The Path to the Playoffs: An Angels-centric View of the MLB Schedule

The big talk among Angels fans is the likelihood of the Angels making the postseason. The good news is that they have ample opportunity to play their way in as 20 of their remaining 51 contests are against teams ahead of them in the Wild Card standings. But, does the schedule offer any more opportunities or drawbacks?

Here is the framework of this breakdown. I am considering the Angels, White Sox, Tigers, Rays, A's and Orioles as Wild Card contenders. The White Sox/Tigers race is so close that the two teams essentially act as the same place marker, in my opinion. I did not include the Red Sox as contenders but do mention them because they could play a significant spoiler for several teams, including the Angels who play them six times over the next two weeks.

Angels -- 20 games against Wild Card contenders, 6 against Texas. A series win, or even split with the Rays over the weekend and the Angels should stay in the thick of the race as Tampa heads into a brutal last six weeks of the season. In mid September the Halos play 10 straight games against the A's and Tigers, a great opportunity to gain ground or get in football mode.

Rays -- 13 games against Wild Card contenders, 6 against Texas, 6 against NYY. The four games the Rays and Angels play against each other this weekend are huge as Tampa Bay easily has a more difficult path to 90 wins. They also have 7 games against Boston. Basically, they spend a month playing teams ahead of the Angels, and somebody has to lose each night.

Orioles -- 15 games against Wild Card contenders, 7 against NYY. Six of their 15 are against the Rays and none are against the Angels, who are guaranteed an opportunity to gain a game on the loser of each contest. Baltimore also has 9 left to play against Boston.

A's -- 16 games against Wild Card contenders, 7 against Texas, 3 against NYY. Oakland plays the Angels 7 times in 10 days, then goes on stretch of 16 consecutive games against Wild Card contenders or division leaders. Oakland gets no breaks from the schedule, but the Angels can't afford to lose games to them.

White Sox/Tigers -- 7 head to head matchups, Det. 6 vs. LAA, CWS 3 vs. LAA. The AL Central title is likely to go to whoever wins the head to head battles between these two. The wildcard battle between the Central runner up and the Angels will also likely boil down to the winner of the head to head matchups, particularly if it is Detroit.

Overall, I would say the difficulty of the Angels remaining schedule is about the middle of the pack compared to the other teams in the mix. With plenty of games remaining against the direct competition, they are fully in control of their own destiny. Plus, pretty much every night in September, at least one of the competitor teams is guaranteed a loss, on several nights two.

Hopefully you find this helpful and it gives you a better idea on the non-Angels series to keep an eye on.

This Fan-Post is authored by an independent fan. Tell us what you think and how you feel.

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