Hello, everyone! Here's your weekly recap of the best AL West-centric writings the internet has to offer for you sabermetric fans.
The Angels opened up the the first half hosting the Mariners and played as well as expected, but Texas managed to hold their ground despite having to play four games in Fenway. And perhaps most importantly, the Athletics managed to climb back up to .500 yesterday and are slowly making this a three team race again.
The Division At Large
David Pinto analyzes the AL West race going forward, with a particular look at what the teams can do to get better. He surmises Texas may just be too good and hope is the best strategy for Oakland and Anaheim.
One last article about the Lee trade. Myron Logan gives a pretty thorough look and projection. He has the Mariners getting more value than they gave up, but believes it's closer than the general consensus claims.
Texas Rangers (55-39)
The Rangers were one out from sweeping the Red Sox in four games in Boston. In one of those games, Bengie Molina hit for the cycle. This despite the Boston pitchers apparently putting their pitches in the right spots.
Joey Matschulat points out that, despite some high-profile mishaps on the bases, the Rangers non-stolen base running has actually been solidly above average this season.
A fantastic (free) interview with C.J. Wilson, in which he discusses things like using statistics to help his game planning and how he doesn't like the term "pitch to contact."
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (51-45)
Steven Booth goes pretty deep to figure out how Tim Salmon became one of the greatest players to never make an All-Star roster.
Joe Pawlikowski discusses Torii Hunter's defying most of our expectations and earning (so far) the hefty contract the Angels gave to him. I find it most impressive that he's done so without being much of a fielder anymore.
Nate Proctor has the second part of his first-half assessment of the good, the bad and the ugly from the Angels in 2010.
Oakland Athletics (47-47)
Jason Grey spends time looking at the improvement of Trevor Cahill this season, and makes the argument his .225 BABIP is not necessarily due for a hard regression.
Though they seem to be steadily getting back in the race, most would probably argue the A's should be sellers. Jack Moore lists a couple reasons for Oakland seeming less excited about the idea.
AN seems to have more and more fun things to read each week. This week, there's this gem: "In fact, we've got four pitchers who have turned their opposition into a replacement level scrub."
Seattle Mariners (36-58)
With a fantastic use of spray charts, Jeff gives indication that Chone Figgins's extra-low BABIP is not just poor luck, but a lesser hitter who doesn't hit the ball as hard as he did last season.
This is something I never do, but I'm linking to an article I haven't read yet. However, since it's from R.J, I'm positive it is fantastic. And I will read it at about the time this publishes and you will, too, and we will discuss in the comments!
Just one more note on how very unfortunate the Mariners' season has been.