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 (58-39) — Despite all their struggles and offensive troubles, the Rangers have won seven straight home series, have only lost two of their last 13 series and are a half-game back of the New York Yankees for the best record in all of baseball. Things aren't getting any easier as the schedule stacks up pretty stoutly, including a visit from the Los Angeles Angels for four games next week. So that'll be fun, and pivotal. Just imagine what would happen if Josh Hamilton would get his groove back and Michael Young can parlay this little mini-streak he's on into something sustainable. Things will be all good again. Next up: Friday, 7:05 p.m., vs. Chicago White Sox.
2. Oakland A's (53-44) — Wow. Wow. Wow. No idea how the A's are doing what they're doing, but they're 9-1 in their last 10 games and have lost only twice in the month of July. They've won 15 games over that time. Of course, they're doing it with their pitching staff, which is always good. But they're starting to swing the bats a little bit too. We'll see if this is sustainable. Common sense would say it's not, but it sure would be fun to throw another team into this race in a division that was supposed to be between the Rangers and Angels. Next up: Today, 11:37 a.m., at Toronto Blue Jays.
3. Los Angeles Angels (53-44) — Over the last 10 games, nothing's changed between the Rangers and Angels, as both teams have gone 5-5. The Rangers gained a game, lost it back, gained it back again and lost it again. It's the same story as of late for the Halos, Albert Pujols is back. Mike Trout is God's gift to baseball and Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson are both really good. But the Angels are in dire need of another starting pitcher, and they'll be in the trade market just like the Rangers over the next five days. Next up: Friday, 9:05 p.m., vs. Tampa Bay Rays.
4. Seattle Mariners (43-57) — The face of the Mariners franchise swapped dugouts earlier this week as Ichiro was dealt to the New York Yankees as they visited Seattle. The fire sale seems to be on, with the exception of Felix Hernandez, who for whatever reason is untouchable. The Mariners' freefall will only continue. Next up: Today, 9:05 p.m., vs. Kansas City Royals.