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Heads Up

With their win tonight over the Marlins, the Rangers now hold the biggest division lead in baseball, at 2.5 games. Here is their schedule through the All Star Break:

3 @Houston (26-40, -107 run differential)
3 vs. Pittsburgh (23-43, -154)
3 vs. Houston
3 @LAnaheim (37-32, -12)
3 vs. Chicago (31-34, -21)
3 vs. Cleveland (25-40, -56)
4 vs. Baltimore (18-48, -134)

That's 22 games. 16 of them are at home. All are against teams with a negative run differential. 16 of them are against four of the six worst teams in baseball, by record.

For comparison, here is the Angels' schedule:

3 @Chicago NL (30-36, -13)
3 vs. Los Angeles (38-28, +12)
3 vs. Colorado (34-32, +44)
3 vs. Texas (38-28, +45)
3 vs. Kansas City (28-38, -36)
4 @Chicago AL (31-34, -21)
3 @Oakland (33-35, -18)

That isn't the toughest schedule in the world, but the Angels get four fewer home games than the Rangers over the same stretch, and they don't get any of the complete bottom-feeders. These next 12 in particular could be very tough, on account of the Angels aren't very good.

Nothing's going to be decided for sure over the next three weeks. The Angels and Rangers will meet seven times between July 22nd and August 1st, and then another seven times at the end of the season. But the Rangers have already gained some distance, and now they're going to be given an excellent opportunity to run away with this thing. It may not be fair that the Rangers get to feast on the Astros and Pirates while the Angels and Mariners miss them completely and the A's only get three, but with the M's so far out of it, I don't care about fair anymore. I care about the Angels not winning the division, and unless the Rangers totally blow it, then at least in that regard, things are looking up.