MLB Midseason Grades: AL West
2023 MLB midseason report card — Texas Rangers: A
- Preseason win projection: 82.5
- Current Record; 52-39
- Pace: 93-69
According to Pythagorean records, the Rangers are the unluckiest team despite their impressive record and division lead. Their +148 run differential suggests they should have a record of 59-32 instead of their current 52-39. Their offense leads the league with 531 runs scored.
They did make a wise move in trading for Aroldis Chapman to strengthen their bullpen, which is currently their only potential weakness. It won’t be a surprise if they acquire at least one more reliever to maintain their lead in the AL West.
2023 MLB midseason report card — Houston Astros: D
- Preseason win projection: 95.5
- Current record: 50-41
- Pace: 89-73
The reigning champs have been subpar since their second sweep of Oakland on May 28. They have a record of 19-20, and the pitching staff is mostly responsible for this mediocre performance. However, Framber Valdez and J.P. France have been exceptions, each making five starts in June with a 2.75 ERA or lower.
The Astros have struggled to win series against teams that are not at least eight games below .500, allowing at least five runs in 13 out of 30 games. Despite this, like the Yankees and Dodgers, Houston is still in a good position to make the playoffs.
Yordan Alvarez’s absence due to an oblique injury and Jose Altuve’s recent IL trip has been a setback for the team, but hopefully, they will return to the lineup shortly after the All-Star break. The Astros need them to chase down the Rangers and win the AL West.
2023 MLB midseason report card — Seattle Mariners: C
- Preseason win projection: 87.5
- Current record: 45-44
- Pace: 82-80
After two consecutive seasons of being one of the luckiest teams in baseball, the Mariners are struggling to win close games in 2023. In the past, they had a record of 67-41 in one-run games and 25-12 in extra-inning games between 2021 and 2022, but this year, they are 10-16 and 4-8, respectively, which leads the majors in losses that required at least 10 innings.
Seattle’s offensive performance has been poor, with a .233 team batting average, ranking them 24th in MLB.
With the All-Star break here, Seattle must act quickly to improve their performance.
2023 MLB midseason report card — Los Angeles Angels: C
- Preseason win projection: 82.5
- Current Record: 45-46
- Pace: 80-82
Shohei Ohtani might win the double Triple Crown. He currently leads the majors in home runs (32) and ranks high in other categories like RBI, strikeouts, batting average, and ERA. The Angels may not be a powerhouse team, but compared to recent years, they have had a fairly successful season thus far. The franchise has had a reputation for wasting the prime years of their star players, Mike Trout and Ohtani, but this year they are on track for their first winning season since 2015 and have a chance at their first postseason appearance since 2014.
Sadly, the Angels are unlikely to make the playoffs if the season ended today, and Trout has recently been placed on the IL. It is uncertain when he will return, which may slow down their momentum. The Angels have already faced several injuries, with Zach Neto, Gio Urshela, Logan O’Hoppe, and Brandon Drury already on the IL. With five starters out, winning games will be challenging, especially since the offense has struggled to score.
As the season progresses, the Angels must decide what to do with Ohtani, who is in the final year of his contract. The Angels want to keep him. However, this may change if Trout is out for an extended period. It’s not worth losing Ohtani for nothing, especially if Trout is out for a while. If Trout is only out for a few games or at least 10 days, making any hasty decisions is unnecessary. But if his absence is prolonged, holding onto Ohtani may not be worth the risk.
2023 MLB midseason report card — Oakland Athletics: F
- Preseason win projection: 60.5
- Current record: 25-67
- Pace: 44-118
On June 5, the A’s had a .194 winning percentage with a record of 12-50. Against the odds, they managed to win seven consecutive games, even against teams like Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, and Tampa Bay, who had winning records then. It helped lift them from their trajectory of being worse than the 40-120 New York Mets in 1962. But since then, they’ve gone back to their old ways.
They still have the worst record in the major leagues. The ownership led by John Fisher also deserves this grade for sabotaging Oakland’s last professional sports team. Moving to Vegas will only do much good if their move in 2028 puts the right product on the field.