Lead at break trends well for Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers go to the All-Star break with a 51-41 record and a lead of one game over the Los Angeles Angels (50-42) in the American League West.

Based on AL West results the last six years, the Rangers should consider their lead, however narrow, a good omen.

The AL West outright leader at the break went on to capture the division title in every season from 2005 to 2010.

The trend was muddied somewhat in 2006 when the Rangers and Oakland were tied for first at the All-Star break. Oakland went on to win the title that season.

Beginning in 2007 the Angels began a three-year run of AL West dominance. Each title was precluded by a lead at the All-Star break. The Angels also captured the division title in 2005 after leading at the break.

The Rangers ended the Angels run last season, leading at the break, taking the AL West title, winning the divisional and league series and going on to play in their first World Series.

Texas unfortunately has the distinction of being the most recent AL West team to hold an outright lead at the break and fail to win the flag. That happened in 2004 at the hands of the Angels.