>As we get further and further away from the All Star break, these reviews are becoming less and less relevant, which is saying a lot because they weren’t all that relevant in the first place.  Luckily, the division in today’s review are smaller… at least one of them is.

AL West
Texas Rangers (50-38)
The Texas Rangers are in a relatively familiar situation.  They have put together a good first half, thanks in no small part to a torrid June by OF Josh Hamilton.  The main question that remains for a team that just acquired one of the top trade prospects in Cliff Lee is – can they keep it up? (That’s what she said!)  Arlington gets very hot in the summer, and that will take its toll on the team, just like it does every single year.  Can they still play well when it gets to mid-August, and will the Angels still be underachieving?  If the answer to both of those questions is “yes,” then the Rangers will find themselves bowing out to the Yankees in the playoffs.

Los Angeles Angels (47-44)
I think it is fair to say that the Angels have been slightly disappointing so far this season.  After losing Vlad and Lackey in the offseason, I don’t think the expectations were as high as they have been in recent years, but I think most people would have put the Angels closer to the top than where they sit right now.  Where’s Doc Brown and those crazy angelic beings when they need them?

Oakland A’s (43-46)
The A’s have performed just about as well as can be expected.  Nobody thought they were going to be great, but nobody thought they were going to be awful.  They are just kind of… there.

Seattle Mariners (35-53)
If the question for the offseason was “Who would be the biggest bust this year?”  I’m not sure anybody would have picked the Mariners.  In fact, Seattle was the popular pick to win the West in the offseason.  With their offseason acquisition of Cliff Lee, they were supposed to have the best 1-2 punch in baseball (in spite of the fact that the Cardinals clearly already had it!).  I have to admit, though, I bought into it myself and picked them to win the division.  Epic fail.