The final day of the regular season, and the Rangers have the third best record in baseball, are up 9 games in the A.L. West, and are at this point simply gearing up for the ALDS, which starts on Friday.
There's still meaningful baseball going on today, however...the Tigers are playing the Indians at 6:05 Central, while the Rangers game starts at 7:05 Central. A Tigers loss, or a Rangers win, means Texas gets home field advantage in the ALDS and will play the wild card team.
Meanwhile, both wild card races are currently deadlocked. Boston faces Baltimore and Tampa faces New York this evening, and if Boston and Tampa both win or both lose, they will play a one game playoff tomorrow. In the N.L. race, Atlanta hosts Philadelphia tonight and St. Louis is at Houston, and again, if both teams win or lose, they will have a one game playoff on Thursday.
For all the complaints in past years that the wild card has destroyed what would have been exciting playoff races, the opposite has been the case this season. Every division winner has a big lead, and the races have been largely decided for some time. The wild card has saved this from being a very boring final week of the season.
Jeff Wilson's game story talks about how last night's 10-3 win meant the 2011 Rangers matched the highest win total in team history, with only the 1999 Rangers having also recorded 95 wins.
T.R. Sullivan says in his game story that Colby Lewis solidified his hold on a spot in the postseason rotation with his performance last night.
Richard Durrett offers his thoughts on last night's win.
Evan Grant writes that, with the Rangers able to clinch home field in the ALDS with a win, Ron Washington is planning on playing all his regulars today, rather than rolling out the spring training type lineup we'd see if the team's place was already set.
Wilson writes that, while Ron Washington isn't tipping his hand, it appears that the Rangers' post-season rotation will be set up to go C.J. Wilson, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, and then Matt Harrison.
Anthony Andro takes a look at the pros and cons of the Rangers' three possible ALDS opponents.
Durrett writes that Colby Lewis feels ready for the playoffs.
Grant writes that Ian Kinsler hit the 30/30 mark last night, but that Kinsler believes registering 120 runs scored is the more important number.
Andres Blanco's ongoing back problems mean he may not make the postseason roster.
Drew Davison's notes in the S-T talk about Nelson Cruz's swing, Adrian Beltre's contributions to the team, and Matt Harrison's breakthrough season.
Sullivan's notes discuss Michael Young starting at shortstop yesterday, Koji Uehara's role in the bullpen, and Cruz and Beltre.