Believe it or not, the Denver All-Star Game is just over a month away, which means summer isn’t just heating up on the baseball calendar, but also the warning of “champions of small size “is no longer an effective barometer in determining what is real and what is not at this stage of the season.
This brings us to this week’s divisional notebook theme: What are the biggest trends that emerged this not-so-young season? There are several who have excelled in a broad American League West.
Here is one for each club:
ANGELS: They use the long ball to their advantage
Led by 17 explosions from two-way star Shohei Ohtani, the Angels finished seventh in the majors with 80 home runs in their first 62 games, entering on Wednesday. Veteran left winger Justin Upton scored 14 home runs, while first baseman Jared Walsh went deep 13 times. He’s helped the Angels compensate for the struggles of their pitching staff this season, and is one of the main reasons they’ve won 11 of their last 16 games despite the absence of Mike Trout, who has been out since May 17 with a calf strain. right. It’s even more incredible considering fellow Anthony Rendon has yet to find his pot timing this season and has only gone deep three times. But others, like receiver Max Stassi and right fielder Taylor Ward, warmed up and contributed to the club’s power numbers. Trout is expected to return at some point in July, and will bring even more vigor to the lineup. – Rhett Bollinger
ASTROS: The bullpen fights continue
Despite having one of the highest scoring offenses in baseball and a pitching rotation that has been solid, the Astros have spent much of the season watching top A places in the AL West. That’s because their bullpen was shaky, ranking 18th in the big leagues entering Tuesday with an ERA of 4.24 and 10 jump saves, which was tied for third highest in the AL. Their big addition to the offseason bullpen – veteran Pedro Báez – was a failure, considering he has yet to pitch due to health, and Joe Smith struggled after standing still last year and now on the injury list with pain at the back. right elbow. Ryne Stanek, another signed free agent, averages nearly six steps every nine innings. Even the young arms who got their feet wet last year in empty rookie baseball fields, including Enoli Paredes and Andre Scrubb. Both battled injuries, along with southpaw Blake Taylor, who also made his 2020 debut. The Astros moved star Cristian Javier to the bullpen to provide some stability and got an outstanding job from closest Ryan Pressly. , but they also often wasn’t able to catch the ball from him. The Astros will be protagonists in the commercial market. – Brian McTaggart
ATHLETICS: Live – and die – on the long ball
Coming in on Thursday, the A’s were 27-5 when they beat their opponents at home. That’s the good news, considering they have the fourth highest number of home runs (77) in the AL. On the other hand, they are 3-15 in games where they are outhomed. Since the long ball will not always be present, these two statistics show that it is necessary for Oakland to find ways to win games in other ways. It starts with situational hitting, something the A’s have struggled with at various points throughout the season. Moving runners and cashing in opportunities with runners in scoring position will be vital to A’s chances of having a deep run after the season. – Martin Gallegos
MARINES: Is the gear differential cause for concern?
Seattle held on to an epic 9-6 win Wednesday thanks to a stellar robbery of a snow cone by Jake Fraley at the bottom of ninth place. The Mariners then continued with an extra offensive rally, placing five to eleventh. But even after that win, which took them to 31-32 – impressive, as they have the most players (13) on the American League injury list – the Mariners’ offense has some yellow flags, most notably the their minus 53-run differential, the sixth worst in the majors. The other teams behind them? The Pirates (minus-78), D-backs (minus-71), Orioles (minus-59), Tigers (minus-59) and Rangers (minus-54), all of whom are among the cellar dwellers in the MLB rankings. Once again, Seattle sidelined many of its key contributors, most notably reigning American League Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis, one of its top producers. But some of the offensive shortcomings the Mariners have had up to this point in the numbers under the hood could be cause for concern during the heatwave days of the summer. – Daniel Kramer
RANGERS: The pitch holds up in the new yard
For all Texas fights this season, the team celebrated at home, hitting a record of 15-16 at home versus a 9-23 away. But launch personnel in particular thrived in Arlington. Texas weapons possess an ERA of 3.87 at Globe Life Field, the sixth lowest home ERA in the AL (behind White Sox, Rays, Yankees, Astros and Tigers). The staff posted an away ERA of 5.23, where they are enduring a 15-game losing streak, responsible for most of their losses. Rangers’ away woes are well documented and pitching staff are not the only part of the team’s concerns, but the big difference between the street and home divisions on the pitching end shows there is a connection. Up front, the divisions are nearly identical, with Rangers cutting .228 / .294 / .369 / with .663 OPS at home and .227 / .301 / .369 and .671 OPS on the road. – Kennedi Landry