3 Takeaways from the Mariners' April atop the AL West

The Mariners sit atop of the AL West despite poor early performances from Julio and company. There are some takeaways to glean from April baseball, even if sometimes the statistics can only been taken semi-seriously given the sample size.
George Kirby, Diamondbacks v Seattle Mariners
George Kirby, Diamondbacks v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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Takeaway #3- The AL West is up for grabs

The Astros and Texas Rangers don't have the starting pitching right now to take the West from the Mariners due to injuries and performance issues. The Angels will be without Trout for at least a few months, which KO's them for the year essentially. The Astros starting rotation struggled to a 5.10 ERA in April, and that's buoyed heavily by a shocking 1.65 ERA from Ronel Blanco that includes a no-hitter.

It's also worth noting the Astros have hit with the 2nd best April wRC+ in the American League behind the Baltimore Orioles. The Rangers haven't had that kind of offensive dominance, but they managed a 106 wRC+ in April despite Corey Seager going through an ice-cold stretch. The Rangers pulled off a 3.87 starter ERA last month, but it'll be difficult to sustain that with deGrom, Mahle, and Scherzer still out for a while.

John Fisher killed the A's before the season started by not bothering to sign any free agents, so this is essentially a three team race between Seattle, Houston, and Texas. It goes without saying Houston has Mount Everest to climb to win the division right now, but Fangraphs still gives them a 28% chance of winning the AL West yet again. The defending champion Texas Rangers have a powerful lineup, but they have an average bullpen and a myriad of health concerns in the starting rotation right now. The Al West is for the Mariners to take, but they can't keep striking out at a 29% rate!