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Where things stand with the Rangers and making the playoffs

Texas is very, very close to clinching a playoff spot...but they aren’t there yet

MLB: SEP 27 Rangers at Angels Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Texas Rangers have four games remaining in the 2023 regular season. They are 89-69, in first place in the American League West. Texas is 2.5 games up on the Houston Astros, who are 87-72, and 4 games up on the Seattle Mariners, who are 85-73. The Toronto Blue Jays, who are fighting with Texas, Seattle and Houston for a Wild Card spot, are 87-71.

As of today, the Baltimore Orioles, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Minnesota Twins have all clinched playoff spots. The Twins have clinched the American League Central title, while one of the Rays and Orioles will win the A.L. East, and the other will have the Wild Card One spot.

So that leaves Texas, Houston, Seattle and Toronto all vying for playoff spots. One of the American League West teams will win the American League West, and Wild Card Two and Wild Card Three will go to two of the three remaining teams.

Texas, at this point, has a 91.6% chance of winning the division, per Fangraphs, and a 99.2% chance of making the playoffs. That means, of course, that there is a 0.8% chance (per Fangraphs) of the Rangers NOT making the playoffs.

So what would have to happen for lightning to strike and the Rangers to NOT make the playoffs? It would require the following:

The Rangers would have to be swept in the four game series in Seattle

The Astros would have to win exactly two of three of their upcoming games in Arizona against the Diamondbacks

The Blue Jays would have to win at least three of their four remaining games (one against the Yankees and three against the Rays, all at home)

So if the Rangers win any of the four games in Seattle, they are in the playoffs. If the Astros sweep the Diamondbacks, or win one or no games against the Diamondbacks, the Rangers are in the playoffs. If Toronto loses two or more of their remaining four games, the Rangers are in the playoffs.

In regards to winning the division, if the Rangers win two or more games of this series in Seattle, they win the A.L. West. If the Rangers win win one of the four games in Seattle, and the Astros do not sweep the D-Backs, the Rangers win the division. If the Rangers get swept by the Mariners, and the Astros win one or zero games against the D-Backs, the Rangers win the division.

If the Rangers win the A.L. West, they will also have a bye and not play until Saturday, October 7, in the ALDS, unless 1) the Rangers get swept by the Mariners but still win the division, and 2) the Twins win their final four games (one against Oakland and three at Colorado). If the Rangers have a bye, the would end up playing the winner of the Twins v. WC3 Wild Card Series.

If the Rangers win the division but do not get a bye, they would play WC3 in the Wild Card Series that would start on Tuesday, October 3.

If the Rangers end up with the WC2 spot, they would play whichever one of Tampa and Baltimore does not win the A.L. East in the Wild Card Series.

If the Rangers end up with the WC3 spot, they would most likely face off against Minnesota in the ALDS, though if Minnesota wins all four of their games and Seattle wins the A.L. West, then Texas would end up playing Seattle in the Wild Card Series.