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Reaching even one World Series is tough, let alone three, but the Rangers will find a way to work through the minefield in the AL to reach the Fall Classic.
It will certainly be difficult, but when you take a look at the rest of the American League contenders, each suffers a major flaw.
The Detroit Tigers are without reliable starting pitching behind Justin Verlander.
New York has the same problem, as they continue to search for a complement for CC Sabathia.
The White Sox are hard charging, but they have even less pitching depth than the Yankees and Tigers.
Tampa Bay has a problem scoring, and the Red Sox can't figure out a way to stop beating themselves.
The A's, well, they're Oakland after all, they’ll fall out of the race sometime soon.
Leaving, guess who, the Angels.
Next to the Rangers, they're the most complete team in the MLB, and also represent Texas' biggest obstacle in reaching another World Series.
But, the Rangers have an edge over their AL West rivals come playoff time—home-field advantage from winning the division (as predicted in slide two), and, most importantly, not having to play in the wild-card game.
The battle between the two wild-card teams will be only a single contest, and, in that short a sample, anything can happen.
The Angels will certainly be the best team on the field if they are forced to compete in the matchup. However, baseball's a fickle game, and if you run into a hot pitcher or a lineup at the wrong time, you’re done.
The Rangers won’t have to contend with that.
This gives a distinct advantage in October. It keeps them out of an elimination game while also allowing them to set their playoff rotation.
These subtle differences will separate Texas from the Angels, and will spur the Rangers to a third straight World Series.