Tonight, the Angels caught the A's for first place in the AL West standings. The pessimist in me thinks that it should be obvious now that the Angels have fixed their problems and are just going to zoom past the A's, Rangers (half a game out), and Mariners (three games out) and run away and hide with the division.
However, for the optimist in me, there's this:
Angels' series opponents, since June 1
The highest current winning percentage amongst any of those teams is the Padres, at .520. The Angels haven't faced a good baseball team in almost two months.
Meanwhile, the A's have gone up against the Twins, Yankees, Detroit (twice) and Boston (twice).
So maybe the Angels aren't quite as good as they seem right now, and the A's aren't quite as bad. The schedule has been kind to the Angels so far, but it will strike back later. The Angels have the most difficult remaining schedule of all four AL West teams:
If you take out the intradivision AL West games, the table looks like this:
Team Remaining Opponent Win % (non AL West teams)
Even if the Angels are the best team in the division, they have the toughest road ahead to win it. Still, there are so many intradivision games remaining (at least 28 for each team), the division will probably be decided by who can knock the other teams out in their head-to-head matchups.
This division is still a wide open sea of unpredictable mediocrity. I can't say I'll be watching events unfold with much enthusiasm. It'll probably be more like watching four boats with large holes in their hulls slowly take on water. You're horrified by the disaster, but you have to keep watching, just to see which one sinks last.