Rangers fans seem to keep feeling good, and why not, with the team in first place:
AL West Standings
|Los Angeles||26||25||.509||0.5||Won 1|
(updated 5.26.2011 at 11:05 AM CDT)
Rangers fans are checking in at a confidence level of 78 this week, and while that's still lower than the delusional Cowboys fans' confidence level, it is higher than last week's 74 and a huge jump over 2 weeks ago.
One of the things that jumps out at me, though, when looking at B-R's expanded standings is the A.L. West's record in 1 run games. The Rangers are 6-9 in 1 run games, which isn't good, and which is a reflection on the number of walk-off losses they've had this year...
But Anaheim and Oakland, the Rangers' two primary challengers, are even worse in one run games, at 7-11. Only Seattle, at 9-9, is even a .500 team in 1 run games in the West.
Despite 15 one run games, though, Texas only has 3 extra inning games so far in 2011 (in which they are 1-2). That puts the Rangers on pace for just 10 extra inning games on the year, after having 17 in 2010, one of the highest numbers in baseball.
Oakland, meanwhile, has played 12 extra inning games already -- more than they had all last season -- while Anaheim has played 11 extra inning games.
Clearly, the Rangers' strategy should be to have Oakland and Anaheim continue to play lots of extra inning games, taxing their bullpens and wearing down the the players. Then, late in the season, Oakland and Anaheim will be worn out from all the extra innings, Texas will be fresh, and will be able to run away with the division late in the season.
It seems fool-proof. I can't see how this plan could possibly fail.