The AL West appears to have settled into a two-team race between Seattle and Texas, and a number of intra-division matchups could cement the leading and trailing groups. The A's are playing three in Seattle, where a sweep against puts Oakland 11 games out and a sweep in favor puts Oakland within five. The Angels are playing the Rangers, and a similar swing is on the line.
Here are the Week 7 standings, with 19 weeks to go:
|Standings through May 22|
|Actual||FanGraphs CoolStandings Projection|
|W||L||GB||Since May 16||RS/G||RA/G||Place||W||L||DIV||POFF|
|DIV = Percent chance of winning division. POFF = Percent chance of going to postseason, including the Wild Card Game.|
The Mariners start the week as the greater than 50 percent favorites to win the division for the first time. The Astros, in falling 11 games below .500, are projected to fall short of 81 wins for the first time after starting the year as 87-win favorites to win the AL West.
Here's our weekly jog through the AL West to see what's new with the A's and their division opponents:
1. Seattle Mariners (26-17)
Seattle brushed off its sweep at the hands of the Angels the week before to take two of three from the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles and take all three games from the rebuilding Cincinnati Reds:
|Mariners results since May 16|
|Date||Opponent||W/L||RS||RA||Inn||Mariners rec.||Div. GB||Streak|
|17-May||at BAL||W||10||0||22-16||up 1.0||W1|
|18-May||at BAL||L||2||5||22-17||up 1.0||L1|
|19-May||at BAL||W||7||2||23-17||up 1.5||W1|
|20-May||at CIN||W||8||3||24-17||up 1.5||W2|
|21-May||at CIN||W||4||0||25-17||up 1.5||W3|
|22-May||at CIN||W||5||4||26-17||up 1.5||W4|
The Mariners got Joaquin Benoit back into their bullpen from injury, but lost shortstop Ketel Marte to the disabled list. Marte sprained his thumb, and Seattle hopes he's only out for the minimum 15 days.
Seattle begins an eight-game home stand Monday with three games against Oakland, takes Thursday off, and finishes the week with three games against Minnesota.
2. Texas Rangers (25-19, 1.5 GB)
Texas finished the previous week on top of the division, but a three-game sweep at Oakland's hands at the Coliseum dropped them behind Seattle. The Rangers were able to keep stalking the Mariners by sweeping three from the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park:
|Rangers results since May 16|
|Date||Opponent||W/L||RS||RA||Inn||Rangers rec.||Div. GB||Streak|
Suspensions from the Rougned Odor-Jose Bautista fight were announced, with Elvis Andrus serving a one-game suspension last Tuesday in Oakland and Rougned Odor appealing an eight-game suspension.
The Texas bullpen struggles reached a head after Shawn Tolleson conceded a walkoff grand slam to Khris Davis on Tuesday, resulting in his removal as closer.
The City of Arlington and the Texas Rangers announced plans for a new $1 billion baseball stadium with retractable roof to replace their current open-air facility. If all goes according to plan, the park would open in the next five years.
In injury news, Shin-Soo Choo was activated from the disabled list, but he suffered a minor hamstring injury in his first game back on Saturday. He is considered day-to-day.
Yu Darvish completed what should be his final rehab outing, throwing six scoreless for the Frisco RoughRiders. He is scheduled to start for the Rangers against the Pirates on Saturday in Arlington.
The Rangers host the Angels for three games starting Monday, take Thursday off, and host the Pirates for three games over the weekend.
3. L.A. Angels (20-24, 6.5 GB)
The Angels won three out of four games in a home-and-home series against the Dodgers, then took one out of three from the Baltimore Orioles at the Big A:
|Angels results since May 16|
|Date||Opponent||W/L||RS||RA||Inn||Angels rec.||Div. GB||Streak|
The Angels now have 10 players on the disabled list after adding long reliever Cory Rasmus, left fielder Daniel Nava, and catcher Geovany Soto to that list this week. Jett Bandy is their backup catcher now.
But never fear, the Angels have signed Tim Lincecum, who will join the major league team after a brief minor league assignment.
The Halos visit Globe Life Park for three games against the Rangers, take Thursday off, then host the Astros for three games.
4. Oakland A's (19-26, 8.0 GB)
Oakland swept the Rangers to keep the division within sight, but were swept out of a four-game series at home for the first time in the 21st century, dropping those games to the Yankees:
|A's results since May 16|
|Date||Opponent||W/L||RS||RA||Inn||A's rec.||Div. GB||Streak|
The worry is not so much that the A's have 13 players on the disabled list, their most since at least 1979. Several of those players were unlikely to make the 25-man roster or at worst were players with reduced playing time.
The real worry is that the everyday players and potential All-Stars lost -- like Josh Reddick, Sonny Gray, Jed Lowrie, and Chris Bassitt -- exposes the loss of what should have been the backups to those players, like Mark Canha, Henderson Alvarez, Felix Doubront, Josh Phegley, and Jarrod Parker.
The good news is Phegley and Lowrie will return this week. Sonny Gray should only miss the minimum time, and hopefully the rest will give Sonny a chance to reset whatever it is that has caused him to lose the touch that took him to third place in last year's AL Cy Young voting.
Mark Canha is done for the year, and we may find out what Dr. James Andrews has to say about Henderson Alvarez's MRI before Monday's game. Dr. Andrews had been at a conference and could not review Alvarez's scan before then.
The A's first task, beginning Monday, will be to at minimum avoid a three-game sweep against Seattle that would send the A's double-digit games behind the Mariners in the AL West. After Thursday off, they'll host Detroit for three games over the weekend.
5. Houston Astros (17-28, 10.0 GB)
The Astros won two out of three from the AL Central-leading White Sox, but were swept by the Texas Rangers.
|Astros results since May 16|
|Date||Opponent||W/L||RS||RA||Inn||Astros rec.||Div. GB||Streak|
The Houston Astros still have not won three consecutive games, and they lost three consecutive one-run games by 2-1 scores last week and Dallas Keuchel declared that he is still bad. Keuchel now owns a 5.92 ERA through 10 starts after giving up seven runs in six innings on Sunday.
The Astros performed quite a roster reshuffle, however, activating Evan Gattis to catch, calling up Tony Kemp to replace Preston Tucker, and calling up Colin Moran to place the struggling Carlos Gomez on the disabled list.
Houston takes Monday off before hosting Baltimore for three games. They then head west to Anaheim for three games against the Angels.