MLB News American League West Update as of 8/9/13

MLB News American League West Update as of 8/9/13
2013-08-08 11:00:00 EDT

The Athletics and Rangers continue to battle it out at the top of the American League West standings.

Heading into Friday night’s match ups the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers were in a virtual tie for first place. The Rangers have been dominating of late, winning nine of their last 10 ball games and four straight. The Angels were a recipe for success as the Rangers took all six meetings with them in the past couple of weeks, on top of taking two of three from the A’s. Their pitching has led the way over this stretch as they have allowed four earned runs just once in seven games this month. The rest of the month looks like a cakewalk so if they want to take control in this division now would be the time. Texas plays the lowly Houston Astros six times, the Seattle Mariners six times, the Chicago White Sox three times, and two game sets with the Milwaukee Brewers and Minnesota Twins. The Schedule couldn’t look better for Texas and now is the time for them to make their run. For the Athletics they need to keep getting strong performances from guys like Bartolo Colon and Josh Donaldson who both excelled in the first half. Colon had one of his worst starts of the season on Wednesday as he was shelled in less than three innings against the Cincinnati Reds. Donaldson has been a shell of himself in the second half and they’re really missing his bat in the middle of the order.

The Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels are battling for third place in the division. Seattle is eight games under .500 and 11 games back of the division leaders. They’re dealing with the giteming pains from some young players like Nick Franklin and Brad Miller, but they’re still missing that big power hitter in the middle of their order. Things haven’t worked out this year with Michael Morse and even though Kendrys Morales has been fantastic, he probably shouldn’t be your power bat in the three hole. All things considered it’s better than being the Angels and spending tons of money to be 13 games back of the division lead and 51-62 on the year. Los Angeles simply can’t pitch and with Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols performing as woefully as they have this season it has just been one disaster after another. The Astros are abysmal but they’re in the course of a full rebuild, something we’re not going to see from the Angels with the amount of money they’ve spent recently. Houston is looking to develop young players at the major league level and get them experience in the process and hope the it benefits them by the time some of these high draft picks are ready to the show.

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The Athletics and Rangers should continue to fight it out down the stretch here but even without Nelson Cruz the rest of the way you’d have to give the Rangers the leg up here. They just seem like a better team without Josh Hamilton and they’ve got a very favorable schedule through August. Oakland has a great shot at a playoff berth but this year it might not be through a division citemn. 

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