The Texas Rangers are in a three-way battle for the AL West title and also in a three-way fight for the AL's final two wild-card spots. The Rangers were just swept three games in Cleveland over the weekend, which didn't help matters, but could get a double shot of good news Monday as they return home to face the Boston Red Sox, with All-Stars Josh Jung and Adolis Garcia both potentially ready to return from the injured list. Texas is a -160 favorite on the SportsLine consensus.
At 82-67, Texas is 1.5 games behind first-place Houston in the AL West with the Astros currently -265 favorites to win the division. The Rangers are +550 longshots. The two teams don't play each other again this season and the Astros won the season series. The Rangers hold the AL's third Wild Card spot, one game ahead of Seattle. Those two still have seven games against one another. Texas is -295 at DraftKings to reach the postseason and +250 to miss.
The 25-year-old Jung was the AL Rookie of the Year favorite for a spell this season but hasn't played since Aug. 6 due to a fractured left thumb. The injury likely removed him from contention for the award, which Baltimore's Gunnar Henderson will likely win. Jung, who is hitting .274 with 22 homers, 67 RBI and an .813 OPS in 109 games, will reportedly rejoin the Rangers in Arlington Monday after an encouraging weekend of rehab. Jung met with Arizona-based hand specialist Dr. Don Sheridan on Thursday and was given full clearance to return to baseball activities, so he should be in Monday's lineup if the team medical staff clears him.
Garcia (.244, 30 HR, .817 OPS) has been out since Sept. 6 with a knee injury but joined the team in Cleveland over the weekend. Reading the tea leaves, Garcia might not have quite the chance Jung does of being activated Monday, but it's still quite possible. Garcia was leading the AL with 100 RBI when he went down but still could catch current leader Kyle Tucker (105) of Houston.
Texas has a magic number of 10 to clinch a playoff spot. Boston's is five… to be eliminated. The Sox (74-76) enter on a four-game losing streak and have fallen into last place in the AL East. Closer Kenley Jansen is on the COVID list.
Boston starts Kutter Crawford (6-7, 4.26 ERA) on the mound. Garcia has a double and two strikeouts off him in three at-bats, while Jung has a double in two at-bats. There are no props up yet for either Texas hitter.
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