clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Weighing up the West: Astros on top

The Astros are the second best team in the universe.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Not only are the Houston Astros still sitting pretty atop the American League West, they too boast the best record in the American League and the second best record in all of baseball. Riding a ten game winning streak into the new week, the Astros are still the team to beat.

  • Houston Astros, 18-7
  • Los Angeles Angels, 11-14
  • Oakland Athletics, 11-15
  • Seattle Mariners, 10-15
  • Texas Rangers, 8-16

The Texas Rangers are still playing abysmal baseball.

Owning the seventh worth offense this week, and the fourth worst pitching staff; the Rangers will need to get things together. A strong Colby Lewis start, Prince Fielder mashing and Shin Soo-Choo getting better are the only positives the Rangers can take into next week.

The Rangers ended the week like they started it; with dropping a series. While they actually began the week with a victory over the Angels, they merely avoided a sweep in Anaheim. They returned home to be swept by the Mariners, and drop a series to the A's. Another pretty awful week for Texas.

Similarly for the Angels, a pretty poor week.

The Angels started the week with a loss to the Rangers. They then travelled to the bay to face both the A's and the Giants. The road trip started well, taking the series against the A's. However, they finished their week with getting swept by the Giants. All in all, two wins, five loses, not ideal.

Their bullpen was good this week and both C.J. Wilson and Garrett Richards had stellar starts, but the team collated a wRC+ of 67 with a negative offensive WAR. Mike Trout is mashing, of course. The rest of the roster are going to have to pull up their socks.

I guess you could say the A's have been unlucky.

Offensively, a mere 26% of balls in play have fallen for hits. On the flip side, 32% of balls in play -- surrendered by the pitching staff -- have fallen for hits. Despite numerous injuries to key players, the offense is still looking good. If and when their luck starts to even out; the West could well be a two horse race between the A's and the Astros.

Regardless, the A's had an awful week. They started off with a loss to the Astros -- completing the sweep. They then hosted the Angels; and lost that series, before just about taking the series from the abysmal Rangers.

The Seattle Mariners still aren't playing to their potential.

Nelson Cruz is the hottest hitter in the game right now; yet the Mariners offense is still just, okay -- posting a solid wRC+ of 98. However, the bigger concern is their pitching staff. The same staff who were widely heralded as the best rotation in the American League, posted an ERA of 4.03 this week.

It was a bittersweet week for the Mariners; they swept the Rangers -- yielding only four runs in three games -- then got swept by the Astros in a four game set. Their offense wasn't too bad in Houston, but their pitching staff got knocked about.

The Astros, the second best team in the universe.

A ten game winning streak. A scorching hot offense. A dominant pitching staff. Leading the way in the American League West. Things are looking rather nice for the Astros; rather nice, indeed. I could talk about regression, luck; but I'm not going to.

The Astros are off to one of their best starts ever and we should all just enjoy it.