After starting the month of September on top of the AL West, the Texas Rangers went 5-15. They capped off a 7-game win streak by beating their division rival Los Angeles Angels to keep what little playoff hopes they have alive. They play the Tampa Bay Rays in a one game playoff Monday.
Yes, regular season game 163.
For the Rays, who lost their wild card lead in the course of one week, the pressure to not be the first team in since the 02-03 Mariners to win 90 games and not make the postseason two years in a row is heavy. Many think the Rays are the better team because they play in the mighty AL East, but their biggest obstacle to overcome Monday will be their starting pitcher’s record against the Rangers. David Price will take the mound 1-4 against the Rangers in regular season and 0-3 in the postseason.
The Rangers will give the ball to Martin Perez and his 3.05 ERA (last 11 games). The bullpen has been one of the best in all of baseball, so if they need to pull the plug early manager Ron Washington would have no hesitation.
Nelson Cruz officially ended his 50-game suspension and has been notified that he will be active for game 163. It has not been determined if he will start or just be available, but you would think they will add him to the lineup.