The Oakland A's put up their worst week yet. Thanks to the doubleheader on Saturday, Oakland failed to end a single day of last week on a win and a gap has opened between them and division front-runners Seattle and Texas with 21 weeks to go.
Their odds of winning the division, according to FanGraphs' Playoff Odds, have halved from 5-to-1 to 10-to-1 in the last week:
Seattle was the biggest beneficiary of Oakland's fall after sweeping the A's to start the week, while the Angels are really in a bad spot:
|Standings through May 8|
|Actual||FanGraphs CoolStandings Projection|
|W||L||GB||Since May 2||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.|
Here's our weekly jog through the division to see what's new with the A's and their division opponents this week:
1. Seattle Mariners (18-13)
The Mariners swept the A's at the Coliseum but split four games against the Astros in Houston:
|Mariners results since May 2|
|Date||Opponent||Result||Mariners rec.||Div. GB||Streak|
|2-May||at OAK||W 4-3||14-11||0.5||W1|
|3-May||at OAK||W 8-2||15-11||up 0.5||W2|
|4-May||at OAK||W 9-8||16-11||up 1.5||W3|
|5-May||at HOU||W 6-3||17-11||up 2.5||W4|
|6-May||at HOU||L 3-6||17-12||up 1.5||L1|
|7-May||at HOU||W 3-2 (10)||18-12||up 1.5||W1|
|8-May||at HOU||L 1-5||18-13||up 0.5||L1|
The Mariners had an injury scare this week when Taijuan Walker exited Friday's contest after two innings. He was diagnosed with neck spasms and is expected to make his next start, however.
Seattle did lose reliever Tony Zych to the disabled list with rotator cuff tendinitis. He'll be out four-to-six weeks.
Concerns about Felix Hernandez's velocity continue, with FanGraphs' Jeff Sullivan also noting that he's not throwing as many strikes as he used to.
Finally, the reconfigured Mariners ownership group is indicating that it will have payroll available to the club to make a postseason push at the non-waiver trade deadline. Previously, all decisions had to be routed through Nintendo of America, leading to tepid deadline dealing.
Coming up, Seattle hosts Tampa Bay for three games, takes Thursday off, then welcomes the L.A. Angels for three.
2. Texas Rangers (18-14, 0.5 GB)
After dropping three of four to the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, the Rangers rescued their week by sweeping the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park:
|Rangers results since May 2|
|Date||Opponent||Result||Rangers rec.||Div. GB||Streak|
|2-May||at TOR||W 2-1||15-11||up 0.5||W1|
|3-May||at TOR||L 1-3 (10)||15-12||0.5||L1|
|4-May||at TOR||L 3-4||15-13||1.5||L2|
|5-May||at TOR||L 2-12||15-14||2.5||L3|
|6-May||at DET||W 5-1||16-14||1.5||W1|
|7-May||at DET||W 10-5||17-14||1.5||W2|
|8-May||at DET||W 8-3||18-14||0.5||W3|
The Rangers re-acquired a couple of players it let go before the start of the season. They got catcher Bobby Wilson back from Detroit, who responded by hitting a grand slam off the Tigers. They also re-signed Drew Stubbs, who had been released from the Atlanta Braves.
Texas does lose A.J. Griffin to the disabled list after he experienced right shoulder stiffness. Yu Darvish is not expected back until late May or early June, but they are rumored to be among the teams interested in Kyle Lohse.
The Chicago White Sox visit Arlington next for three games, then Texas takes Thursday off before they host Toronto for the weekend series.
3. Oakland A's (14-18, 4.5 GB)
The Mariners swept the A's at the Coliseum before Oakland could win just one out of three in Baltimore:
|A's results since May 2|
|Date||Opponent||Result||A's rec.||Div. GB||Streak|
|2-May||vs SEA||L 3-4||13-14||2.5||L2|
|3-May||vs SEA||L 2-8||13-15||3.0||L3|
|4-May||vs SEA||L 8-9||13-16||4.0||L4|
|6-May||Postponed -- Rain||4.0||PPD|
|7-May||at BAL||W 8-4||14-16||4.5||W1|
|at BAL||L 2-5||14-17||L1|
|8-May||at BAL||L 3-11||14-18||4.5||L2|
Josh Reddick had an incredible week, hitting .542/.560/.625 and went 10-for-12 with a walk and a double against the Baltimore Orioles. In his career at Camden Yards, Reddick has hit .400/.442/.725 with five home runs in 87 plate appearances.
Danny Valencia returned from the disabled list and went 3-for-9 in his two games.
The postponement to Saturday resulted in an early rotation reshuffle, with the A's likely to use Eric Surkamp for two starts until rehabbing starter Henderson Alvarez returns as soon as a week from Friday. Jesse Hahn was optioned out to Triple-A.
Chris Bassitt had his Tommy John surgery, which was considered a success. He may return in the second half of the 2017 season.
Kendall Graveman's homer-prone start in Baltimore led to a position player pitching again. First, J.B. Wendelken made his debut but gave up a grand slam. Then Josh Phegley took the mound for the A's in their 11-3 loss. Phegley struck out Adam Jones.
The A's finish their three-city road trip and visits with the AL East by going to Fenway Park for three against the Boston Red Sox, take Thursday off, and go to the Trop for three against the Rays.
4. L.A. Angels (13-18, 5.0 GB)
The Angels lost two out of three games to the Milwaukee Brewers, who are 13-18, and got swept by the 15-14 Rays:
|Angels results since May 2|
|Date||Opponent||Result||Angels rec.||Div. GB||Streak|
|2-May||at MIL||L 5-8||12-14||3.0||L1|
|3-May||at MIL||L 4-5||12-15||3.5||L2|
|4-May||at MIL||W 7-3||13-15||3.5||W1|
|6-May||vs TBR||L 2-5||13-16||4.0||L1|
|7-May||vs TBR||L 2-4||13-17||5.0||L2|
|8-May||vs TBR||L 1-3||13-18||5.0||L3|
Here's how that plan has gone: Wilson hasn't thrown a pitch since last August because of elbow and shoulder issues. Weaver has thrown a pitch since last August, but it hasn't reached home plate yet. Heaney has a damaged UCL and is trying to avoid Tommy John. Richards has a torn UCL, and he needs Tommy John. Tyler Skaggs would be next in line, but he's dealing with biceps tendinitis. Matt Shoemaker's job was yanked after he allowed 22 earned runs in 20⅔ innings, but now the Angels have no choice but to bring him back up.
Kyle Kendrick has the lowest ERA of any right-handed starter in Triple-A. His ERA is 5.79.
And now Andrelton Simmons sprained his thumb, and there's no word on whether this will be a day-to-day thing or require a trip to the disabled list. Could the Angels acquire Kyle Lohse or Tim Lincecum? Maybe.
But as it is, the Angels' playoff odds on FanGraphs are better than only one team, the 8-23 Minnesota Twins.
The Angels have Monday off, then host the Cardinals for three games and travel to Seattle for three.
5. Houston Astros (12-20, 6.5 GB)
The Astros took two of three from the last place Minnesota Twins and split four games with the division-leading Seattle Mariners:
|Astros results since May 2|
|Date||Opponent||Result||Astros rec.||Div. GB||Streak|
|2-May||vs MIN||L 2-6||8-18||7.0||L1|
|3-May||vs MIN||W 6-4||9-18||6.5||W1|
|4-May||vs MIN||W 16-4||10-18||6.5||W2|
|5-May||vs SEA||L 3-6||10-19||7.5||L1|
|6-May||vs SEA||W 6-3||11-19||6.5||W1|
|7-May||vs SEA||L 2-3 (10)||11-20||7.5||L1|
|8-May||vs SEA||W 5-1||12-20||6.5||W1|
The 2016 Astros finally had something resembling a good week, winning consecutive games for the first time. Marwin Gonzalez ended his streak of solo home runs to start his career at 25 when he drove in Evan Gattis with a two-run shot on May 6.
Gattis, however, was sent down to Double-A to re-learn how to catch after a year as Houston's designated hitter. The Astros made this move despite Max Stassi's activation from the disabled list. Stassi remains in Triple-A.
The Astros have a long way to climb out of the 12-20 hole they've dug themselves, though it sounds as if Lance McCullers will return to the Houston rotation soon.
Tough week ahead, however, as Houston hosts the 15-13 Cleveland Indians for three games then travels to 18-13 Boston for four games at Fenway Park.