The way the Texas Rangers have hit the ball this season, it may take more than an injury to Jacob deGrom to knock them out of first place.
DeGrom is done for the season after Tommy John surgery, but the Rangers still lead the AL West by 5 1/2 games over Houston and by six over the Los Angeles Angels. Texas leads the major leagues with 458 runs scored — nearly six per game — and the Rangers also have the game's top run differential.
Corey Seager has been excellent when healthy. He's hitting .349 with 10 homers and 46 RBIs in 46 games. Marcus Semien is batting .278 with 10 homers of his own, and the Rangers have received impressive contributions from two 24-year-olds: Ezequiel Duran is hitting .312 and Leody Taveras is at .298.
Texas got just six starts from the oft-injured deGrom, but the rotation isn't exactly in shambles without him. Nathan Eovaldi, Jon Gray and Dane Dunning all have ERAs under 3.00.
The Rangers lost two of three at Yankee Stadium over the weekend, but it was a tightly contested series in which every game could have gone either way. Texas won 4-2 in 10 innings, then lost 1-0 and 5-3, with New York scoring three in the bottom of the eighth to take the finale.
The AL West has largely belonged to Houston for the past few years, but the Astros are scuffling at the moment, having dropped seven of 10. The Angels turned some heads with their epic blowout of Colorado on Saturday night, but they actually lost two of three to the Rockies. Seattle had a similar experience in Baltimore, winning the opener of that series 13-1 before dropping the next two games to fall two under .500.
QUITE A BOOST
The Miami Marlins are 11 games over .500, and while much of the attention has been on Luis Arraez and his .399 batting average, rookie Eury Pérez has been just what the team needed on the mound.
Pérez struck out nine in six innings in a 2-0 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday. The 6-foot-8 right-hander improved to 5-1 with a 1.34 ERA, and he now has a 21-inning scoreless streak.
Arizona outfielder Corbin Carroll has a head start on Pérez in the Rookie of the Year race, but expect Pérez to play a significant role in the Marlins' bid for a playoff berth.
Not counting the shortened 2020 season, who is the last pitcher to win NL Rookie of the Year honors?
LINE OF THE WEEK
With all due respect to Elly De La Cruz's cycle, this honor has to come from the Angels' staggering 25-1 win over Colorado. Mickey Moniak went 5 for 5 with five runs and four RBIs for Los Angeles. He hit a homer and three doubles.
The No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft, Moniak was traded from Philadelphia to Los Angeles last year for Noah Syndergaard. He's having a fine season for the Angels since being called up in May, hitting .337 with seven homers and 20 RBIs in 27 games.
COMEBACK OF THE WEEK
Down 7-3 in the seventh inning, the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied for an 8-7 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday. David Peralta cut the deficit in half with a two-run homer, then Los Angeles drew three straight walks to start the bottom of the eighth before a sacrifice fly and a double tied the game. The Dodgers finally went ahead when a run-scoring balk was called on Ryne Stanek.
Houston's win probability peaked at 94.7% at the start of the seventh, according to Baseball Savant.
The Astros blew another lead the following night, allowing three Los Angeles runs in the eighth to tie the game, but this time Houston prevailed 6-5 in 11 innings.
DeGrom, for the New York Mets in 2014.
Follow Noah Trister at https://twitter.com/noahtrister