Welcome back from your hopefully-awesome Fourth of July weekend, folks. If you're interested in what's been going on in the AL West and you're interested in sabermetrics, here are some tasty links for you.
To start, head over to the newly-opened SB Nation Bay Area. If you're a fan of any or all of the teams in the Athletics market, this should become your new first home for related opinions and news.
Texas Rangers (49-34)
Did you know Oliver is third in WAR among AL relivers at FanGraphs (tied with teammate Frank Francisco)? The Blogpark In Arlington argues he's been the best lefty reliever of the past five seasons.
Most Rangers talk over the week centered around new addition Bengie Molina. I addressed what he adds for the Rangers going forward, but I did not know the cost at the time would be a good prospect in Michael Main.
Joey Matschulat talks a little bit about how much unquantifiable catcher skills could actually be worth, as that's really what the Rangers brought Molina in for. He's not sure it's worth Main, and is concerned about what this means.
Josh Garoon uses a previous deadline deal for Texas, one for Carlos Lee, to argue a smart trade for Cliff Lee would not necessarily mean damaging the Rangers future.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (46-40)
Frankie Piliere has Mike Trout as the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball. A .443 wOBA will do that.
This trade is really working out for Tampa Bay. Joe Pawlikowski discusses jus how bad Kazmir has been in LA and argues a team clinging for life in a pennant race has to do something about it.
Oakland Athletics (41-44)
AN reader King Richard muses over the idea of sample size noise and what's commonly called "luck," wondering what causes those things, and asks for input from anyone willing.
On a related note, Danmerqury uses xBABIP to look at how lucky or unlucky the Athletics lineup has been. He provides a really, really nifty chart.
Seattle Mariners (34-49)
Two links for the price of one! Lookout Landing has two excellent run downs of every Mariners player in June. One thing jumps out to me: Felix Hernandez had a better tRA than Cliff Lee by a full run.
Dave Cameron discusses how much the extreme pull swing of Michael Saunders is weakening him lefties going away and pitches out of the zone.
Adding another entry to the long list of things that have gone even worse for the Mariners than anyone should have expected, R.J. analyzes David Aardsma.