The three-game series between the Athletics and Angels provided some good drama this past weekend, and guess what. The two AL West rivals get only three days “off” before going at it again – this time in Anaheim of Los Angeles.
A four-game series that begins Thursday night figures to have playoff implications although both teams surely will make it into the postseason. They do, after all, have the best records in the Major Leagues in the toughest division.
In fact, if the regular season ended today, three teams (including the Mariners) would be playoff-bound.
The appetizing Athletics-Angels rematch highlights the final weekend in August and gets us all pumped up for the stretch drive.
This week’s power rankings:
1. Angels (1): A resurgent Josh Hamilton could be just what the Angels need to dethrone the A’s in AL West.
2. Athletics (2): The loss of closer Sean Doolittle to a right intercostal strain does more than just a little to hurt the team’s pursuit of another division title.
3. Mariners (3): Raise your hand if you thought the surging M’s would sweep the Red Sox in Boston and none of the starting pitchers would get a win. No hand, eh?
4. Dodgers (4): There are times when the only way to control Yasiel Puig on the basepaths is to tackle him.
5. Giants (5): Third baseman Pablo Sandoval has displayed a Gold Glove caliber glove, but it was his arm that ended a 73-game errorless streak on Sunday.
6. Padres: (6): A GW tip of the cap to skipper Bud Black for his 600th win as the Padres manager, putting him second to Bruce Bochy (951) on the franchise’s all-time list.
7. Astros (7): Big question in Houston these days is whether RHP Scott Feldman will make it past the next trade deadline.
8. Diamondbacks (8): The game plan is to promote several minor leaguers on Sept. 1 and hope some of them emerge into future roster mainstays.
9. Rangers (9): With 20 of their remaining 32 games against AL West playoff contenders, the non-contending Rangers could have a lot to say about which division teams reach the playoffs.
10. Rockies (10): Sept. 28 can’t come soon enough for the injury-plagued NL West cellar-dwellars.
(Last week’s ranking in parenthesis)