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 (43-27) — After a miserable stretch that lasted more than a month — miserable by the Rangers' standards, anyway — the Rangers have heated back up in a big way. They've now won four straight series (all Interleague play) and have swept two straight against teams that would've been embarrassing to lose a game to in the Houston Astros and San Diego Padres. The starting pitching has been pretty fantastic over that stretch and the bats have started to show signs of life in winning six straight and nine of their last 10. They now hold a 5-game lead over the rival Angels, who haven't been much cooler recently. Roy Oswalt makes his Rangers debut on Friday. Good times. Next up: Friday, 7:05 p.m., vs. Colorado Rockies.
2. Los Angeles Angels (38-32) — The Angels are almost as hot as the Rangers, otherwise the Rangers would've gained a lot more than a game-and-a-half since last week. They appear to be fully awake from their early-season slumber as guys like Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo are excelling while Albert Pujols is also closer to being back to his former self. Their rotation is getting healthy now too, as Jered Weaver made his return from the disabled list to beat the San Francisco Giants without a problem on Wednesday night. Now, Rangers fans can be Los Angeles Dodgers fans. Next up: Friday, 9:05 p.m., vs. Los Angeles Dodgers.
3. Oakland A's (33-36) — Hey, don't look now but the A's have the same mark as the Angels over their last 10 games (7-3) and just guaranteed at least a split in a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are now just behind the Rangers for having the best record in all of baseball. They avoided a scare last week with ace Brandon McCarthy, who went on to have another stellar start the other night. Next up: Today, 2:35 p.m., vs. Los Angeles Dodgers.
4. Seattle Mariners (30-41) — Things just aren't good right now in Seattle. At least summer began Wednesday and the residents can look forward to the wonderful two months out of the year they get weather-wise. Even Felix Hernandez is struggling this season. It's just bad, and it doesn't seem to be getting better any time soon, especially in a division where even Oakland is playing some good baseball. Next up: Friday, 9:05 p.m., at San Diego Padres.