The Oakland Athletics had the second best record of the week of the AL West teams despite getting swept by the Boston Red Sox. The Astros continue to defy their predictions, though they had a streaky week. The Rangers are playing well despite more injuries hitting them, the Angels had a horrific week, and the Mariners can't score a run to save their lives. The AL West!
|Standings through June 7|
|Steamer/ZiPS projection and BaseRuns projection from Fangraphs. PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus.|
1st. Houston Astros (34-24, 3-4 since 6/1)
The Astros started last week off well by winning three straight against the Orioles. After that, things took a turn, as they lost a Dallas Keuchel start to close up the Baltimore series and then suffered a three-game sweep against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Brett Oberholtzer returned from the blister problems that had bothered him all season. He has made two starts since returning, throwing over 80 pitches in each, and has a 4.00 ERA in nine innings. He only got through 3⅔ innings in his last start against Toronto, giving up four runs (two earned), walking three, and striking out two.
Dallas Keuchel is still the American League's only pitcher of the month, adding the May title to his April plaque. From The Crawfish Boxes' Ryan Dunsmore:
Keuchel finished the month with a 4-1 record in six starts in May, posting a 2.62 ERA, 38 strikeouts, and a .223 average by opposing hitters. He pitched two complete games to end the Month of May, including a four-hit, 11-strikeout, complete-game shut against the White Sox on May 30 at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros will be razing Tal's Hill next season. Plenty of people complain about the hill being a dangerous gimmick, but I think walls have done more damage to players than grassy knolls. Astros owner Jim Crane says center field will still be very deep, around 410 feet.
Houston is calling up top prospect and 2012 number one overall draft pick Carlos Correa for Monday's game against the Chicago White Sox. Some quick notes on the 20-year-old shortstop from TCB's Brian Stevenson:
Correa rose quickly through the system after being drafted, hitting at every level as the hype around him built. He exploded out of the gate this season, scorching the Texas League to the tune of of a .385/.459/.726 batting line. Correa earned himself a promotion after just 29 games. Impressive enough, but almost absurd, considering his age, and the fact that he lost a large portion of his 2014 season to a bone fracture in his leg.
|Astros results since June 1|
|Date||Opponent||Result||Astros rec.||Div. GB||Streak||Astros starter||Opp. starter|
|1-Jun||vs. Orioles||W 5-2||32-20||+4.0||W1||Brett Oberholtzer||Ubaldo Jimenez|
|2-Jun||vs. Orioles||W 6-4||33-20||+5.0||W2||Collin McHugh||Mike Wright|
|3-Jun||vs. Orioles||W 3-1||34-20||+6.0||W3||Lance McCullers||Miguel Gonzalez|
|4-Jun||vs. Orioles||L 2-3||34-21||+5.5||L1||Dallas Keuchel||Wei-Yin Chen|
|5-Jun||at Blue Jays||L 2-6||34-22||+4.5||L2||Roberto Hernandez||Aaron Sanchez|
|6-Jun||at Blue Jays||L 2-7||34-23||+3.5||L3||Brett Oberholtzer||Drew Hutchison|
|7-Jun||at Blue Jays||L 6-7||34-24||+3.5||L4||Collin McHugh||R.A. Dickey|
2nd. Texas Rangers (30-27, 4-2 since 6/1)
The Rangers jump into second place thanks to being the only AL West team to play above .500 this week. However, they'll have to overcome losing Josh Hamilton for four weeks to a Grade 2 hamstring strain. Hamilton was impressing in his return to Texas, going 6-for-22 with four walks, two home runs, and two doubles in seven games.
On the bright side, Joey Gallo's debut in place of the injured Adrian Beltre was spectacular. Gallo hit a two-RBI single in his first major league plate appearance, hit a towering home run to right, hit a double off the right field wall, and walked to come just a triple short of the cycle:
Gallo hit another home run on June 3, but has not hit another extra base hit since. The extremely high strikeout totals he had in the minor leagues are beginning to show up for Gallo in the major leagues. He has struck out 13 times in 27 plate appearances, including a Golden Sombrero on June 5.
|Rangers results since June 1|
|Date||Opponent||Result||Rangers rec.||Div. GB||Streak||Rangers starter||Opp. starter|
|1-Jun||OFF DAY||5.5||OFF DAY|
|2-Jun||vs. White Sox||W 15-2||27-25||5.5||W4||Colby Lewis||Jeff Samardzija|
|3-Jun||vs. White Sox||L 2-9||27-26||6.5||L1||Nick Martinez||Chris Sale|
|4-Jun||vs. White Sox||W 2-1 (11)||28-26||5.5||W1||Yovani Gallardo||Carlos Rodon|
|5-Jun||at Royals||W 4-0||29-26||4.5||W2||Chi Chi Gonzalez||Edinson Volquez|
|6-Jun||at Royals||W 4-2||30-26||3.5||W3||Yordano Ventura||Wandy Rodriguez|
|7-Jun||at Royals||L 3-4||30-27||3.5||L1||Colby Lewis||Jeremy Guthrie|
3rd. Los Angeles Angels (28-29, 1-5 since 6/1)
The Angels had a disastrous week. After winning the opener against the Rays to take their winning streak to five games, they proceeded to drop the next five and fall below .500 once again. They're now in third place, behind the Texas Rangers.
They came close to pulling off a shocking comeback against the Yankees on June 5 when, trailing 8-1, the Angels sent 11 men to the plate against Esmil Rogers and Dellin Betances. Six of them scored and runners were at the corners when Carlos Perez struck out to end the game, a one-run victory for the Yankees.
The disaster of a week was not helped by a terrible off-the-field interview given by Roberto Alvarado, the team's Vice President of marketing and ticket sales. While team's generally do track how much money each customer is spending per visit, they usually don't go out of their way to tell folks there just for the game that their business is not really wanted, "We may not be reaching as many of the people on the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder, but those people, they may enjoy the game, but they pay less, and we're not seeing the conversion on the per-caps." Per-game attendance is down 4,300 fans per game, writes Josh Mayhood for Halos Heaven.
|Angels results since June 1|
|Date||Opponent||Result||Angels rec.||Div. GB||Streak||Angels starter||Opp. Starter|
|1-Jun||vs. Rays||W 7-3||28-24||4.0||W5||Garrett Richards||Alex Colome|
|2-Jun||vs. Rays||L 1-6||28-25||5.0||L1||C.J. Wilson||Chris Archer|
|3-Jun||vs. Rays||L 5-6 (10)||28-26||6.0||L2||Hector Santiago||Nate Karns|
|4-Jun||OFF DAY||5.5||OFF DAY|
|5-Jun||at Yankees||L 7-8||28-27||5.5||L3||Jered Weaver||Nathan Eovaldi|
|6-Jun||at Yankees||L 2-8||28-28||5.5||L4||Garrett Richards||Adam Warren|
|7-Jun||at Yankees||L 2-6||28-29||5.5||L5||C.J. Wilson||CC Sabathia|
4th. Seattle Mariners (25-32, 1-6 since 6/1)
The Mariners have not scored more than three runs in a game since May 26, and they lost a Felix Hernandez start this week. Things are beginning to look bleak at Lookout Landing, where there's open talk of lowering expectations.
General manager Jack Zduriencik will try to turn things around by acquiring Mark Trumbo and Vidal Nuno from the Arizona Diamondbacks for four players, including backup catcher Welington Castillo. LL's Scott Weber writes:
If you were to sarcastically joke around about the most Mariners player the team could acquire, who would it be? The answer is Mark Trumbo. He'll come over from Arizona and mostly slot into left field, bumping out Ackley, Weeks, and the mishmash of other players they've tried out there, including Brad Miller, who once again seems to own the shortstop job for himself.
Nuno might be the real prize in this trade, writes Jake Mailhot. The Mariners have been so desperate for starting pitching depth that they're stretching out Danny Farquhar, who has zero professional starts, in Triple-A Tacoma. Hisashi Iwakuma is still about a week away from going on rehab. He'll need three starts on rehab before returning to the Mariners.
The Fernando Rodney Experience has finally come to an end after he has given up runs in four of his last five appearances, and blown three of his last four save opportunities. Carson Smith notched the save in Seattle's lone victory of the week.
|Mariners results since June 1|
|Date||Opponent||Result||Mariners rec.||Div. GB||Streak||Mariners starter||Opp. starter|
|1-Jun||vs. Yankees||L 2-7||24-27||7.5||L3||Felix Hernandez||Michael Pineda|
|2-Jun||vs. Yankees||L 3-5 (11)||24-28||8.5||L4||Mike Montgomery||CC Sabathia|
|3-Jun||vs. Yankees||L 1-3||24-29||9.5||L5||Taijuan Walker||Masahiro Tanaka|
|4-Jun||vs. Rays||L 1-2||24-30||9.5||L6||Roenis Elias||Erasmo Ramirez|
|5-Jun||vs. Rays||L 0-1||24-31||9.5||L7||J.A. Happ||Jake Odorizzi|
|6-Jun||vs. Rays||W 2-1||25-31||8.5||W1||Felix Hernandez||Alex Colome|
|7-Jun||vs. Rays||L 1-3||25-32||8.5||L1||Mike Montgomery||Chris Archer|
5th. Oakland Athletics (23-36, 3-3 since 6/1)
Oakland's six-game road trip started out strong with a three-game sweep over the Detroit Tigers, but came to a halt by a sweep at the hand of the Boston Red Sox. Nevertheless, the A's gained ½ game on the Houston Astros, and are 8½ back in the Wild Card race, but still in last place. Next in the American League is the Seattle Mariners, who are three ahead of Oakland.
From the disabled list sprung some hopefully helpful additions in Eric O'Flaherty and Drew Pomeranz. O'Flaherty made two appearances in the Boston series, giving up two walks and one hit, but no runs in 1⅔ innings, striking out one. Pomeranz has made three scoreless and hitless appearances. However, he conceded three walks on June 6, but struck out two.
From Triple-A, the A's saw fit to finally promote switch-pitcher Pat Venditte over the struggling Dan Otero. Coco Crisp was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to create a 40-man roster space for Venditte.
|A's results since June 1|
|Date||Opponent||Result||A's rec.||Div. GB||Streak||A's starter||Opp. Starter|
|1-Jun||OFF DAY||12.5||OFF DAY|
|2-Jun||at Tigers||W 5-3||21-33||12.5||W2||Kendall Graveman||Alfredo Simon|
|3-Jun||at Tigers||W 6-1||22-33||12.5||W3||Sonny Gray||Anibal Sanchez|
|4-Jun||at Tigers||W 7-5||23-33||11.5||W4||Jesse Hahn||Shane Greene|
|5-Jun||at Red Sox||L 2-4||23-34||11.5||L1||Scott Kazmir||Wade Miley|
|6-Jun||at Red Sox||L 2-4||23-35||11.5||L2||Jesse Chavez||Joe Kelly|
|7-Jun||at Red Sox||L 4-7||23-36||11.5||L3||Kendall Graveman||Clay Buchholz|