OAKLAND, CA - MAY 29: Oakland Athletics manager Bob Geren argues a call with third base umpire Chad Fairchild during their game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 29, 2011 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
In what is a weekly segment, let's take a look around the rest of the AL West, which includes your Texas Rangers cruising right along despite a series loss to Detroit and watching their division foes struggle.
1. Texas Rangers (35-28) — Despite dropping 2 of 3 against Detroit in a mini, mini homestand, the Rangers are still going strong, winning 7 of their last 10 games for the second-best 10-game stretch in going right now, other than, you guessed it, the Tigers. Just as we discussed last week, the Rangers have a real chance to create some separation right now and they're starting to do it thanks to the Angels and A's massive struggles. If this June is like last June at all, the Rangers will be in great shape in a few weeks. Next up for the Rangers is a four-game road set in Minnesota, a place the Rangers have historically struggled but against a Twins team that is pretty terrible this season.
2. Seattle Mariners (32-30) — At two games over .500, the Mariners are still surpassing expectations as they were expected to be the AL West cellar dwellers, and still might end up slipping to that. But right now, with the Mariners' pitching and their hit or miss offense, it's been enough to hang around in the race as they sit just 2.5 games back of the Rangers and three full games up on the Angels who sit in third. But next up for the Mariners is a four-game set beginning tonight in Detroit where they'll face that hot Tigers team. Who knows, by the end of this weekend the Rangers could feasibly hold a 6.5 game lead on the Mariners.
3. Los Angeles Angels (30-34) — The Angels have been the rare team that has been better on the road this year than at home, and this weekend they host the lowly Kansas City Royals for three games with a chance to make up some ground, at least on the Mariners. The Angels' offense has struggled, which isn't horribly surprising. But it is surprising to see their pitching struggling a bit recently, especially in the bullpen where they've been so solid in the past.
4. Oakland A's (27-36) — Wow. Just wow. The A's lost their ninth straight game on Wednesday, which resulted in the firing manager Bob Geren on Thursday. The A's have replaced Geren with interim manager Bob Melvin, who has formerly been at the helm of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Mariners, having won an NL Manager of the Year award in 2007. Things aren't going to get better for the A's this year, who have had some unfortunate injuries in their pitching staff.