Going 7-3 in their last 10 games, the Texas Rangers maintained the second Wild Card spot in the American League. Winning three of their last four series, while tying in the other, the Rangers open a critical four game set in Boston. Texas currently holds a one-game lead over the Red Sox for the final playoff spot. Here is a look at the happenings in the American League West.
The Astros continue to dominate the division. They currently hold a 9.5 game lead over the Rangers in the West and a half-game lead over the Minnesota Twins for home field advantage. After obliterating the Mariners in Seattle, Houston had a tough series at home against the Baltimore Orioles. They needed extra-innings to win the first, then lost the second game 4-1. They ended the series with 4-0 shutout, and now have two games against Milwaukee followed by a weekend series with Toronto.
Astros rookie Yordan Alvarez has finally been called up and will see action on Tuesday. Alvarez is killing the baseball in Triple-A, hitting .343 with 23 home runs. He will be facing the Brewers Freddy Peralta on Tuesday.
Player of the Week
Marcus Semien of the Oakland Athletics was named AL Player of the Week. Semien is on a seven game hitting streak, and hit .419 and two home runs last week to claim the honor.
MLB has a new method for All-Star voting this season, using a primary system where the top three (nine for the outfield) in each position move on to the next round to see who will be the starter. The current results of voting in the American League was released today, and the West sees many players who could move on to the next round. No surprise, Mike Trout of the Angels currently leads all American League vote-getters with close to a million votes. The Astros George Springer, Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick, along with the Rangers Joey Gallo look safe to move on to the next round. In the infield, Alex Bregman has a comfortable lead at third base, while Carlos Correa is currently in second place for shortstop. The Angels Tommy La Stella has a slight lead over Houston’s Jose Altuve at second base, and the Rangers Hunter Pence trails at designated hitter. The list of candidates to move on to the next round will be released on June 26.
AL West Power Rankings
1. Houston Astros – Running away with the division.
2. Texas Rangers – Have been on a roll in their last four series. On the road this week against Boston and Cincinnati.
3. Oakland Athletics – Slipped a little in the past week. On the road for a three game set with Tampa Bay before coming home to face Seattle.
4. Los Angeles Angels – Back-to-back-to-back home runs by La Stella, Trout, and Ohtani was the only bright spot in a dreadful series against the Mariners. They are at home for two against the Dodgers, then on the road for four against the Rays.
5. Seattle Mariners – Found their stroke against the Angels. Now face a daunting road trip against the Twins and A’s.
Featured image courtesy of TSN
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