The Texas Rangers have gone through a roller-coaster month in the American League West. They were 72-48 in mid-August, 24 games over .500 and fully in control (at the time) in their division. At that point in time, everyone thought the Rangers would get the No. 2 seed in the American League playoffs and a bye in the wild card series, moving directly into the American League Division Series. Then, abruptly, the Rangers unraveled. Their bullpen, which had been holding things together for four and a half months without any severe and sustained implosions, finally collapsed. The starting pitchers also wobbled. Some injuries (Josh Jung, Jonah Heim) interrupted the flow, momentum and production from the batting order. The Rangers went into a genuine tailspin, losing 16 of 20 games to fall to 76-64, only 12 games over .500. They were out of the playoffs for a brief period of time. They were third in the A.L. West behind the Seattle Mariners (who were briefly first) and Houston Astros for a brief stretch of time. They were 1.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays in the wild card race.
The Rangers were watching their season slip away.
Then, out of nowhere, they regained their winning ways, sweeping the Blue Jays four games in Toronto to move 2.5 games ahead of the Jays in the wild card race and improve their standing in the A.L. West.
Then they lost the plot in their next four games, losing three in Cleveland and one at home to Boston to once again fall into an extremely precarious position. The Rangers continued to create anxiety among their fan base.
Their response? They have won six in a row, sweeping three from the Mariners over the weekend. They are now 2.5 games ahead of the Astros with six games left in the season. It seems the Rangers are going to get that No. 2 playoff seed after all, but they do have to win a few more games to lock it down.
Here are the Rangers-Angels MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Rangers-Angels Odds
Texas Rangers: -1.5 (-108)
Los Angeles Angels: +1.5 (-111)
Over: 9 (-102)
Under: 9 (-120)
How To Watch Rangers vs. Angels
TV: Bally Sports Southwest (Rangers) / Bally Sports West (Angels) / MLB Extra Innings, MLB Network (national)
Time: 9:38 p.m. ET/6:38 p.m. PT
*Watch Rangers-Angels LIVE on fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Rangers Could Cover The Spread
The Rangers have veered from awful to great to awful to great, but right now, they're great. The pitching is back on track, the timely offense is there, and the bullpen isn't getting shelled. When the Rangers are playing like this, they are extremely difficult to play against. Moreover, the Angels are without Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout and are basically playing out the string with a hollowed-out roster and no really big weapons to counter the Rangers' hitting depth and quality.
Why The Angels Could Cover The Spread
The Angels could play spoiler, and they certainly have nothing to lose. They can just let it rip, and that could be something the Rangers' pitching staff might not welcome in Anaheim.
Final Rangers-Angels Prediction & Pick
The Rangers are closing in on a division title. They also know that if they take care of the Angels, they will face minimal pressure for their upcoming trip to Seattle. They know they want to finish the job now. Take Texas.
Final Rangers-Angels Prediction & Pick: Rangers -1.5