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The Ranger’s Home Stretch: Monday vs Astros

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Starting pitcher Martin Perez #33 of the Texas Rangers is congratulated by Adrian Beltre #29 during the 3rd inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 20, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri. (credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Martin Perez is congratulated by Adrian Beltre during the 3rd inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals on Sept. 20. (credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – For the second straight season the Rangers have been beaten out by the Oakland Athletics. The A’s wrapped up the AL West with a win over the unrecognizable Minnesota Twins on Sunday.  That leaves Texas with the one game Wild Card as their only hope of making the post-season. Texas will embark on their final home stand of the season, beginning tonight, with the last place Houston Astros. Here’s a look at the Wild Card picture:

WC Standings:

Tampa Bay: 86-69     +0.5

Cleveland:  86-70

Texas:         84-71      1.5GB

Kansas City: 82-73    3.5GB

Remaining Games:

Tampa Bay: Baltimore (1), @ New York Yankees (3), @ Toronto (3)

Cleveland: Chicago White Sox (2), @ Minnesota (4)

Texas: Houston (3), L.A. Angels (4)

Kansas City: @ Seattle(3), @ Chicago White Sox (4)

Tonight’s Pitching match-ups: 

Bal: Chen (7-7, 4.03 era) @ TB: Archer (9-7, 3.02) 2:10 PM

Hou: Lyles (7-8, 5.26 era) @ Tex: Holland (9-9, 3.48 era) 7:05 PM

KC: Ventura (0-0, 1.59 era) @ Sea: Maurer (4-8, 6.95 era) 9:10 PM

Cleveland: Off

What it means:  If Texas wants to get in, they need some help from some teams that are out of contention. Tampa Bay has by far the most difficult schedule, as they have to go on the road to face the Yankees (4.5GB of Tampa), and the Toronto Blue Jays. Cleveland has the easiest of schedules out of the teams in the hunt, as they have the second and third worst teams in the American League remaining. Texas has the lowly Astros for 3, who look like they can’t wait to end their season, as well as the suddenly hot Angels. L.A. has silently crept up in the standings, and are only 3 games under .500. You can certainly bet on both of these AL West foes to want to stick it to the Rangers, over the final 7 games of the season.

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