Angels’ superstar Mike Trout shines bright at Target Field, earns All-Star Game MVP.
The American League won the game by a score of 5-3, and will have home-field advantage during the World Series, will an AL West team be playing the first two games of the Fall Classic in their home park?
Here’s a look at how players from the AL West performed in the All-Star Game and a quick weekend series preview for each club.
The A’s were well represented in the All-Star Game with six players taking part in the game. Josh Donaldson went hitless in two at-bats. Yoenis Cespedes didn’t get a hit in two plate appearances, and Brandon Moss struck out in his only at-bat.
Derek Norris had one hit in two at-bats, while scoring one run. Scott Kazmir struck out one batter and allowed one hit on the mound. Sean Doolittle struck out two batters, and surrendered just one hit.
Oakland begins the second-half with a series at home against the Baltimore Orioles, and Jeff Samardzija will start the opening game. Jason Hammel and Sonny Gray will start the following games this weekend.
The A’s have been the most consistent team in MLB this season, and this is mainly due to the performance of the starting rotation. If that continues, an AL West title is a great possibility for them this season.
The key for Oakland in the second part of the season is to play well when they take on the Mariners and the Angels.
Los Angeles Angels
Mike Trout had a terrific All-Star Game with two extra-base hits and two RBI. He was named the MVP of the game. He is the second youngest ever to earn this honor, since Ken Griffey Jr. did it in 1992. Trout is also the fourth Los Angeles player to win MVP, the first since Garret Anderson in 2003.
The Angels will continue their season at home against the Mariners. Los Angeles has yet to announce their rotation, but Garrett Richards, Jered Weaver and Tyler Skaggs are expected to start for the team.
Los Angeles ended the first-half on a high note, and are in a terrific position to have an opportunity of making the playoffs. It also helps when you have a player like Trout that can make a difference in many facets of the game.
Felix Hernandez threw a scoreless inning and struck out two batters. Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager each went hitless in two at-bats. Fernando Rodney faced two batters and struck out one.
For Seattle, Hisashi Iwakuma, Hernandez and Chris Young will be on the mound in the series against the Angels. The Mariners’ rotation is a big strength for the team, and they could get another pitcher back from injury around August. James Paxton is set to begin a rehab assignment, and is someone that can add another dimension to the rotation.
The only thing holding Seattle back is the lineup, as scoring runs has been a big problem for them. I do expect the club to address that issue by acquiring a bat before the Trade Deadline.
Jose Altuve hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning, and also made a good defensive play in the infield. The Astros will begin action by playing the Chicago White Sox in the second part of the season.
Scott Feldman, Dallas Keuchel and Jarred Cosart will receive the ball to start each game this weekend. Houston has plenty of young players that could develop into stars in a couple of seasons. They’re one of the worst teams in the Majors, but that might change in a couple of seasons.
Yu Darvish threw one scoreless inning, and struck out one batter. Adrian Beltre walked in his only plate appearance.
Texas takes on the Toronto Blue Jays to start the second-half and will look for improved play. Darvish starts the first game of the series, he will be followed by Colby Lewis and Nick Tepesch.
The Rangers are having a nightmare season with the team struggling to play well, and you have to wonder if this is a sign of things to come in the future.