In baseball, every game counts. That can seem hard to believe or sound like a cliche in April or May when there are still more than 100 games left, but it really is true. Each team plays 162 games, and every one of them counts.
Texas Rangers fans are well aware of this. If their team had won just one more game, they would have been the AL West champions instead of the Houston Astros. Instead, the Astros won the division because of a tiebreaker, earned a first-round bye and have home-field advantage for their current ALCS matchup with the Rangers as a result.
That hasn't stopped Texas from winning the first two games of the series on the road, however. With the Rangers needing just two more wins to advance to the World Series, their fans are already looking ahead to the Fall Classic, where Texas will have a crucial edge.
If the Rangers reach the World Series, they will have home-field advantage regardless of who they're playing. That's because this time, the tiebreaker actually works in their favor.
If they face the Arizona Diamondbacks, they automatically get home-field advantage thanks to their superior regular-season record (90 wins vs. 84). If they face the Philadelphia Phillies, they still have home-field advantage even though both teams went 90-72.
That's because Texas won the lone regular-season series between the two clubs, which occurred all the way back at the start of the season. It was literally the first series of the season for both teams, and the Rangers swept it in dominant fashion, outscoring the Phillies 29-11.
Texas started the season hot, and Philadelphia didn't. No one knew it at the time, but that series may end up playing a huge role in who wins the 2023 World Series.
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