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Oakland A's inch closer to the rest of the division: AL West reset

The Athletics need to leap forward very soon, however, if they want to make any statement in the division race.

Mark Canha legs out an RBI double on June 7 against the Boston Red Sox.
Mark Canha legs out an RBI double on June 7 against the Boston Red Sox.
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

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
W L GB Since 6/1 RS/G RA/G Place W L Place W L Place W L
Astros 34 24 -- 3-4 4.2 3.9 1st 86 76 2nd 84 78 1st 93 69
Rangers 30 27 3.5 4-2 4.6 4.4 4th 78 84 T-3rd 81 81 2nd 82 80
Angels 28 29 5.5 1-5 3.9 4.0 2nd 82 80 1st 86 76 4th 78 84
Mariners 25 32 8.5 1-6 3.4 4.0 3rd 80 82 T-3rd 81 81 5th 76 86
Athletics 23 36 11.5 3-3 4.2 4.2 5th 76 86 5th 75 87 3rd 81 81
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.

Kyle Blanks and Ryan Rua are on the mend, and Adrian Beltre should return in about three weeks. On the flipside, reliever Ross Ohlendorf was placed on the disabled list with a strained groin.

Rangers results since June 1
Date Opponent Result Rangers rec. Div. GB Streak Rangers starter Opp. starter
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
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 Farquharwho 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