mind. Verlander is 24-5 with a 2.29 ERA, 244 Ks and 56 walks and is basically a lock for the Cy Young and an outside candidate for AL MVP. Facing that in 2 of 5 games is not an exciting proposition. The positive thing going for the Rangers is that the lineup is absolutely cooking right now and is 100 percent healthy for the first time all season. Also, the Tigers haven't faced Derek Holland, who over the past 2 1/2 months has been maybe the Rangers' best pitcher. Still, in a 5-game series, the Tigers have to be the favorite here.
Detroit wins in 5 and ends the Rangers' season.