The Astros have an elimination number of 17.
This may be one of the most obvious statements you have heard recently. After the recent surge that got the Astros to within a game of the second wild-card Baltimore Orioles, they have fallen back. They now sit three games back after dropping the last two games versus the division rival Rangers. With last night’s 12-4 win, the Rangers now have a 10.5 game cushion for the AL West.
In 15 games this year, the Rangers have beat the Astros 13 times. This alone is one of the reasons the Rangers have so many wins and the large lead in the AL West. It seems like every time the Stros play the Rangers. Luck is not on their side.
Rangers have bullied the Astros in 2016.
Houston has been outscored 75-50 this year versus the Rangers. This record is amazing considering the run-differential for the Rangers on the season is not even close to that. The Rangers have scored 657 runs while allowing the 625 runs to score. The projected record for those stats via MLB.com is a 71-65 record.
The Rangers currently have an 82-54 record, which is 11 wins more than they should have. Therefore, the way they have dominated the Stros this season is the reason they are where they are at now. With four more head to head matchups, the way the Astros respond versus after the first two losses could decide their fate in the 2016 playoffs.
If the team lose the last four games, this could potentially sink them further back in the wild-card chase. However, the Orioles and Tigers have played great baseball recently, so local nine need to play better baseball against the elite teams. In one run contests, the Rangers have set a new record with a 30-8 record in 2016. Conversely, Houston has a 22-21 record in the one-run games.
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The Rangers have a more veteran team that knows how to play better in close games. In my biased opinion, the Astros have the better team. With Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, and George Springer aboard for a while, the future should be bright. The Rangers knew that their window could be closing with the age of the team, but they do have a great farm system.
The Rangers made moves to win in 2016 while the Stros stood pat. As we look back on the season, we will see who made the better choice. Jeff Luhnow believed in the talent that he had after the addition of Yulieski Gurriel. Whether or not his belief was true, the Astros have an elimination number of 17.
With a 71-64 record, the Astros have 27 games remaining to fight their way into the playoffs. First of all, we need to beat the Rangers. If the Astros find a way to sweep the Rangers from here on, they could be favorites in the playoffs. Tune into tonight’s Talking Stros tonight starting at 7pm tonight.
***Stats from MLB.com and Baseball-Reference***