Revisiting The Key To The AL West


Back on June 25 I posted an article that examined the possible key to winning a division. Basically, I examined the claims that Texas had won their division in 2010 by dominating interleague play, and in 2011 by cleaning up in games against their division foes.

What I surmised in that article (if you’d care to read it in its entirety you can do so here, was that a combination of interleague and intradivision wins was a much more important number than either considered separately.

Also in that article, I focused on the Rangers and the Angels. Although the Angels are far from eliminated from contention, the A’s are the immediate threat to Texas. For that reason, I’m going to re-examine the situation.

The Rangers, again, dominated the senior circuit. They went 14-4 against the National League this year. Unfortunately, they haven’t exactly been spectacular when playing their AL West bunk mates. So far this year, Texas is 21-10 against Oakland, Los Angeles, and Seattle. That record is respectable, but disappointing when you consider 16 of those games have been against the cellar dwelling, run starved Mariners. That gives Texas a record of 35-24 in the games we’re looking at for this article That’s a .593 winning percentage, which is pretty darned close to the Rangers’ overall winning percentate of .595.

During that same time, Oakland had gone 10-8 against the National League and 25-22 against the AL West. That gives them a 35-30 record in the same types of games, for a .538 winning percentage in the games of my somewhat arbitrary choosing.

Interleague play is long gone, and Texas has nothing left but games against the AL West. Seven of those are head to heads against Oakland, including the final three game series of the season. Conveniently, Texas currently leads the A’s by three games.

Both the Rangers and Oakland are on the road for their next two series. While Oakland travels to Detroit and New York, Texas needs to make hay in Los Angeles and Seattle. After that, it’s all division play for both teams. It looks like thing will, indeed, come down to who takes care of business in the west.

Chris Kautz is a Senior Staff Writer for ShutDowninning. He can be reached at or on Twitter @SDIChris.
Chris Kautz

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