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American League West All Star Break Report Cards

When Major League Baseball had its four-day All Star break, each of the five teams in the American League West were in the same place as they were at the end of the 2012 regular season.

The Oakland Athletics and their low budget lineup continue to impress with seven walk-off wins to lead the majors and are first place in the division.

The Texas Rangers are only two games behind Oakland, are 12 games over the .500 mark and have found a way to have power and score runs even without Josh Hamilton in the lineup.

Hamilton’s new team, the Los Angeles Angels sit in third a distant 10 games behind first and 4 games below the .500 mark. Without a doubt, they are the league’s most disappointed and disappointing team.

In fourth place are the Seattle Mariners who continue to look for legitimate starting pitching besides just Felix Hernandez, since he can only pitch every fifth day. Hisashi Iwakuma may at least be their second starter but only time will tell.

Rounding out the five teams in the AL West is the Houston Astros, who by far are baseball’s worst team regardless of whether they play in their current division or the NL Central where they played for years.

Oakland certainly receives an (A) for the first half of their season. The A’s have won their last six consecutive series and have their best record on their 95th game since 1990. The A’s pitching staff is in the top 7 in all the major categories for pitching.

The offense for Oakland has put them in third place in the majors for overall record, just behind the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox. They currently are eighth in runs and eleventh in on base percentage in the majors. They legitimately could contend for the World Series title this season.

Texas is close to the A’s but received an (A-) for the first half of their season. If the season ended at the All-Star break, they would have qualified for a wildcard berth.

They are a solid team on both offense and defense and their pitching at one point in the season was second or third overall in the majors. Their pitchers rank eighth in team ERA and opponent’s batting average in the majors.

The offense of Nelson Cruz and Adrian Beltre has made up for the loss of Hamilton, who went to play with the Angels. Their ace Yu Darvish is contending for the Cy Young this season. Texas will be right there at the end of the regular season fighting for a World Series trip.

The Angels receive a (D-) for their first half of the season. They own the leagues seventh highest payroll yet are 10 games out of first, while Oakland with the fifth lowest payroll is in first.

The pitching staff is 27th in ERA and 24th for opponent’s batting average. With Hamilton, Albert Pujols and Jered Weaver this team should be contending for the division title.

The last two teams Seattle and Houston have earned (D) and (F) respectively and must find a way to keep their players enthusiastic or else will fall even further behind.

Seattle is 8 games under .500 and 12 games behind the A’s, while the Astros are 29 games below .500 and 22½ games behind and will most likely reach the century mark in losses.

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