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A Look Around the West

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 21: The Texas Rangers bench runs on the field to celebrate Mitch Moreland #18 of the Texas Rangers walk off home run during the bottom of the eleventh inning to win the game 5-4 against the Houston Astros at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on June 21, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/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 picking things up despite Wednesday's crushing loss and also watching their division foes continue to struggle.

    1. Texas Rangers (40-36) — After a dreadful stretch, the Rangers have now won two straight series over the Atlanta Braves and fierce Silver Boot rival Houston Astros. That's helped them get a little breathing room in the division, and above the .500 mark. The Rangers are in an incredibly easy stretch of their schedule with 13 of their next 16 games at home, and all 16 against teams with losing records. They get the Mets into Rangers Ballpark this weekend with hopes of winning another series.

    2. Seattle Mariners (37-37) — Of all teams that could be helping the Rangers right now, it's the Washington Nationals, who have won two straight over the Mariners and are looking to get past Michael Pineda today to complete a three-game sweep. So all of those old Washington Senators fans out there can become Nationals fans for the day. The Mariners are continuing to surprise people by staying in the race behind their stellar starting pitching even there's no offense to speak of.

    3. Los Angeles Angels (37-39) — Even though they're only three games out of the lead, I still say the Angels, as we've known them, are finished, at least for this year. Ownership has come forward and told the front office that they will not be able to spend any more money this year, which will severely hinder their chances of upgrading before the trade deadline. They just aren't playing very good baseball, and haven't all year. Good news for the Angels is, they get to go across town and face the lowly Dodgers for three games.

    4. Oakland A's (34-41) — The A's lost to the Mets on Wednesday night on a walk-off hit by pitch. That wrapped up the feel of the A's season so far pretty well. They finish up the Mets series today before the Mets come to Arlington, but this just has the feel of a pretty bad lost season for Oakland, even after they swept their Bay neighbors and defending world champion Giants over the weekend. Too many injuries to their pitching staff and not enough offense isn't a good recipe for success.