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 (72-51) — Another home series, another series win for the Rangers. The hometown club has been the model of consistency this season, even in their worst of times. They're now 21 games over .500 for the umpteenth time this season and looking to go 22 game over tonight — something they've yet to do this season. The offense seems to be cooking again with the big offensive outputs coming more and more often, including Wednesday night's 12-3 win that saw the Rangers put up a nine-run inning. Despite some questions surrounding the starting rotation, this team is in really good shape with the best record in the AL right now by a half-game over the New York Yankees. Now, the Rangers should be looking for a four-game home sweep beginning tonight against lowly Minnesota. Next up: Today, 7:05 p.m., Minnesota Twins.
2. Oakland A's (67-56) — The A's claimed shortstop Stephen Drew off waivers and sent Jemile Weeks to the minors, adding a better bat in the lineup to join the likes of Josh Reddick. They also got Brett Anderson back for the first time this year only to see him throw a gem in his 2012 debut. Face it, folks, the A's aren't going away. Will they catch the Rangers? That's highly doubtful, although they do square off in 7 of the season's final 10 games, but they could easily land one of the two wild card spots. Next up: Today, 6:10 p.m., at Tampa Bay Rays.
3. Los Angeles Angels (64-60) — Albert Pujols had to leave Wednesday's game with tightness in his leg. He's "hoping" to miss just 1-2 games, but this could be the nail in the coffin if it's any worse than that. Mike Trout is in a bit of a slump (by Trout's standards, anyway) and C.J. Wilson is still winless since June. Right now, the Angels are closer to last place than they are to first, and if things get much worse Mike Scioscia's job might be in danger — something no one ever thought they'd say about a guy who's always been perceived as one of the most secure managers in baseball. Next up: Today, 6:10 p.m., at Boston.
4. Seattle Mariners (61-64) — It's not terribly meaningful, but it's fun to watch. Once again, for the second time in three weeks the Mariners are on a tremendous tear, which was kicked off by Felix Hernandez's perfect game last week. Now, they've won eight straight games and are just seven games out of the wild card hunt and only 3 1/2 games back of the mighty Angels. Look out. Next up: Friday, 7:10 p.m., at Chicago White Sox.