The third full week of the 2015 Major League Baseball season is in the bags as the Detroit Tigers sit atop the American League. The Tigers currently sit with the best record in the AL despite going just 3-4 over the past week. Good news for them the second best team in the AL the Kansas City Royals only posted a 3-3 record after losing both of a double header on Sunday.
Along with the the Tigers and Royals the two hottest teams over the American League are both big surprises. In the AL central the Houston Astros who many had as the bottom team in the division sits at 11-7 after going 8-2 over their last 10 games with five of those wins coming this past week. This includes a three game sweep of the Oakland A’s a popular pick to win the division.
The other surprise team has been the Tampa Bay Rays who sit tied with the New York Yankees for the best record in the American League East. The Rays are riding a five game winning streak including a sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays and winning the final two games of a three game series against the Boston Red Sox.
Here is a quick overview of each division in the American League.
East Division: Entering the 2015 Major League Baseball season many experts had the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays as the top two teams in the division. While the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles below them followed by the Tampa Bay Rays. After a strong week from the Rays they moved up to a tie with the Yankees while the Orioles fell from first place to last place in the division after losing six of their last ten games including five games this past week.
For the Rays the success this week including their only loss has been in large part due to the team’s success on the mound. The team allowed just 13 runs during six games with only of those contests going above three runs. Two of those six contests belonged to Chris Archer who took the loss in a 1-0 loss to the Red Sox but rebounded with a win in the team’s 5-1 win over the Blue Jays.
Archer has been dominating this year despite a record of a 3-2 after five games. The Rays right hander has not allowed an earned run over his past four outings including his two contests last week. Along with the Rays, the Yankees have been red hot in the division going 8-2 picking up two wins over the weekend against maybe the hottest team in the Majors the New York Mets.
Central Division: Despite a down week for the top two teams in the Central, both hold on to the top spot after the rest of the division struggled as well. Following the Tigers and the Royals is the White Sox in third place at 8-9, the Minnesota Twins at 8-10 and the Cleveland Indians at just 6-11. The same Indians team that many experts had competing for the division crown this year.
The team to beat this past week in the Central was the White Sox who posted a 4-2 record with series wins over the Indians and the Royals. That included taking both games of a double header on Sunday to get the team back to 8-9. Much like the Rays, the White Sox have done it with pitching in that stretch allowing three or fewer runs in five of the teams six contests last week.
West Division: Out West it has been all about the Houston Astros hot start including winning five of their six contests during the past week. This includes taking two of three from the Mariners before sweeping the A’s over the weekend. The team’s success was built around scoring as they scored 36 runs over a six game stretch after scoring just 15 runs last week.
Following the Astros in the standings is the Los Angeles Angels who posted 4-3 record this past week. The big news surrounding the team though has nothing to do with the teams play on the field but with outfielder Josh Hamilton who is on the disable list. The Angels are nearing a deal that would send Hamilton back to his former club the Texas Rangers who are also in the AL West division.
Despite being considered the strongest division in baseball entering the season the concern early has been the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners went just 2-4 over the past week losing two games to the Astros followed by two more losses to the Minnesota Twins. The biggest issue has been the team’s consistency to score runs and pitch. The team allowed six or more runs in three of the four losses while the team allowed just two runs in the two wins but only managed to score a combined five runs.
Now that we have taken a look at each of the divisions around Major League Baseball we can take a look at individuals. Here is our list of top individual performers over the first week of the season.
Mark Teixeria, New York Yankees: The Yankees first baseman might be one of the hottest hitters in baseball in regards to power production. Teixeria picked up six hits over the week with five of them going for home runs. Along with the home runs, Tex added 10 runs batted in and four walks.
Hanley Ramirez, Boston Red Sox: Ramirez put together another solid week for the Red Sox. In seven games last week, the Red Sox outfielder picked up nine hits in 23 at bats including three home runs and five runs batted in.
Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays were built around pitching and this exactly has been what Archer has done this year. Archer went 1-1 over the week but allowed zero earned runs while striking out 16 hitters.
Alfredo Simon, Detroit Tigers: Simon has pitched brilliant for the Tigers this year and the trend continued last week. The Tigers starter won both his outings while allowing just two earned runs over 14 innings to move to 4-0 on the season.