Only one week remains in the MLB season, and most teams are cruising into the playoffs.
However, a few teams out of the AL West are sputtering into the postseason and likely will enter the postseason with little to no momentum.
The Rangers have lost five out of their last ten. This isn't too shabby, but their all-around trajectory is nonetheless sharply downward.
The Rangers are supposed to be the league's elite offense. They lead the majors in runs scored, sit second in batting average and third in on-base percentage.
Yet, in September, the Rangers have gone cold and are 15th in runs, 14th in BA and 20th in OBP.
Usual performers Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus are all hitting less than .240 this month. That won't cut it in October.
With a middle-tier pitching staff, the Rangers need to score to win. If they can't re-ignite their offense, Texas will be in serious trouble.
The Rangers, in all likelihood, will still win the AL West. They enter the weekend 4 games ahead of the A's, but still need to finish stronger offensively to gain momentum into the postseason.
The A's haven't been able to hit all year. They currently sit 28th in BA, 24th in OBP and 17th in runs.
Yet, the A's simply have figured out how to win games. They get it done with walk-offs, timely pitching performances and solid, fundamental baseball.
Oakland's lack of offense, however, finally is translating into losses. The magic is running out.
They've lost nine out of thirteen and have allowed the Angels to re-enter the wild card race.
Furthermore, their rookie-heavy pitching staff finally is showing their inexperience and inconsistency. In September, the A's are 15th in ERA compared to 6th on the season.
At this point, the A's may not even make the playoffs. They certainly won't get past the first round unless their rookie pitchers recover or their game-winning magic returns.