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A Look Around the West

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    In what is a weekly segment, let's take a look around the rest of the AL West, which includes your Texas Rangers in a tie for first place despite a horrible stretch the last week and a half.

    1. Texas Rangers (17-14) — After jumping out to a blazing 9-1 start to begin the season, the Rangers have trailed off dramatically with the injuries to Josh Hamilton and Neftali Feliz. The bullpen has blown two of the last three games, and C.J. Wilson saw to it that the bullpen wouldn't be needed on Wednesday as he pitched a gem of a complete game to beat Seattle 5-2. Colby Lewis has a big start tonight to see if he's actually turned things around after a great start in Oakland. It would be huge considering Matt Harrison has apparently hit a wall. Over the last 10 games, the Rangers have won just three and after finishing the series against Seattle tonight, which would be their first series win in a good while, they will host the Yankees for three games. Time to turn things around.

    2. Los Angeles Angels (17-14) — Bobby Abreu's two-run single snapped a tie and gave the Angels a win over the Red Sox in the 13th inning on Wednesday night, which certainly didn't do the Rangers any favors. Thanks a lot, Dice-K. Anyhow, Jered Weaver is still crusing, as is Dan Haren. After that, the starters aren't much to write home about lately, and the Angels' bullpen isn't much better than the Rangers has been as of late. The Angels close out a series in Boston this afternoon as the Rangers could enter tonight's game with a 1/2 game lead in the division.

    3. Oakland A's (16-15) — After taking three of four games from the Rangers, the A's have climbed right back into the thick of things in the West, just one game back of the leaders. They're coming off a win over the MLB-best Cleveland Indians on Wednesday and as pedestrian as that A's offense is most of the time, their pitching staff is quite scary. The A's are starting to show why they were many "experts'" pick to overtake the Rangers in the division this year. Time will tell.

    4. Seattle Mariners (14-17) — After getting off to a putrid start, the Mariners have actually been playing well lately. And on Wednesday night, we saw the future of aces in this league when Michael Pineda was flashing his stuff. Wow. He's really good. And he's not even the Mariners' ace. With he, Erik Bedard and, of course, King Felix, the Mariners have a stout top of their rotation. But that offense is more anemic than the A's. Yet, they're only 3 games out right now in what has quickly become the tightest division in all of baseball.