Wednesday, May 28, 2008

AL West Growing in Strength - Thanks to Texas?!

Earlier this season the home of AL doormats Seattle and Texas, the AL West is beginning to pick up speed, moving from 5th to 4th in our division poll. Texas has jumped to .500 on the season and #15 in our MLB power rankings, and the Angels (#10) and Oakland (#3) are doing more than enough to offset the woes of the #29 Mariners.

Since Seattle's season has been terrible for a while now, and the A's and Angels have been duking it out for the West lead with excellent rankings each, it really falls to Texas to increase or decrease the division's strength. Just 5 days ago, the Rangers were ranked 11th in the AL and the AL West was ranked 5th out of 6 divisions. But recent games, especially last night's win in Tampa Bay by 6 runs (over the top-ranked team in the top-ranked division), provided a giant boost to Texas' rating. Along with wins by the A's and Angels, now-8th-in-the-AL Texas was a huge reason that the AL West's strength meter climbed from about one-third of the AL East's power to over one-half (since Tampa's loss also caused the East's strength to fall slightly).

Over the past 10 games, Seattle has been the worst-performing team - but Texas, Los Angeles, and Oakland are all around the 85th baseball-wide percentile. Next up for the AL West to overcome: the #3 division NL East, who will be a tough nut to crack...

Atlanta: 7th overall, 52% last 10 games
Florida: 14th overall, 40% last 10 games
New York Mets: 12th overall, 49% last 10 games
Philadelphia: 6th overall, 98% last 10 games
Washington: 25th overall, 17% last 10 games

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