Texas Rangers pitcher Max Scherzer will miss at least the rest of the regular season after suffering a teres major injury in Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays. He could also miss the postseason, though the Rangers were already on the cusp of losing a playoff berth before Scherzer’s setback.

The teres major is a small muscle in the shoulder, and while Scherzer will not require surgery to treat the injury, the strain will prevent him from appearing on the mound again for the foreseeable future. In addition to Jacob deGrom and Nathan Eovaldi, the Rangers have now lost three top pitchers to injury in a single season.

“In some ways, I was almost relieved that it’s not worse,” Scherzer told reporters Wednesday. “It’s not surgery. Talking about the doctors, I fully expect to make a full recovery.”

With an 81-64 record, Texas recently overtook the Seattle Mariners for second place in the AL West division. Both teams are within two games of the first-place Houston Astros, setting up a tense three-way fight for the division with less than 20 games remaining.


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The two losing teams in the division battle will have to resort to the AL Wild Card to make the playoffs. If the season ended after last night’s games, both the Rangers and Mariners would earn postseason berths with the two final spots in the Wild Card, but the Blue Jays are just one game behind Seattle with an 80-66 record.

When the Rangers acquired Scherzer from the Mets at the trade deadline, giving away top prospect Luisangel Acuna in the process, the plan was for him to fill in as the team’s ace during a massive playoff push. Instead, Scherzer struggled at times, earning a 4-2 record and 3.20 ERA in eight starts. In a highly anticipated matchup against his Astros rival and former teammate Justin Verlander, Houston batters ended his night early and went on to win the game 12-3.

Following Scherzer’s injury, many sportsbooks made the Rangers the third favorite to win the AL West despite their current half-game lead over the Mariners for second. The team’s offense, stellar all year, will need to continue providing run support as the regular season quickly comes to a close.

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