Kenny Rogers was scheduled to pitch against the Angels on Thursday on the normal 4 days rest. Apparently his manager, Buck Showalter, gave him the option of not starting in that game in order to start the next day (yesterday) against the A's. Given the choice, Rogers chose to pitch against the A's. Kenny Rogers is by far the best starting pitcher on the Rangers. He is an all-star and is 6th in the AL in ERA.
Now teams are free to do as they please. Having been eliminated teams often use the last portion of the their schedule to test out some of their prospects even if it means sitting out some regulars. They may be slightly less competitive in these games but they benefit in the long term.
However, there is an unwritten rule that you do not do this if the team you are playing is in a realistic run for a play-off spot. To do so would be unfair to the other team(s) involved in that play-off race. Basically, teams out of the race should not have an undue influence on the race.
So putting these two things together it is clear that Showalter and Rogers have had an undue influence on the outcome of this race. Here is how much. It is totally realistic to imagine the Angels losing to the Rangers and Rogers on Thursday and for the A's to have beaten whatever rookie starter they would have faced last night. Folks, that's a swing of 2, yes 2, games in the standings.
If this wasn't enough. Suppose the A's make a dramatic comeback and are still in it with three games to go. The Angels are in Texas that weekend and would totally miss Rogers again since Rogers should now be scheduled to pitch next Wednesday and then not again. Yes he could come back on 3 days rest for the last game of the season but you'd have to think that even if he did he would be far less effective and not go as deep into the game.
In my view, this is unacceptable and I would hope that at the very least Bud Selig would look into the matter.