Just a quick version of the Standings this week, as time is a little short today…
T-1. Los Angeles Angels (16-13)
Last Seven Days: 3-3
Streak: Lost 1
Notes: The Angels are back in first place in the AL West for the first time since last season, when the Rangers overtook them en route to a World Series berth. Their lineup is finally producing consistently, although they’ve been getting curiously few home runs lately. The core of their lineup has produced just three home runs combined in the last ten games between Howie Kendrick, Torii Hunter, Bobby Abreu, Mark Trumbo, and Vernon Wells… and two of those belong to Trumbo.
Next Seven Days: 3 @ BOS, 3 vs CLE, 1 vs CWS
T-1. Texas Rangers (16-13)
Last Seven Days: 2-5
Streak: Lost 2
Notes: All is not well in Arlington, having just struggled their way through the last week, taking just one game each against the A’s and the scuffling Blue Jays. While the rotation has been mostly OK, the bullpen has been shaky since Neftali Feliz went on the DL last week, and Michael Young is the only hitter doing notably well right now. A couple other batters are treading water right now, but much of the Rangers’ lineup seems to be in a slump. Three games each against the Mariners and Yankees this week, two teams that have played well of late, could be a tough task if the Rangers can’t right the ship quickly.
Next Seven Days: 3 @ SEA, 3 vs NYY, 1 vs OAK
3. Oakland Athletics (15-14, 1 Game Back)
Last Seven Days: 4-2
Streak: Won 2
Notes: While the Angels and Rangers moved in to a first-place tie, the A’s have quietly crept up right behind them, and are on a better streak of play, having just taken three of four from the Rangers. The resurgent Indians and surprisingly decent Royals will be a strong test for the A’s this week, but I think their so far impressive starting rotation is up to the task.
Next Seven Days: 3 vs CLE, 3 @ KC, 1 @ TEX
4. Seattle Mariners (13-16 3 GB)
Last Seven Days: 5-1
Streak: Lost 1
Notes: The Mariners had ripped off a five game winning streak on their road trip before a sun triple against the Red Sox wound up costing them the game on Sunday. Still, the Mariners have not looked better in any other stretch of the 2011 season, and they were finally playing sustained, complete baseball. To say that it was good to see is to have an adventure in understatement. Justin Smoak has been raking since his return from the bereavement list, with 2 homers and 10 RBI. If the team can stay hot, their series against the Rangers this week could be important for positioning within the division.
Next Seven Days: 3 vs TEX, 3 vs CHW, day off