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. Texas Rangers (24-14) — The Texas Rangers picked up where they left off last year recently, dominating their AL West foes. They took two of three from the Los Angeles Angels, including not letting their ace get out of the fourth inning. They beat the Oakland A's on Wednesday night and will go for a quick two-game sweep today to increase the biggest divisional lead in all of baseball, which stands at 5 games heading into today. Next up: Today, 1:05 p.m., vs. Oakland A's.
2. Oakland A's (19-19) — The A's lineup is just absolutely putrid. Five regulars hitting below .200? That is just incredible. But somehow, this team keeps finding ways to win. Their pitching is above average, and will only get better later in the season when guys like Dallas Braden and Brett Anderson return from long DL stints. It still seems the Rangers' only legitimate concern in the division is the Angels, but we've been saying that now for more than a month and the A's are still sitting in second place. Could it be time to start taking them seriously? Probably not. Next up: Today, 1:05 p.m., at Texas Rangers.
3. Los Angeles Angels (17-21) — After leaving Arlington with a shot to the confidence and a series loss, the Angels have bounced back to take two straight from the very average Chicago White Sox. The Angels' bullpen is still in shambles, as is their catching situation. As we've been saying for more than a month now, once Albert Pujols and the offense starts going, the team will improve. They're still waiting on that to happen, but Pujols did have three hits the other night so maybe it's coming. Next up: Today, 2:35 p.m., vs. Chicago White Sox.
4. Seattle Mariners (16-23) — The Angels are finally not in last place anymore, but that might be just as much the Mariners' doing as the Angels'. The Mariners are basically the same team as the A's, and actually have a better lineup which is just mind-boggling. Yet, they've lost three straight games and close out a series today with the Cleveland Indians, who are in first place in the AL Central. Next up: Today, 11:05 a.m., at Cleveland Indians.