Aug 15, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (29) is congratulated by designated hitter Prince Fielder (84) after hitting a three run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The American League Wild Card has seen quite a bit of drama this season. Over the last month or so, there have been as many as six different teams to lead either the first or second spot.
This week, a seventh team has emerged as the Texas Rangers currently sit 1.5 games up for the second Wild Card. The Rangers are the most unlikely team of any to be in this position.
Injuries took away three-fifths of their opening day starting rotation to start the season including Cy Young candidate Yu Darvish. The bats of Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland have kept the Rangers floating around .500 and now other guys are starting to pitch in.
Since the All-Star break, the Rangers are 22-13 and their offense is second in the AL in batting average and third in runs over that time frame. Adrian Beltre, Shin-Soo Choo, Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor are all shaking off slow starts and now scoring and driving in runs at a impressive clip.
Also to the surprise of many, the addition of Mike Napoli has proven to be pretty effective. Since join the Rangers, Napoli is hitting .318 in 11 games while facing mostly left-handed pitching.
Now if they can just get Cole Hamels (4.73 ERA in four starts with Texas) to pitch at the level we all know he is capable of, maybe the pitching can finally give the offense some support.
Other teams who enjoyed success last week include the San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks and Toronto Blue Jays.
Teams who struggled a bit last week include the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles
Here are the power rankings for the week.
Next: Dodgers and Giants slide.