ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 05: Pitcher Jered Weaver #36 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts in the second inning against the Minnesota Twins in their Opening Day game at Angel Stadium on April 5, 2010 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jered Weaver
In what is a weekly segment, let's take a look around the rest of the AL West, which includes your Texas Rangers no longer being in first place.
1. Los Angeles Angels (12-6) — Many folks said the Oakland A's would be the team to push the Rangers this season. But so far, it looks like the annual AL West power Angels are alive and kicking, and it all starts with the top of their starting rotation, led by Jered Weaver and Dan Haren. The Angels are full of youth led by first baseman Mark Trumbo and center fielder Peter Bourjos, who made Rangers fans see what Julio Borbon was supposed to be like over the past three games. The Angels are 8-2 in their last 10 games. Up next is a four-game series at home against the Red Sox, whose starting pitching is finally coming around. The Rangers are huge Red Sox fans this weekend.
2. Texas Rangers (11-7) — After starting the season 9-1, things have turned sour for the Rangers, who are 4-6 in their last 10 and have just lost three straight series for the first time since 2009. You read that right ... it never happened last season. In fact, the last time the Rangers were not in first place in this division was early June of last year. But, it's too early to read into that too much. The concerns right now are the Rangers' offense's inconsistency, but mainly the struggles of Colby Lewis and most notably, the Rangers bullpen with the exception of Neftali Feliz. Next up is a three-game series in Arlington against the Kansas City Royals, who are also 11-7. Yes, you read that correctly too. It's a biggun'.
3. Oakland A's (9-9) — The A's have been just what we expected them to be so far: a team with better than average starting pitching but no offense to go with it. One of those starting pitchers, Dallas Braden, just went on the DL, which won't do anything but hurt them in the short run. Not really much else to see here. The A's begin a four-game set in Seattle tonight to establish pecking order in the bottom half of the division.
4. Seattle Mariners (6-13) — This team is just bad. Yes, they have the defending Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez, who has seemed to have gotten a little fed up with the lack of help around him. They also have one of the most exciting rookies in the league in flame-throwing starter Michael Pineda. But other than that and Ichiro, they have ... Justin Smoak and Milton Bradley? Yuck. The best thing you can say about this club right now is that they have the best concessions in the league.