The Los Angeles Angels clinched the American League West divisional title Monday, September 28, with a resounding 11-0 pounding of the second-place Texas Rangers, and the victory turned very emotional for the Angels as they honored their fallen teammate Nick Adenhart. The young pitcher was killed in a car accident at the beginning of the season, and the team dedicated its season to his memory.
With a win by Boston Red Sox, or another loss by the Rangers, the Red Sox will secure the AL Wildcard spot and face the Angels in the American League Divisional Series (ALDS) for the fourth time in the past six years. Boston has owned the Angels, winning the previous three ALDS matchups.
The Angels, one of baseball’s bigger ticket draws, won the World Series in 2002, and has as good a chance as any of the other AL teams to make the playoffs. Once Boston secures their position, which they could do as early as tonight, the last AL playoff spot will go to either the Detroit Tigers or the Minnesota Twins which are battling for the AL Central crown. The two played a thriller today in Detroit that the Twins won 3-2, bringing them to within one game of the divisional lead. The two teams have three more games against each other this week.
On the National League side, the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals have already secured their first round playoff spots. Two spots are left with three teams in the mix: last year’s World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies, the Colorado Rockies and the Atlanta Braves.
The Phillies and Rockies hold the edge, but the Braves have played great baseball in recent weeks to climb back into the race.