Well, what do we know, there’s a real live pennant race brewing in The Lone Star State between the surging and confident Rangers and the “all hands on deck” Astros. It’s a pennant race made in heaven for baseball fans as both teams prepare to face each other in Houston following the Rangers sweep that jettisoned them to the top of the AL West, a position the Astros had held for the previous 50 days.
On July 4th, the Astros stood atop the standings leading the Angels by 4.0 games while the Rangers were treading water at .500 (41!41). The Astros position seemed to be solidified by a Division where no one wanted to or seemed capable of taking charge. The Mariners never appeared to know the season had actually begun, while the Angels were in disrepair and struggling to even keep pace. In essence, it was a Division made for the taking as their opponents woke up asleep at the wheel and the Astros (the supposed team on the horizon with their budding farm system) moved into the void.
The question all along was two-fold……….were the Astros for real……and would a team in the Division arise from their slumber and create a challenge for them? Both questions seemingly have been answered by the Texas Rangers.
The unknown is the interesting part……will the Astros led by Jose Altuve (left) and a solid line of starting pitching be able to withstand the charge of the Rangers…….and can the Rangers ( led by the very underrated Adrian Beltre (right) continue their assault on the Astros next weekend in Houston……..or are they topping out in a position to fall back asleep at the end of a grueling season for both teams?
The best part is (as they say) yet to come (next weekend). But the real truth is that we……as Fans of Baseball we get to see it all unfold.