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MLB News Update: American League West Update as of 8/23/13

1. Texas Rangers (74-53) 2. Oakland Athletics (71-55) 3. Seattle Mariners (59-67) 4. Los Angeles Angels (55-71)

As of August 23, 2013

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The Texas Rangers have increased their lead over the Oakland Athletics in the American League West.

With a 7-3 record over the last 10 games the Texas Rangers are trying to get hot at the right time and avoid a similar situation from last year happening to them. They want to be the ball club that’s playing their best baseball to end the year and not give Oakland a chance at making a run and stealing the division out from under them again. They’ve been beating up on the Houston Astros the last few weeks, defeating their intrastate rivals all seven times in consecutive sweeps. A six game road trip awaits them next but with winnable series against the Chicago White Sox and Seattle Mariners. Martin Perez takes the ball on Friday night to get things going and will look for his fifth straight quality start to get the trip off on the right foot. This is their opportunity to build that lead because with six games still remaining against the A’s every game is going to matter.

MLB News Update: American League West Update as of 8/23/13

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland just hasn’t played solid baseball this month and they’re struggling against teams they really should be beating. They’ve lost series to the Mariners and Astros and that’s not something you can allow to happen if you’re trying to capture another division crown. A.J. Griffin was beaten yesterday in a game where he got minimal run support, another problem for the A’s during this tough stretch. Their offense seems to be very streaky and though their pitching is deep, they really don’t have that dominant type of lock down starter who has the ability to just end a streak. Bartolo Colon is still on the disabled list and they’ll need him to come back and pitch the way he did for the first half of the season. Oakland has a very tough seven game road trip to Baltimore and Detroit over the next week that’s going to play a big role in where they stand in the division race heading into the final month of the season.

Seattle is just eight games under .500 at 59-67 and are alone in this place in the division. They start a series with the Los Angeles Angels who are four games behind them. Mike Trout has missed games this week because of a tight right hamstring. It doesn’t appear to be anything serious but the Angels are allowing him to take his time in a meaningless season. Felix Hernandez looks to build on his 12-6 record and 2.62 ERA when he takes the mound to start the series on Friday night.

Houston hasn’t played terrible baseball by their standards but recent meetings with the Rangers have really done them in. Aside from losing seven straight to Texas they’ve managed to take two of three from the A’s and Angels. Jarred Cosasrt continues to pitch well, despite all the walks, but being a young pitcher his lack of control isn’t unexpected. The right hander has posted a 1-1 record with a 1.61 ERA. His 21/21 strike-to-walk ratio will come down as he gets more experience. Houston will host the Blue Jays before heading to Chicago to take on the White Sox next week. 

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