It's not the biggest story and probably shouldn't be, but I'm not sure enough people have heard about the Texas Rangers winning 10 straight games. Last night they ran their record 43-28 and now they -- and not the Red Sox or the Rays or any other agglomeration -- have the second-best record in the majors.
Are they really this good? Maybe they are. Before the season, they were probably the best team in the American League West on paper ... but on paper, we had no idea that Colby Lewis would be this good, or that Josh Hamilton would play better than he's ever played, or that Vladimir Guerrero would return to his Hall of Fame form. Of course, neither had we any idea that Nelson Cruz would miss half the season, or that Rich Harden would last only five innings per start, or that David Murphy's power would desert him.
There are just so many moving parts. The Rangers have 14 players with at least 50 plate appearances and 14 pitchers with at least 18 innings. Among those 28 players, none have done exactly as you would have guessed, and many have done significantly different. Things will settle down some as the season moves along, but, of course, there will be more hitters and more pitchers then, too.
The Rangers were supposed to win this season, and I think they'll keep winning. Just not quite this much.
Meanwhile, they're not the only streakers. The White Sox have won eight straight, the Mariners six straight and the Dodgers have lost six in a row. In the case of the White Sox and Dodgers, they've merely reached their natural levels (according to my preseason guesses based on all those moving parts).
I don't believe the White Sox will keep winning or that the Dodgers will keep losing. Meanwhile, the Mariners ... Well, as interesting as they've suddenly become -- did you know they have three starting pitchers with ERAs well below 3? And Felix Hernandez isn't even one of them. This hole's far too deep to dig from before October. Considering the likely haul they'll get from trading Cliff Lee and His Super Amazing Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio, they'll be good candidates for the mythical Comeback Team of the Year Award in 2011.