AL West Standings: Week Four

It was kind of an odd week in the AL West, with no real ground gained or lost by any team, and everyone putting in decidedly mediocre performances on a whole.

1. Texas Rangers (14-8)
Last Seven Days: 3-3
Current Streak: Lost 1
Notes: The Rangers ended last week beating up on the Angels 7-1, but were then routed out of town, giving up 19 runs over last two games of series and scoring only five.  They then took three of four from Kansas City, but only the first game of the series was at all easy, the next three all coming close together.

While Michael Young, Adrian Beltre, and Mitch Moreland are all hitting well for Texas in Josh Hamilton’s absence, it’s clear that the team is still adjusting to life without him.  Moreland, normally a first baseman, has been seeing a lot of outfield time since Hamilton went on the DL, and the transition has been an… interesting one.  The Rangers have also lost Neftali Feliz to the DL to shoulder inflammation, which will put a lot more pressure on an already shaky bullpen.

Next Seven Days: 3 vs TOR, 4 @ OAK

2. Los Angeles Angels (13-10, 1.5 Games Back)
Last Seven Days: 3-4
Current Streak: Won 1
Notes: The week started well for the Angels, as they blasted the Rangers during their trip to Arlington.  Then they faced the Red Sox at home, and that didn’t go nearly as well; they got swept in four games, and never really looked competitive at any point in the series, including getting shut out 5-0 and 7-0 in the last two games of the series.  They did shut out the Athletics last night on the strength of another fantastic start by Jered Weaver, but things seem a little shaky right now in Anaheim.

Weaver, 6-0 with a 0.99 ERA, has already put himself atop the Cy Young candidate list in the very early goings of the 2011 season.  He already has two complete games, including last night’s shutout, and is running a dominant 49 to 10 strikeout to walk ratio in 45 2/3 innings pitched.  His rotation-mate, Dan Haren, has been impressive himself, going 4-1 with a 1.46 ERA, one shutout, 33 strikeouts, and just five walks in 37 innings.

Next Seven Days: 2 vs OAK, day off, 3 @ TB, 1 @ BOS

3. Oakland Athletics (11-12, 3.5 GB)
Last Seven Days: 3-4
Current Streak: Lost 1
Notes: It was a week of splits for the Athletics, going .500 in a 2-game series with Boston and hitting the same mark against Seattle in four games, although they outscored their opponents in both series.  Unfortunately, they then ran in to the buzz-saw known as Jered Weaver, and now have to hope that they can wrangle up some runs against the rest of LA’s staff as they try to catch up to their in-state rivals.

The Athletics have been hitting better of late, led by an impressive run by Coco Crisp during the series against the Mariners.  However, the starting rotation has been the strength of the team so far, with four men posting a sub-3.00 ERA over four-plus starts (Brandon McCarthy makes his fifth start tonight; Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, and Gio Gonzalez are already at five) and at least 30 innings each.

Next Seven Days: 2 @ LAA, day off, 4 vs TEX

4. Seattle Mariners (8-15, 6.5 GB)
Last Seven Days: 3-3
Current Streak: Lost 2
Notes: Hey, the Mariners finally put up a non-losing week!  They even out-scored their opponents 23-20 on the week!  Of course, it took a 13 run game against the Tigers to do that, but hey, I’m not going to judge.

Chone Figgins, Miguel Olivo, and Jack Cust are still three of the worst hitters in the league, but Ichiro is starting to come around, as he frequently does around this time of April.  However, Adam Kennedy has been hitting well, Brendan Ryan has been starting to hit a little better, and Justin Smoak returns tonight after a week on the bereavement list (my condolences to him and his family once more for the loss of his father).  If the hitting continues to slowly perk up and the starting pitching continues to impress, the Mariners may actually be able to threaten to reach a .500 record by the end of May. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Next Seven Days: 3 @ DET, 3 @ BOS, day off

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