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 (50-32) — Despite losing three straight games, the Rangers are still the only club in Major League Baseball to have 50 wins and are keeping the Los Angeles Angels at a safe distance as both teams have struggled with their AL Central opponents this week. The Rangers have lost the first two games of a series against the Chicago White Sox and the Angels lost the last two games to the Cleveland Indians after winning the series opener on Monday. The Rangers are close to getting back some of their missing pieces as the first injured starter to re-join the rotation will be Derek Holland, who will pitch against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday. Next up? Colby Lewis. They're coming back slowly but surely. Next up: Today, 1:10 p.m., at Chicago White Sox.
2. Los Angeles Angels (45-37) — At 6-4 over their last 10 games, they've matched the Rangers over their last 10 instead of using the opportunity to gain more than a half-game on first-place Texas. Ervin Santana got absolutely bombed on Wednesday by the Indians, like Roy Oswalt-style bombed. Rumor has it that Dan Haren is about to hit the DL, which would cripple the Angels' starting staff. It'll be interesting to see if the Rangers and Angels battle it out for a starting pitcher at the July 31 trade deadline. Next up: Today, 9:05 p.m., vs. Baltimore Orioles.
3. Oakland A's (41-42) — The A's are staying afloat and are actually within striking distance of a wild card spot right now. We doubt that will last but have been saying that for a month now, and they keep hanging around. Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes has added a really legitimate weapon to the A's lineup and the pitching staff, albeit crippled with four opening day starters on the DL, has been more than effective. Next up: Friday, 9:05 p.m., vs. Seattle Mariners
4. Seattle Mariners (35-49) — Turns out the two awful teams in the AL West has turned into just one, as the Mariners are clearly the worst thing going in the division and are already 16 games out of first place. Look for the Mariners to start cutting bait with some folks to buying teams, most notably pitchers like former Ranger Kevin Millwood, who's actually having a really good year. Next up: Friday, 9:05 p.m., at Oakland A's.