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. Oakland A's (7-2) — After dropping their first two games to Seattle, the A's have become baseball's hottest team early on and are on the verge of a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels. The A's are 5-0 on the road and are doing it with both pitching and offense as the bats that took the league by storm last year have kept things up early this year. If the first week and a half of the season is any indication, the A's were most definitely not a fluke in 2012. Next up: Today, 9:05 p.m., at Los Angeles Angels.
2. Texas Rangers (6-3) — The Rangers aren't as hot as the A's, but they have won three straight series to start the season, over the Astros, Angels and Tampa Bay Rays. The Rangers' offense, which has been fine so far without Josh Hamilton, hit a funk on Wednesday against their arch-nemesis Matt Moore and some near-freezing weather at Rangers Ballpark. If they can withstand the DL stint for Matt Harrison and continue to get good at-bats from new additions Lance Berkman and A.J. Pierzynski, the Rangers will be just fine. Next up: Today, 9:10 p.m., at Seattle Mariners.
3. Seattle Mariners (4-6) — Wait, someone lost a series to the Houston Astros? Yup, these guys did after dropping two straight to the Astros in Seattle after winning the first game of the series. That's not a good sign, I don't care how early in the season it is. The Mariners do get King Felix going tonight against the Rangers but Hernandez is coming off a so-so start in his last outing. Michael Morse, one of the Mariners' big offensive additions, started the season at a blazing pace but has since cooled. Next up: Today, 9:10 p.m., vs. Texas Rangers.
4. Houston Astros (3-6) — We thought the Astros might not win another game this year after opening the season with an 8-2 win over the Rangers (sarcasm alert, or maybe not?) but they just went to Seattle and won a series and did so with some ridiculous offensive outputs. Surprise? No doubt. Next up is the battle of the AL West cellar. Next up: Friday, 9:05 p.m., at Los Angeles Angels.
5. Los Angeles Angels (2-6) — Everyone point and laugh. The Angels are getting off to a start that resembles their start to the 2012 season, and once again it's easy to chalk it up to the new big-name bat they acquired in the previous offseason. Last year, it was a horrid start from Albert Pujols. This year, it's our old friend Josh Hamilton, who has one extra-base hit (a double) this season and more strikeouts than hits and walks combined. #lowandaway. Next up: Today, 9:05 p.m., vs. Oakland A's.