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This Week in the AL West

Another week deep in to the baseball season and another round-up of AL West links that you, dear Beyond the Boxscore readers, will hopefully find interesting.

This week, I would like to ask a question to be discussed in the comments: of the three AL West teams not in first place, who would you pick to make the playoffs and why?

The Division (and baseball) at Large

Lookout Landing: Thinking More About Luck

Matthew Carruth combines Base Runs and wOBAr in an effort to look at how much luck teams have had offensively so far. Not Mariners (or AL West) specific, but from a Mariners blog and definitely worth reading.

Texas Rangers (26-20)

Lone Star Ball: Elvis Andrus and the Sacrifice Bunts

21 year old Elvis Andrus has had a fabulous season, ballooning his OBP well above .400, but, as Adam Morris points out, he's also had a maddening number of sacrifice bunts this season (eight already).

Baseball Time in Arlington: The Unloved -- Will Ian Kinsler Return to Glory?

Josh Garoon takes a look at Ian Kinsler's improved late discipline in 2010 and (with spray charts!) where he's been hitting the ball so far. He also asks why Kinsler isn't as embraced by Rangers fans as some of his teammates are.

Bob's Blog -- Live from Lewisville: Justin Smoak has Actually Been Awesome This Year

An intern for a Dallas area radio station guest posts on a radio personality's blog to defend a .165 hitter as actually having been very good in the peripheral department to the masses.

The Biz of Baseball: Texas Rangers Voluntarily go in to Chapter 11 to Finish Sale to Greenberg/Ryan Group

As the lengthy title says, the Rangers long, drug-out sale has taken a major step forward with current ownership filing for "pre-packaged" voluntary bankruptcy. Maury Brown has the legalese explanations, if you're able to follow.

Oakland Athletics (23-23)

Athletics Nation: Statistically Significant -- wOBA

Not a lot of A's analysis in here, but I like primers and the different approaches each take. This is AN's primer on wOBA.

FanGraphs: Oakland Owns the Bay Area

Jack Moore talks a little bit about the ramifications of Oakland's sweep of the Giants, which allowed the A's to make up significant ground in the AL West race.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (22-26)

FanGraphs: Kendry Morales' Mild Start

David Golebiewski analyzes the causes of Kendry Morales's relatively slow start (.355 wOBA compared to .382 last year), but argues that, while regression should have been expected, he will likely improve going forward.

Orange County Register: Wood to the DL with Slump-itis

We've spent some time here talking about Brandon Wood's inability to hit in the Majors. He's now taking his poor season to the disabled list for a while.

Seattle Mariners (17-28)

Lookout Landing: Evaluating Predictions at the Quarter Poll

Matthew Carruth looks at how Seattle's performance so far has compared to his expectations for the season. The evidence is that the Mariners have been a disappointment, but not as bad as the record looks.

FanGraphs: Jose Lopez, Feast and Famine

Carruth again, this time at a different site highlighting the extaordinary good that has come from Jose Lopez's move to second base. Unfortunately, his defensive surge has been countered with some of the worst hitting in baseball.

Lookout Landing: One Way to Measure Bullpen Luck

Lots of Matthew Carruth and lots of Luck Talk. This time, he looks at the poor luck of the Mariners' bullpen this season. WPA has it costing the team more than two wins this year, but the performance has not been as bad.

FanGraphs: Franklin Gutierrez's Patience

Some dude named R.J. Anderson looks at Franklin Gutierrez's extreme patience thus far in 2010. F-Gut swings at just 5% of the first pitches he sees and, importantly, it's working for him (.357 wOBA).