The Rangers swept the Astros in a four-game series, outscoring them by 20 runs and taking away the Astros lead in the American League West. Houston now trails Texas by two and a half games.
That’s not saying that the Astros have no chance at making the playoffs or even winning the division. They have 12 games left to play including another three game series against Texas at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Plus the other three series are also against AL West teams that are statistically, at least in the win-loss column, inferior teams.
Baseball has seen all kinds of comebacks. Two and a half games isn’t a big one. In 2012 the Oakland Athletics trailed the Rangers by five games in the AL West with nine games left to play and ended up winning the division title. That is just one of many remarkable comebacks throughout baseball’s long history.
It seems, however, that the Rangers are really the ones making the incredible comeback. They were written off by most of baseball when they lost ace Yu Darvish to Tommy John surgery just prior to the season and have managed to surge back, out of obscurity, to now be sitting atop the division.
It may be that it is just not the Astros’ time yet. They are a young team They may end up, as predicted at the beginning of the season, not making the playoffs.
Prior to the season and the Astros’ version of the home run derby during the first half, Yahoo Sports’ called the Astros’ best case scenario ending up in third place, which would have put them nowhere near the playoffs.
Yet, they still hold a one and a half game lead over the Minnesota Twins for the American League’s second wild card spot. Is it a lead they can keep? Absolutely. Is it a lead they are likely to keep? The answer to that question remains up in the air.