Found July 18, 2013 on
2013 Home Run Derby Champion Yoenis Cespedes showed the entire MLB why the Oakland Athletics have more than just strong pitching this season.
All the teams in the American League West entered the All-Star Break the same place where they left off last regular season.
The Oakland Athletics are still being the Oakland Athletics, sitting in first place with a major league leading 7 walk-off wins.
The Texas Rangers are right behind the A’s sitting at 13 games over .500 and are laughing at every analyst who thought their offensive numbers would go down after Josh Hamilton left the team.
The Los Angeles Angels (Josh Hamilton’s team), are 5 games below .500 and have to be one of the most disappointing teams thus far in the MLB.
The Seattle Mariners are in 4th place in the division and continue to be in their own world. But at least they now have a legit second starter in Hisashi Iwakuma that can compliment “King” Felix Hernandez.
Last but not least are the Houston Astros, who are still the worst team in baseball, no matter what league they play for.
Here are the mid-season report card grades for the teams in the American League West.
Oakland Athletics (56-39) 1st in West- Grade (A)
How can you not give the Oakland Athletics a perfect score for their mid-season report grade? The A’s headed into the All-Star break in sole possession of first place in the American League West — ahead of the Rangers by two games — for the first time since 1990, having won six straight series. At 56-39, they also have their best record after 95 games since ’90, not to mention their first winning record before the break since 2008.
The A’s pitchers rank in the top 7 in all major pitching categories. They are 3rd in the MLB in WHIP, 4th in quality starts and opponents batting average, and 7th in team ERA.
But it’s the A’s hitting that has this team just one game back of the Boston Red Sox for the best record in the MLB. They are 8th in the MLB in runs and are ranked 11th for their on base percentage.
The scary thing about this A’s ball club is that they have always been known to being a second half team. So with the great first half start they put up this season, you can almost count the A’s as a legitimate World Series contender in the American League.
Texas Rangers (54-41) 2nd in West-Grade (A-)
As I mentioned yesterday, if the playoffs were to start today, the Texas Rangers will be playing against the Tampa Bay Rays in the wild card play-in game at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL.
The Rangers are just an all around solid team on both ends of the ball. They rank in the top 13 in the MLB for all major offensive categories and in pitching rank 8th in opponents batting average and team ERA, and 12th in opponents WHIP.
Players like Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz have picked up the offensive slack for outfielder Josh Hamilton who during the offseason decided to leave his former team and head to in-division rivals the Los Angeles Angels.
And with Rangers Ace Yu Darvish pitching like a Cy Young contender this season, you can expect the Rangers to be in the hunt for a playoff spot in the American League come October.
Los Angeles Angels (43-49) 3rd in West- Grade (D-)
I’m sorry Angels fans, but when your team has the 7th highest payroll in all of baseball and sit 11 games back of the first place team within your division who has the 5th lowest payroll in all of baseball, you can consider your season a fail.
The only thing that’s stopping me from giving this Angels team a failure grade is the fact that they still have 70 games to play, and we all know anything can happen in the game of baseball.
But if they expect to make any noise within their division in the second half of the season, their pitching staff will have to get their heads out of their you know what.
The Angels pitchers rank 27th in team ERA, 25th in WHIP, 24th in opponents batting average and 17th in quality starts.
I’m sorry Angels fans, but that is not going to cut it, especially in a division like the American League West where you have two power house teams like the Oakland A’s and the Texas Rangers ahead of you.
Seattle Mariners (43-52) 4th in West- Grade (C+)
The Seattle Mariners are your typical average team in the MLB. They have a below average offense, but an above average pitching staff.
But what many of you may not know is that this Mariners team has taken a dramatic facelift, and will open the second half in Houston on Friday as one of the youngest teams in the MLB, with different starters at catcher, second base, shortstop and center field from the group that opened the season three and a half months ago in Oakland.
What many of you may not also know about the Mariners is pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, who has quickly become an elite pitcher in the American League and a legitimate number 2 starter for his ball club.
In his first full season as a starting pitcher, Iwakuma has a 8-4 record with a 3.o2 ERA, 113 strike outs, and a 0.94 WHIP average.
Among all starting pitchers in the American League, Iwakuma ranks 1st in WHIP, 6th in ERA, 10th in strike outs, and tied in 11th for wins.
Houston Astros (33-61) last in West- Grade (E)
I can’t say I didn’t expect this from the 2013 Astros team, seeing that they were the worse ball club last year in the National League (no offense National League, but I just believe the American League is more stacked with talented teams).
I actually felt bad for the whole Houston Astros organization when I heard they were moving to the American League, because I knew this would happen.
But there are some bright spots this year to look forward to in future seasons for the Astros.
In his second season in the MLB, All-Star catcher Jason Castro is tied 2nd among all catchers in the American League in home runs with 12, and is 4th in average at .269 and 4th in hits with a total of 80.
He, and fourth year starting pitcher Bud Norris, will look to be the Astros battery now and in the future.
BEST OF MAXIM
X-rays taken earlier this week showed that the broken bone just below Peter Bourjos' right wrist hasnt fully healed, a minor setback that will delay the return of the Angels center fielder by another week or two.
Bourjos, hurt when he was hit by a pitch in Houston on June 29, hoped to resume full baseball activities within two or three weeks of the injury and return by the end...
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Like most other all-stars and baseball fans alike, Angels outfielder Mike Trout's fondest memory of this year's Major League All-Star Game was Yankees closer Mariano Rivera pitching the eighth inning for the American League.
But the star outfielder also had some time to help out one of his Angels teammates.
Trout was given a pink glove by reliever Jerome...
The Los Angeles Angels entered the first-half break as one
of the most-injured teams in the majors. They are hoping to lose that ominous
title over the second half of the season. While pitchers Sean Burnett and Jason
Vargas are progressing through their rehab programs, center fielder Peter
Bourjos’ broken right wrist still hasn’t healed completely, according to Mike
Keith Allison During the All Star break, most owners out there tend to follow the same routine. Get up and look at your roster, realize that you don't need to make any changes for the day, and then sit and stare at your roster wondering what might have been...and wondering what is yet to come. I'm going to tell you what to expect from some big name players for the second...
By Christian Ilten, AngelsWin.com Contributor -
44 wins, 49 losses; 93 games down, 69 games to go. The situation that is presented before the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim starting the "second half" of the season is the exact opposite of favorable. On April first of this year, the Angels began what looked to be one of their most promising seasons in a while. After...
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim starting pitcher had a nice rehab stint with the Class-A Advanced Inland Empire 66ers last night.
Hanson threw 59 pitches, 33 for strikes in three and a third innings. He allowed two runs, both earned, on three hits.
Hanson became frustrated with his location early in the second, according to 66ers broadcaster, Sam Farber (via Twitter (@SamFarberLive...
By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor -
JULY 19, 2002
GAME 95 - MARINERS AT ANGELS
ANAHEIM – The Angels welcomed in the first-place Seattle Mariners, then promptly treated their guests to a 20-hit attack in a 15-3 Angels victory before 43,407 at Edison Field.
The win moved the Angels to within three games of the Mariners in the A.L. West.
The Angels led, 6-1, after...
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Albert Pujols, Erick Aybar and Mike Trout each homered, Jered Weaver extended his scoreless-innings streak against Oakland to 24 2-3, and the Los Angeles Angels came out of the All-Star break with a 4-1 victory over the Athletics on Friday night.
Weaver (4-5) allowed four hits in 6 2-3 innings while striking out a season-high eight and walking four. The previous...
This is a team in peril. The Angels were supposed to win and win now, but designed shortcomings have robbed the Angels of this pleasure two years in a row now. The first year under Dipoto, it was the bullpen. But that's been fixed via trades (Frieri and De La Rosa), emergence of arms (Jepsen, and Kohn) and the draft (Roth, Alvarez and Morin). This season, the Angels lack...
There's an old saying, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. For the Angels, any hope of contention for the AL West title or a wild card begins with nights like tongiht. The A's are one of the best teams in baseball (I know I threw up a little just typing that phrase) and the schedule gods have given the Angels a shot by orchestrating several series between...
The All-Star break is a long standing tradition, and in the game of baseball tradition is something held very close to the game. The history and tradition behind baseball is unlike any other sport, which is why the MLB All-Star festivities stand above all other sports. The NBA All-Star tradition is one that rivals the MLB with the always entertaining Slam Dunk Contest, while the...
On Friday night, the first-place Oakland A’s (56-39) will ride into Anaheim to take on the Angels (44-49) in a three-game weekend set that kicks off the so-called “second half” of the 2013 season.
The A’s, if you may recall, ended their pre-ASG segment of the season with two very solid games against the Boston Red Sox, including last Sunday’s extra-innings walk-off provided...
This is a quick preview of MLB’s scheduled games for Friday July 19th, 2013.
Games – 15
AL Games – 7
NL Games – 7
IL Games – 1
American League Games (7):
Tampa Bay Rays (55-41) @ Toronto Blue Jays (45-49) – 7:07 pm
David Price (3-5, 3.94) takes the mound to try and continue Tampa Bay’s hot streak after the break. For game one, Toronto will start Esmil Rogers (3-4, 3...
Though the Los Angeles Angels have the high-priced, marquee talent, the low-budget Oakland Athletics are the team to catch in the AL West.
Looking to continue their success in Anaheim, the visiting A's hope to end their recent struggles against Jered Weaver and hand the underachieving Angels a fourth consecutive defeat Friday night.
For the first time since 1990 - the last...
MonkeyWithAHalo.com presents, a dramatic re-telling of the Joe Blanton vs. Mike Butcher incident:
It was a warm, sunny day in Seattle (which is unusual for a city with an average of 150 rainy days a year). Joe Blanton was on the mound for the Angels at the Mariners’ Safeco Field, and he was in quite a pickle. A two-run homer in the second had thrown him more than a bit off...