Baseball experts will tell you that you can’t lose the season in April, but for the Texas Rangers you can sure find out where you stand in the league.
Texas has one of the toughest stretches of the season beginning tonight with a two game pit stop in Boston on their way to Detroit before heading home for a six game home stand with the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. Texas finishes off the month with a trip north of the border to face the AL East dark horse Toronto Blue Jays.
The Rangers season won't be over should they fail this early test, of course, but they would probably end up behind the eight ball in the division.
Texas faces four teams that are .500 or better during the remainder of the month while the Los Angeles Angels face just two over the same period.
And one of them, the Baltimore Orioles, probably has an inflated record having faced only one "powerhouse" in the NY Yankees.
The Angels also face the Rays, but their schedule also includes the Oakland A’s, the Cleveland Indians, and the Minnesota Twins. Those teams have a combined record of 14-17.
Aside from the Angels' advantageous matchups, the Rangers play three of five series on the road, where they're just four games above .500 over the past two seasons.
Four of those road games are at Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers and one of the biggest stumbling blocks for the Rangers who are just 4-16 in their last 20 (not including the playoffs) at the park, losing by an average of 2.3 runs per game.
Should Texas end up just .500 in these games it is probably safe to assume with the Angels schedule that Texas would either lose their lead in the division or remain in front by just a game or two.
This stretch of games won’t kill the Rangers’ season nor will it win the division for them, but it will certainly give them a much clearer picture of where they stack up to the other top teams in the American League.