I hope you're not here for the pretense. Let's jump right in to the links from the AL West this week that should be relevant to your interests.
Texas Rangers (36-28)
Adam Morris covers the Rangers offense to date, and makes an interesting note: while the Texas offense has not improved much over last season to this point, they are significantly improved compared to the league average.
Joey Matschulat uses wOBA to create, I think, a very interesting rule of thumb to be applied in discussions of possible trade targets, specifically at where and how (and if) the Rangers can improve some of their black holes.
Josh Garoon looks at the five faces of Justin Smoak this season, making the case that he's a much more promising player this very season than his rather paltry slash lines would suggest.
With Rich Harden headed to the DL, some guy breaks down how bad Harden has been and why, coupled with a brief overview of the rest of the rotation and spot expectations.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (36-32)
Some evidence from Matthew Carruth that the Angels have been getting lucky this season. This sounds like a pretty familiar refrain.
With yet another Angel down on injury, Rev Halofan lists some options for replacing Aybar.
Oakland Athletics (33-33)
Nico of AN expresses some anger over poor balls and strikes calls and wonders what many of us have asked in the past: with technology like PITCHf/x, why isn't it at least used as an accountability tool for umpires?
Disappointing many a Rangers fan, Billy Beane bought low to grab Conor Jackson, who seems like a good righty bat going forward. Did you know he has regressed wOBA of .331 this year? Yes, if you read Satchel's piece.
Seattle Mariners (24-41)
Matthew Carruth uses uses tRA to assess the worst Mariners starts this season. Lots of Ian Snell and Ryan Rowland-Smith. No. 1 happened this past week, and No. 2 might just surprise you.
With the Mariners spiraling further and further out of contention, sooner than most would have expected, they're probably firmly in "sell" mode at this point. Matthew Carruth discusses the selling options.
Keeping with the selling theme, Dave Cameron analyzes Cliff Lee's value in a trade and what sort of return could be expected from him. "One high quality prospect and a few fillers," seems to be the conclusion.
In a directly related link, the same Dave looks at where Lee might end up. Put both links together for a great glimpse at the immediate future of the Mariners.