The Texas Rangers will once again be playing October baseball.
It has become commonplace in Texas to expect the local nine to play deep into the Major League Baseball season. It comes about as naturally as a Nolan Ryan "snow monkey" reference.
And why not?
This incarnation of this Rangers team is just as good as, if not better than, the past two seasons that saw them fall just short of the ultimate goal.
The 2010 team that lost the World Series in five games only won 90 games on the season, posting a 90-72 record.
The 2011 version finished better, with a 96-66 record, but still lost one of the most exciting World Series in recent memory in seven games.
This season, the team will definitely finish better than 2010 and possibly even better than 2011. They are the only AL team to have clinched a playoff spot already, even despite a losing month in July that saw them only go 9-14.
The Rangers should be ready to take things to the next level this season. Here is a preview of the lineup you can expect to get the job done for them this fall.