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 (77-53) — After their latest 20 games in 20 days stretch, the Rangers have to be thrilled with the results. In their past 10 games, they've gone 7-3 and are coming off yet another series win at home, this time against one of the hottest teams in baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays. Aside from Neftali Feliz and Colby Lewis, who both are out for the season, the club is nearly at full health and the bats are still back to normal, for the most part. If Yu Darvish can expand his recent good streak, look out. Thirteen of their next 16 games are against teams with losing records, meaning they could possibly put this race to bed if the A's ever cool down (more on them in a second). Next up: Friday, 6:05 p.m., at Cleveland Indians.
2. Oakland A's (72-57) — The A's are on an absolute tear, and just aren't going away. It's officially a race now, but not with the team everyone thought the Rangers would be battling with. The A's just got back the services of starting pitcher Brett Anderson, who has made two starts since coming off the disabled list after missing the entire season up to this point. And they've both been gems. The A's are still finding offense from a bunch of typical "Moneyball" guys like Josh Reddick, and they just keep winning. It's fun time, now. Next up: Today, 11:05 a.m., at Cleveland Indians.
3. Los Angeles Angels (68-62) — The Angels had a comeback win over the Boston Red Sox and a blowout win in the past two days, but they're still closer to last place in the West than they are to first. It's not quite time to count them out yet only because of all the starpower the team has, but it's getting close to that point. They still play the Rangers six times in September and are currently nine games back. Next up: Today, 9:05 p.m., vs. Boston Red Sox.
4. Seattle Mariners (63-68) — The lowly Mariners have been playing much better baseball since cutting bait with Ichiro. It's crazy to say, but the Mariners are only nine games out of a wild card spot. A month ago, that would've been unheard of. Next up: Today, 12:10 p.m., at Minnesota Twins.