The seventh week of the MLB season is behind us, and some new storylines are taking shape. This article will examine our weekly synopsis of three teams playing up to (or better than) their capabilities. And three teams falling down on their luck. Plus one bonus team to watch out for as week four in the 2023 MLB season wraps up.
1 UP: HOUSTON ASTROS (28-21)
The Houston Astros have long been considered a World Series favorite in the American League. And even after a bit of a slower start, Houston has been coming on strong as of late. Over their past ten games, Houston has gone 8-2. Despite losing their last two games, Houston is still playing a dominant brand of baseball.
1 down: oakland athletics (10-42)
It’s no surprise to find the Oakland Athletics once again on this list in this spot. Oakland truly isn’t fielding a competitive Major League team. The nature of the sport lends to the belief that on any given night, any team can be victorious. And Oakland has proven that with their ten wins. However, when examining the ball club, there’s little question that it will be a long and arduous season for the Athletics. Oakland is riding a 1-9 record over their last ten games, including an eight-game losing streak with a -184 run differential. And this recent stretch is a microsome of the season Oakland will face. A lot of losing with the occasional (what will eventually feel like a fluke) win.
2 UP: SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (25-25)
The San Francisco Giants are a team that was seemingly forgotten about after regressing in 2022. But the Giants are the only team to have dethroned the Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League West division crown over the last decade. And while this isn’t the same team from 2021, it’s also not the team from 2022. San Francisco has struggled through the early part of the season. The Giants have been playing good baseball lately, evidenced by their 8-2 record over their last ten games. San Francisco has also, by way of their win last night, brought their overall season record to even, sitting at 25-25. The Giants are still trying to get from under a difficult start as they are still in the negatives in run differential at -17. However, if they continue playing this level of baseball, that run differential will head into the positives shortly.
2 down: toronto blue jays (26-25)
The Toronto Blue Jays are certainly having a rough go of it lately. This was accentuated by a players-only closed-door meeting after the loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. The loss pushed Toronto to just one game over .500 and a 2-8 record over their last ten. Toronto finds itself playing in the most challenging division in baseball. And in such a division, any slip-ups can result in missing the postseason entirely. And even for a supremely talented squad like the Blue Jays, it’s not unprecedented that they could miss the postseason even with an above .500 record.
3 UP: LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM (28-23)
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are an interesting team to attempt to quantify. They have two of the best players in baseball today, Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. And yet somehow, they’ve struggled to stay relevant in the postseason picture. This season is all the more critical as it’s the last contracted season in which Ohtani is a member of the Angels. And Anaheim’s best chance to keep Shohei will come with a postseason berth. That’s why this recent stretch is a good thing for the organization. The Angels are 7-3 over their last ten games and riding a four-game win streak with + in the run differential column. If Anaheim can keep this up for the rest of the season, a postseason berth is likely, and the odds of keeping Shohei improve too.
3 down: boston red sox (26-24)
The Boston Red Sox, like the Toronto Blue Jays before them, are in the toughest division in baseball. All five teams are not only over .500, but also they all have a minimum of 26 wins. This makes for serious competition. And like the Blue Jays, Boston has a losing record over their last ten games. Boston has gone 4-6 and are in the midst of a four-game losing streak, and have dropped to only +7 in run differential. The Red Sox will look to stop the bleeding this weekend as they face off with the Arizona Diamondbacks. But that won’t be an easy feat.
Be On Look Out (BOLO): SEATTLE MARINERS (26-24)
The Seattle Mariners have begun the climb to get back to relevancy in the American League West division. While their record over the last ten games is just 6-4, they are +34 in run differential and riding a four-game winning streak. Seattle is an interesting team to watch, as they have some notable players who just haven’t yet found their stride. And once they do, this team should be running on all cylinders. So, for now, keep an eye out for the Seattle Mariners this week in baseball.