Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols connects for a two-run homer against Washington Nationals Taylor Jordan in the fifth inning of a baseball game in Washington, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. This was Pujols 500th career home run. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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 (30-16) — The A's are just on fire. They've won nine of their last 10, including five straight, and have the best record in all of baseball. Their starting pitching is as good as ever, despite some key injuries, their offense is raking and even their weak link — their bullpen — is starting to get solidified as it appears Sean Doolittle has locked down the closer job. Next up: Today, 3:10 p.m., at Tampa Bay Rays.
2. Los Angeles Angels (26-20) — It appears the Angels are back as legitimate contenders after a few years of just not being very good. They're 7-3 in their last 10 games, and they're doing all of this without Josh Hamilton and with a version of Mike Trout that is still good, but not nearly as good as we've grown accustomed to seeing over the past two years. Next up: Friday, 9:05 p.m., vs. Kansas City Royals.
3. Seattle Mariners (22-23) — The Mariners also appear to be possible contenders, if not for the division title then maybe a Wild Card spot. Remember, two young, stud pitchers have yet to make their season debut in Taijuan Walker and James Paxton, and Robinson Cano is going to soon start hitting home runs against teams other than Texas. Corey Hart going on the DL is a blow to the Mariners, but they can contend in this jumbled American League. Next up: Tonight, 9:10 p.m., vs. Houston Astros
4. Texas Rangers (22-24) — The Rangers are still battling to get back on the right side of .500, but that's what happens when you go an entire month winning consecutive games just once. They'll look to do it again on Thursday when they open a rough road trip in Detroit. Next up: Today, 12:08 p.m., at Detroit Tigers.
5. Houston Astros (17-30) — Yup, they're still bad. Next up: Tonight, 9:10 p.m., at Seattle Mariners.