The work week has officially kicked off for most as the second month of the Major League Baseball season has come to a close. As June opens up today, we have a chance to take a look at not only who has played well around the American League this past week but over the first two months of the season.
In the American League we have seen both the East and Central divisions shake up almost each week while the West has seen the Houston Astros continue to be the team to beat. Currently the Minnesota Twins hold the top spot in the Central while the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays sit tied at 26-25 to hold the lead in the East.
Currently two of the hotter teams in all of baseball have been the first place Twins who have won eight of their past 10 games while the Texas Rangers have accomplished the same feat in the West division to anchor the third place spot and move within five games of the Astros.
Now we will take a look at each of the divisions and how they played around the American League.
East Division: The East division is looking more and more to be a five team race for the remainder of the season as no team has really took control. We saw the Yankees play some great ball before a long losing streak before rebounding. The same was said for the Rays who sat atop for a brief moment before the team’s offense failed to show up while the Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox have all failed to get hot.
This week the only team to produce a record above the five hundred mark was the Yankees who opened the week with a three game sweep over the Kansas City Royals. In the three game series the Yankees outscored the Royals 23-4 with their pitching carrying the way. Following their three weeks to open the week, the Yankees would love back to back to the Oakland A’s before splitting the remaining two games over the weekend.
Besides the Yankees the Orioles played to a 4-4 record after splitting their double header with the Chicago White Sox on Thursday. The Orioles started the week off taking two of three against the Astros before splitting with the White Sox on Thursday and losing two of three against the Rays over the weekend. The Orioles have struggled to produce runs of late and saw their All-Star centerfielder miss back to back games over the weekend after hurting his ankle on a slide.
The Blue Jays played to a 3-3 record while the Rays finished with a 2-4 record and the Red Sox with just a 1-6 record.
Central Division: In another crazy scenario the Twins have stormed back after a very slow start to the season to take over the top spot in the Central. The Royals come in at second followed by the Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox. The Twins and Indians have been red hot of late.
This past week saw the Twins play to a 5-1 record and produce their first 20 win season since the last won the World Series. The team opened up the week taking all three games over the Red Sox before taking two of three against the Blue Jays over the weekend. The team’s only loss of the week came on Friday as Mark Buehrle was able to hold the team to four runs in the team’s 6-4 loss.
The Indians on the other hand continued their recent hot streak winning four of seven contests after winning six straight games last week. The week opened up losing back to back to the Rangers before taking back to back games over the Rangers and Mariners. The team would go on to win two of three over the weekend including a 6-3 on Sunday in 12 innings.
Meanwhile the Tigers have struggle off late losing four streak games while playing to just a 3-7 record over their last 10 games.
West Division: The final division we will take a look at is the West Division as the Astros continue to find themselves at the top of the divison. That being said the Los Angeles Angels have played well of late winning their last four games while the Rangers also have found themselves on a three game winning streak.
First we will take a look at the Angels recent success after starting the season as one of the favorites. The Angels opened the week up with a win over the San Diego Padres before losing back to back to them. The team then welcomed the Tigers to town for a four game series in which they would win all four games.
In that series the Angels outscored the Tigers 26-10 holding the powerful Tigers offense to under two runs in three of the four games. Meanwhile the Rangers have been as hot winning five of their seven contests this week including two of three against a very hot Indians team to start the week.
Much of their success came in the same week the club brought Josh Hamilton off the disabled list and back to the club. Hamilton picked up his first walk off hit of the season on Sunday against the Red Sox.
Now that we have taken a look at each of the divisions around Major League Baseball we can take a look at a few individuals. Here is our list of top individual performers over the eighth week of the season in the American League.
Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers: Hamilton appeared in seven games this week for the Rangers after starting the season on the disabled list. It was a very solid start as Hamilton picked up a game winning hit along with two doubles, two home runs and five runs batted in.
Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays third baseman is one of the hottest hitters in the game. Donaldson opened up the week hitting home runs in four straight games including two on Tuesday against the White Sox. In all Donaldson picked up hits in all six Blue Jays games including three multi-hit games with six home runs two doubles and 11 runs driven in.