It took the Texas Rangers 11 years, but they are back in the playoffs.

With their 4-3 victory over the Oakland A’s on Saturday, the Rangers clinched their first division title since 1999 and now will have a chance to do something they have never done before—win the World Series.

Of course, the keys for the Rangers as they head to the postseason:

A. Health

B. The starting rotation


When I say health, I really mean Josh Hamilton.

Hamilton hasn’t played since colliding with the outfield wall and injuring his ribs in a game against the Minnesota Twins on September 4. He hopes to play in a game this week, but if he is not ready to go, that will be a big blow to the Rangers lineup.

As I wrote last week, the Rangers lineup without Hamilton doesn’t look nearly as imposing as with him in it. David Murphy and Julio Borbon are nice players, but no Hamilton.

The other question I have about the Rangers heading into the postseason is who is going to step up after Cliff Lee? C.J. Wilson has had a great season, but he has showed signs of slowing down in September (5.24 ERA and over a hit per inning against).

Remember, Wilson coming into this season never threw more than 73.2 innings in a season. He is approaching 200 innings this year. If the Rangers are going to go deep into the playoffs, Wilson might have to throw 230 innings this season. That is a huge increase in workload.

One last thing I want to say about the Rangers is congratulations to Michael Young. After playing in over 1,500 games in his career, Young will be heading to the playoffs for the first time in his career.

Young is one of the good guys in the game and one of my favorite players in baseball. Good for him.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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