AL West Showdown in Arlington, TX
The California Angels (sorry Halos, but that is easier to type) are getting healthy just in time for a trip to Arlington. Good, I'd hate to see a watered-down version of the Angels coming to town.
I'm not going to break this series down with stats. I'm not even going to talk about the Rangers pitching or late inning dramatics. I'm also not going into detail how the Rangers and Angels are the hottest teams in baseball coming into this weekend matchup. This series isn't about any of that.
This series is about attitude.
The Angels have whipped the baby Rangers all over the baseball field the past few years. They are a well-oiled, finely-tuned machine of established pitchers and heavy bats who walked into Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and had their way with the young, inexperienced staff of the Rangers.
That is all in the past now, because the baby Rangers are growing up quickly.
Are they big enough to punch back this year? We'll find out for sure this weekend, but I believe they are. More importantly, the Rangers believe they are.
Outfielder Marlon Byrd told the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, "It doesn’t matter who we face, we’ve faced Lackey enough. They probably feel they need to throw him out there at some point in time, and why not against us. I don’t know what his success rate is against us, but he better bring his A game."
Now the Halos are a professional bunch who are well aware of what the Rangers have been doing lately. They will not take these Rangers for granted and will answer Byrd's call to bring their best.
This series won't be easy for either team, as emotions should be higher than usual. The Angels want to reestablish themselves as the division leader while the Rangers are trying to prove they are for real.
It's like throwing gasoline on a flame for this rivalry. The better team may not be clear after this series, but, no matter what happens, these two clubs will still be close together in the standings with a lot of baseball left to play.
It all comes down to attitude. Will the bully of the American League West win again, or do the baby Rangers finally have a strong enough right hook?
We'll find out, starting tonight at 7:05 CST.
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