Angels Fall Short of Playoffs; Rangers Win Division, Astros Get Wild Card

After clinching a postseason appearance on Thursday, and heartbreaking losses on both Friday and Saturday, the Rangers finally clinched the American League West with a 9-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. With the loss, the Angels fall just short of the playoffs, with the Houston Astros earning the second wild card position behind the New York Yankees. 

Following an early 2-0 lead over the Rangers on a two run home run by Albert Pujols, the Angels gave up nine consecutive runs. This included a two run home run by Adrian Beltre in the fifth inning to give the Rangers the 3-2 lead, and a six run seventh inning to seal the division win. Despite a late season push over the last month, the Angels fell just short of reaching the postseason for a second straight season.

For the Rangers, this is their first postseason appearance since 2011 when they won the American League West and got all the way to the World Series before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals. With the Toronto Blue Jays loss in Tampa Bay on Sunday, the Royals clinched the number one seed for the postseason and will face the winner of the Houston-New York wild card game. This leaves the Rangers to go on the road to play against Toronto in the ALDS.

While the Houston Astros were closely watching the scoreboard for the results of the TEX-LAA game, they just needed to win against Arizona and they would be in the playoffs as a wild card team. With the loss by the Angels, the Astros did not need a win to make it into the playoffs but did need a win for any hope of hosting the wild card game. With the 5-3 loss against the Diamondbacks on Sunday, the Astros lost their opportunity to host the Wild Card game, which they would have hosted with a win and a loss by the New York Yankees on Sunday. 

With game 162 done for the three AL West teams of note, the Houston Astros will travel to New York to face the Yankees on Tuesday night, with the winner heading to Kansas City on Thursday  to start a five game series. On the other hand the Rangers will travel to Toronto to begin a five game series against the Blue Jays starting on Thursday. It took all 162 games, but the American League Playoff picture is finally all set.

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