How wide is gap between Texas and LAA?

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The first series between the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers is over and the Angels leave town eight games back of Texas.

Does the gap seem even wider than that?

Maybe it's the gap between Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols right now that makes the distance between the Rangers and Angels look like the Grand Canyon. The Angels' top offseason acquisition was 2-for-12 in the series with one RBI. Both hits were singles. He's hitting .196 on the season. Pujols has one homer and 12 RBIs in 2012.

Compare that to Hamilton, who hit nine homers and had 18 RBIs in his last week. If the season ended today, he'd win the Triple Crown, leading the league with a .402, 18 homers and 44 RBIs.

The Rangers' offense pounded out 25 runs on 39 hits. They batted .358 as a team with five homers (including a grand slam by Nelson Cruz on Sunday), nine doubles and two triples. They scored an average of 8.3 runs per game in the series and had a .615 slugging percentage. Texas held the Angels to 13 runs on 24 hits and they batted just .235 as a team. They averaged four fewer runs per game in the series.

Texas lit up Jered Weaver, whose no-hitter was just two starts ago. They tagged him for eight runs and the pitcher was gone after 3 1/3 innings, his shortest start in 2 1/2 seasons. The only loss for the Rangers was Saturday afternoon, when they sleep-walked through a 4-2 loss. They won't admit they were tired, but they had to be. A doubleheader Thursday in Baltimore, a late flight back to Texas, a night game Friday that included a one-hour, 56-minute rain delay and then a quick turnaround for a noon game. The Angels, who had Thursday off in Texas, were better rested. That doesn't take anything away from C.J. Wilson, who pitched well Saturday in the win.

But the bottom line: The Rangers were the better team this past weekend and they've been the better team since the season began.

It's still early, but an eight-game deficit is a lot to make up. The teams still have 16 more head-to-head matchups, but nothing about what we saw this weekend gives any indication that the Angels would win a huge chunk of those to really alter things. What it will take is an extended winning streak by the Angels and a long stretch of struggles for Texas. It's still difficult for me to imagine that happening.

When the season began, both teams were considered AL contenders and many media members and fans picked the Angels to win the World Series. That, of course, could still happen. There's an extra playoff team and no one -- especially the Rangers -- expect the Angels to play like this for much longer. They'll get it together. And if they make the postseason with that pitching staff and a hot Pujols, they could be dangerous.

But even so, they still aren't better than the Rangers. That was clear again this weekend.