Going into the final three weeks of this season there are three numbers to remember. 22, 16 and 6.
22 Games total left to be played.
16 games within the division.
Six games left to be played against the Rangers alone.
Currently the Angels sit six games behind the Rangers, and are on a surge that could catapult them to the division crown. I am not saying that they will win the division, but I am saying that they still absolutely can win the division, and having six games against the Texas boys helps immensely.
If you’ll indulge me and time travel back to last year on this date, the standings show the Angels at a very similar deficit as the St. Louis Cardinals.
After all games finished on 9/9/2012, The Cardinals were 77-67, six and a half games behind the 84-61 Braves with 18 games to be played. We all know how that ended. The Braves would go 5-12 the rest of the way and St. Louis would beat them out in the last day of the season. The Angels are currently 77-63 trailing the 83-57 Rangers by six games with 22 games to be played.
The Wild Card is obviously the easier and more attainable goal at this point with the Rangers showing no signs of slowing down, but to reiterate, we still have six games left against them.
First things first, the Halos have a four game set against the A’s. And at two and a half games behind the A’s, a big leap is very possible.
Angels sweep. We end this home stand one and a half games ahead of Oakland in one of the two Wild Card slots. This is the only way the Angels can finish this series if they want to guarantee that they are looking down on teams in the standings.
Angels take three of four. We finish the series a half game behind Oakland. Depending on how Baltimore and Tampa Bay play over the next four games we could still find ourselves in a wild card spot, but that is no longer guaranteed.
Split series. We are right back where we started.
A’s take three of four. We are now four and a half games behind them with only 18 games left.
A’s sweep *Plays Taps* Alright, maybe it’s too soon for a bugle solo, but it’s definitely warming up.
Am I eternally optimistic? You betcha. Am I grasping at straws when it comes to winning the division? Probably. But this is baseball, and as the old saying goes, anything can happen in baseball.