AL West, 13 June 2016:
1 Texas, 39-24 (+38 Run Differential) 2 Seattle, 34-29 (+55) 3 Houston, 30-35 (-17) 4 Los Angeles, 27-36 (-34) 5 Oakland, 26-36 (-58)
For the time being, just consider this a Rangers blog. So if you aren’t into that kind of thing I don’t know what to tell you.
Texas has the best record in the American League. They are 5 games ahead of the second-place Mariners, and at least 11 games ahead in the loss column of everyone else in the division. Since losing 8-1 in Oakland on May 18th, the Rangers are 17-5 and have outscored the opposition 113-74 (+39).
More importantly, Texas has been playing its best baseball against intra-division competition. Over the last three weeks they’ve played Houston (7 times), Seattle (6 times) and LAA (3 times), going 13-3 over that stretch.
In the same time frame — since May 19th — Seattle has gone 11-12, and Houston a more respectable 13-10 (with 6 of those losses coming to the Rangers). I still write about the Astros in the same breath as Texas and Seattle, because I’m still a believer. I’m betting at some point this season that they will peel off 18 or 19 wins out of 25, and get back in the race. I hope I’m wrong.
At the moment, the Rangers are tied with the Red Sox — at 10-to-1 — for the best odds of an American League club winning the World Series, according to Bovada. Only the Cubs (7:2), Nationals (15:2) and Giants (17:2), all National League teams, have better odds.
The Mariners (20:1) currently pay double the return Texas would, and Houston (40:1) quadruple that of the Rangers.
For context, the same betting site is telling us that Bernie Sanders has a better chance of becoming the next president of the United States (33:1) than the Astros do of winning the World Series in 2016.