The Rangers return to the friendly confines of Rangers Ballpark with a golden opportunity on their hands.
With the Los Angeles Angels staggering out of the gates, the Texas Rangers had a great chance to bury them early in the AL West standings with a big month of May. Instead, the Rangers went .500 despite playing series against the Kansas City Royals, Oakland A's, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros and the Seattle Mariners, twice.
If the Rangers end up not winning the West this year, they could back at May with a horrible feeling. Now, the Angels are surging and they're starting to hit, and now they're within three games of the Rangers in the West.
But the Rangers could be turning things around as they won their first series since sweeping the Blue Jays at the end of May, and did so on the road against the upstart San Francisco Giants over the weekend. Now, the Rangers head back home after a lengthy West Coast road trip and they get to face some soft competiion.
The Rangers begin a three-game series with the .500 Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday before hosting the well-below .500 Houston Astros over the weekend. Anything less than taking four of those six games would be highly unacceptable. Really, a sweep against the Astros should be in order. Then, they take off to the sprawling grounds of Petco Park to face the lowly San Diego Padres, who could be the worst team in baseball before coming back home to take on a struggling Colorado Rockies team that the Angels just throttled.
Meanwhile, the Angels start a three-gamer against the MLB-best Los Angeles Dodgers tonight, then host the Diamondbacks for three before hosting the Giants and the Dodgers again. It's feasible that the Angels could lose three of those four series.
Now's your chance, Rangers. Don't blow it this time.