Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 5/25/12
Seattle gains ground

May has not been kind to the AL West. The division has a 43-44 record in May, with just Oakland and Los Angeles enjoying winning records. With such a lackluster month, division records remain relatively unchanged.

Current Standings

  • Texas Rangers: 27-18
  • Oakland Athletics: 22-23 (5 GB)
  • Seattle Mariners: 21-25 (6.5 GB)
  • Los Angeles Angels: 20-25 (7 GB)
The Enemies Texas Rangers- Josh Hamilton’s Huge Week Leads Rangers

If you’re not a Texas Rangers fan, you’re envious. Don’t pretend you’re not. You’re envious because they have Josh Hamilton, and you don’t.

In one week, the AL MVP/AL Triple Crown favorite doubled his home run total, from 9 to 18. That was the same week that he had a monstrous 4 home run game, a feat more rare than a perfect game.

Josh Hamilton is leading the Rangers

Outside of Hamilton, the Rangers remain one of the league’s most dangerous teams. They have one of baseballs best 1-2 combos with Ian Kinsler (5 home runs, 7 stolen bases) and Elvis Andrus (.308, 8 stolen bases).

Adrian Beltre continues to enjoy life outside of Seattle, hitting .308 with 9 home runs.

Their starters continue to come back down to reality. Colby Lewis, Derek Holland and Matt Harrison have all seen their numbers normalize in May.

Despite control issues, Yu Darvish (1.411 WHIP, 5.1 BB/9) continues to impress. Converted closer Neftali Feliz, currently on the DL (elbow) will be eligible to return come June).

With a pretty easy June schedule ahead, the Rangers are in a position to really extend their division lead.

Oakland Athletics- Horrible Hitting, and Stud Pitching, Keeps Oakland in the Race

Offensively, this team is horrible. The team as a whole is hitting .210/.287/.333, with only four starters hitting above the Mendoza Line.

With Yoenis Cespedes hitting the 15-day DL (strained left hand), the lineup has been all about Josh Reddick. Reddick, acquired from the Boston Red Sox in the Andrew Bailey trade, is showing off his power ceiling with 11 home runs in just 43 games—compared to his 7 in 87 games in 2011.

The real story will come at the end of May. Come the 30th, Manny Ramirez—serving a 50-game suspension after a second positive test for PEDs—will be eligible to join the team.

Though he won’t enter the lineup immediately, his power could give the Oakland lineup a real boost.

With such an awful lineup, Oakland’s rotation has been pulling double time to keep the As in the race. The laws of life, nature and baseball have caught up to Bartolo Colon, as the 39-year old has a 7.58 ERA in May.

The trend in Oakland seems to be injuries and rookies.

Yoenis Cespedes hit the 15-day DL

The rotation was in shambles at season’s start, with Brett Anderson (elbow) and Dallas Braden (shoulder) starting on the DL. Ace Brandon McCarthy, on the DL with a strained right shoulder, is poised for an early June return.

Rookies Tommy Milone (acquired from Washington for Gio Gonzalez) and Trevor Bauer (acquired from Arizona for Trevor Cahill) continue to see early success.

They’re a combined 7-5 with a 3.57 ERA.

Despite strong pitching, it seems doubtful the team can succeed without offensive support.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim- Absent Players Make Way for Extra Clout

The recent absences of Vernon Wells—15-day DL—and Torii Hunter—restricted list—have been blessings in disguise.

It’s allowed Mike Scioscia to get Mark Trumbo (.325/.388/.556), Kendrys Morales (.287/.328/.393) and Mike Trout (.315/.382/.539, 4 home runs and 6 stolen bases) into the everyday lineup.

Since hitting his first home run of the season, Albert Pujols has set a pace of 1 home run every 17.5 ABs; not far off from his career mark of 1 home run every 14 AB. However, he’s still hitting a soft .213/.258/.331—not what we expect from the Prince of 21st Century offense.

The biggest issue facing the Angels’ lineup is ordering. Mike Trout is hot enough that he’s making an ideal leadoff man, but the struggles of players like Eric Aybar and Peter Bourjos has forced all that speed in the bottom of the lineup.

Pitching remains in flux for the Angels. Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson continue to dominate, while Dan Haren (6.03 ERA in May) continues to struggle.

Ervin Santana—generally a slow starter—has started to look like his 2011 form, posting a 2.17 ERA in May while lowering his WHIP by 0.500 points.

LA needs to work out the kinks in the lineup, and Dan Haren’s pitching, before they can get back on track.

START A NEW DISCUSSION IN OUR COFFEE SHOP FORUMS TODAY

© Jonathan Irwin for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

Follow NWSB on Twitter or join US on Facebook for real-time updates OR... | Share This on Twitter | Share NWSportsBeat.com on Facebook

Post tags: Adrian Beltre, AL West, Albert Pujols, Bartolo Colon, Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson, C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Dallas Braden, Dan Haren, Derek Holland, Elvis Andrus, Eric Aybar, Ervin Santana, Ian Kinsler, Jered Weaver, Josh Hamilton, Josh Reddick, Kendrys Morales, Know Your Enemy, LA Angels, Manny Ramirez, Mark Trumbo, Matt Harrison, Mike Trout, Neftali Feliz, Oakland A's, Oakland Athletics, Peter Bourjos, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Tommy Milone, Torii Hunter, Trevor Bauer, Vernon Wells, Yoenis Cespedes, Yu Darvish

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Adrian Beltre completes cycle, gets mad when assaulted

Gruden had to convince Dan Snyder to bench RG3

Jim Mora turns P. Diddy fight into recruiting pitch for UCLA

Illinois releases results of women's basketball probe

Richie Incognito named starter by Rex Ryan

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

DeMarco Murray isn't thrilled Eagles limited reps in practice

Brandon Weeden: 'God forbid I am forced to play' for Dallas

Ben Roethlisberger: Markus Wheaton is ready to break out

Hernandez tipster allegedly had sexual relationship with him

Rookie WR Tyler Lockett has Pete Carroll, Seahawks gushing

Packers TE returns to practice in wake of family tragedy

WATCH: Giants players fight during training camp

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger Woods on Twitter

Report: Rousey to star in film based on her autobiography

Porn star offers to cook meal for any sports champion

Why everyone is wrong about Cowboys Tony Romo, Part 1

Oregon was only team drug tested during CFB Playoff?

Five 2nd year NBA players ready to take the next step

John Daly wants to be US Ryder Cup captain

Rodgers appears in another Olivia Munn workout video

Matt Hasselbeck is still getting random drug tests

Five teams that won at the MLB trade deadline

What should be expected from Aaron Rodgers in 2015?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker