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MLB Standings: Rangers, Athletics meet with AL West on the line

The Texas Rangers have been in control of the American League West all season, yet they could still lose the division on the season's final day.

Game 162 between the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics Wednesday in Oakland will determine the winner of the AL West, with the loser still assured a playoff berth. However, that loser will have to tangle with either the New York Yankees or Baltimore Orioles in a one-game Wild Card playoff on Friday, while the winner is assured a spot in the best-of-5 Wild Card round.

Oakland beat Texas 3-1 on Tuesday to move into a first-place tie, something few could have predicted before the season when it looked like Oakland was a distant also-ran to Texas and the Anaheim Angels. The A's were behind by 13 games on June 30.

The Rangers came into the three-game series needing only a win to clinch the division, but now find themselves on the verge of losing it and having to play an extra game en route to a third-straight American League title after losing two straight to the A's.

Ryan Dempster looks to cement the division for the Rangers in Wednesday's season finale. He'll face Oakland starter A.J. Griffin. First pitch is scheduled for 2:35 p.m. CT.

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