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Old 09-16-2015, 04:21 AM   #1
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Astros, Rangers playing meaningful September baseball

The Houston Astros and Texas Rangers finished the 2014 season separated by only three games. They met in the final week of the season for a crucial three game series in Arlington. The Rangers swept the Astros, and it meant absolutely nothing. 

So why are things different in September 2015 as this season winds to a close?

Because while the separation in the standings is roughly the same, their place in the standings is very, very different.

The winner of Tuesday's matchup will be in first place in the division with less than three weeks remaining in the season.

The two surprise teams have created a rivalry that, for all intents and purposes, has never existed before.

The animosity between the two cities fan bases has always been there, but with the teams in opposite leagues until 2013, a "rivalry" really didn't exist.

Then for the first two seasons with the Rangers and Astros in the same division, the games against each other carried little weight since the Astros were among the worst teams in baseball and the Rangers joined them at the bottom in 2014.

That is old news though. The new headlines have the Astros and Rangers playing each other in two series over the final three weeks of the season in some of the most pivotal games in the majors remaining.

Real rivalries begin when teams are playing for something important. 

A division title is on the  line for the Astros and Rangers.

That's something.

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