ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 16: Howie Kendrick #47 of the Los Angeles Angels steal second ahead of the throw to Eric Sogard #28 of the Oakland Athletics during the ninth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on April 16, 2014 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
In a weekly segment, we'll take a look around the AL West — what's happened so far, and what's on tap in the coming days.
1. Oakland Athletics (10-5) — The A's are doing what they do. They play with swagger and find ways to win games. But right now, their bullpen is in a bit of a bad spot. They blew a late lead against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night and ended up losing the game in the 14th inning. They're about to get a snoot full of the Rangers, but before that, the lowly Astros come to town. Next up: Friday, 9:05 p.m., vs. Houston Astros.
2. Texas Rangers (8-7) — After a 10-game stretch of alternating wins and losses, the Rangers finally won consecutive games on Wednesday night with yet another walkoff win. They'll go for their first three-game win streak Thursday afternoon. The starting pitching has carried the team, which is the exact opposite of what everyone envisioned. Next up: Today, 1:05 p.m., vs. Seattle Mariners.
3. Seattle Mariners (7-7) — Much like the Rangers, the Mariners' pitching has carried them thus far. Unlike the Rangers, that's exactly what was expected. Even with Robinson Cano's addition to the roster, the Mariners' offense is still a rather paltry bunch. With that pitching, though, they can contend for a good while. Next up: Today, 1:05 p.m., at Texas Rangers.
4. Los Angeles Angels (7-8) — Rangers usually root heartily for the Angels to fail, but on Wednesday night they picked up a big win over the A's in extra innings. The Angels' pitching is a mess, and their hottest hitter to start the season, Josh Hamilton, is on the DL for a couple of months. In the past few years, the Angels have gotten off to awful starts, which they've managed to avoid this year. Next up: Friday, 6:08 p.m., at Detroit Tigers.
5. Houston Astros (5-10) — The Astros brought up their big hitting prospect, George Springer, on Wednesday, and that was exciting. But that's the extent of the Astros' excitement this year — when their young prospects make their big-league debuts. A loss on Thursday will complete a four-game sweep at the hands of the equally bad Royals. Next up: Today, 7:10 p.m., vs. Kansas City Royals.