American League West Forecast (August 16)
As I boldly predicted back in February, the Rangers sit fairly comfortably on top of the American League West Division in mid-August.
Ok, that’s not even close to what I predicted. I made the mistake of thinking that the computers that Billy Beane programs to draw walks for him would win the West. I guess that didn’t work out. Oh well. Egg on my face.
Currently, the standings for the division look like this:
|Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||65||57||0.533||5||3.9||3.8|
Currently, coolstandings.com puts the Angels’ odds at about 10% to overcome the Rangers.
Doesn’t seem too far off, but I could see it being closer to 15-20%
The Angels can definitely make it up head-to-head, as they play the Rangers nine more times this season, after losing last night to them 8-4. The other advantage the Angels have is an easier overall schedule down the stretch; while the Angels do have to face off against the Yankees in a 3-game set, the Texas Rangers have 6 games remaining against the Boston Red Sox and 6 more against the Tampa Bay Rays while also playing more games against the highly motivated American League Central contenders.
The Angels, of course, have to make up 5 games in 40 which is no easy challenge. They can take themselves right out of the race if they get swept by Texas in their current 4-game set.
A curious comparison: Mike Napoli was traded from the Angels as part of a trade to acquire Vernon Wells from the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays subsequently traded Napoli to the Rangers in the offseason. At no point in the first transaction was Napoli considered a comparable player to Wells; the whole reason for the trade was for the Blue Jays to clear out some payroll, presumably so they could hire more men in white to spy for them. Here’s a little comparison of those two:
|Vernon Wells||Mike Napoli|
If WAR is to be believed, the Angels paid 17 million dollars to be 5 games out of first instead of ahead by a game.
Not Tony Reagins’s greatest moment.