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Back On The Right Track

This is feeling really good.

The Orioles series (if you choose to acknowledge its existence) was brutal, but it's a distant memory now. Going in to the houses of two of the best teams in baseball -- including our own house of horrors -- and having only one loss that came in the final out it's quite the confidence boost, and the Baltimore series was long enough ago now it's easy to forget.

And for all practical purposes, the black mark it puts on the Rangers' record has just about been un-done as well. By the expectations posts done here, the Ranger should probably have been expected to win three in Baltimore, with a split having been a little more likely than a sweep. In Boston, the expectations were at roughly two wins, and in Detroit they were at about one. So that's three fewer wins than expected against the Orioles, but already at least two more in the first couple series after the break. I would say the confidence lost from that series is already back, and the damage done to the expected record at this point is a Colby Lewis from being completely wiped away.

And it's been even better than just the record would suggest, becau


se they're not squeaking by overall. They've outscored the teams by a combined 37-17, which is a pythagorean record of .941. As poorly as Texas looked at the start of July, that's how awesome they've been so far in the second half.

Baseball is funny.

Oh, and the Rangers (projection adjusted, to include Mr. Lee) playoff odds at Baseball Prospectus are now at 88%. And they're actually very slightly under-performing their pythagorean record. And, after last night, Josh Hamilton has tied Justin Morneau for the Major League lead in Wins Above Replacement at FanGraphs. And, as I type this out, Robinson Cano just hit a home run to give the Yankees a 5-0 lead over the Angels.

Feels pretty good to be a Rangers fan. I don't get to say that often.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.