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 (88-60) — The chasing Oakland A's have apparently finally begun to fall back a bit, losing two straight to the Detroit Tigers and losing again today, as I type this. The Rangers were able to take advantage on Wednesday night with a masterful performance by Derek Holland. The Rangers' magic number (combination of Ranger wins and A's losses to clinch AL West) is down to 11, but could be 10 when the Rangers take the field for the series finale against the Angels tonight in Anaheim. Another something to watch for, the Rangers are three games up on the New York Yankees for the best record in the American League and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs (until the World Series, of course). Next up: Tonight, 9:05 p.m., at Los Angeles Angels.
2. Oakland A's (84-64) — The A's pitching has finally cooled down, as Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers have eaten them alive over the last two days. Brandon McCarthy is out indefinitely, and Brett Anderson left Wednesday night's game with an oblique injury and has been ruled out for his scheduled Monday start against the Rangers. The A's are still in the lead for one of the two AL wild card spots, however, so they're still a threat even if they're four games back in the division with 14 games remaining, but remember, seven of those are between the A's and Rangers. Next up: Today, 12:05 p.m., at Detroit Tigers.
3. Los Angeles Angels (81-68) — The Angels beat the Rangers on Tuesday without Albert Pujols, then lost to the Rangers on Wednesday without having to worry about Josh Hamilton or Adrian Beltre. If the Angels can't beat Yu Darvish tonight, their chances of the winning the division are gone, and depending on what the Baltimore Orioles do, their chances of getting one of those wild card spots could take a severe hit, as well. Next up: Tonight, 9:05 p.m., vs. Texas Rangers.
4. Seattle Mariners (70-80) — Yeah, not to much to see here. Sorry, Seattlites. Next up: Friday, 9:10 p.m., vs. Texas Rangers.