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 (17-10) — After Wednesday's loss to the White Sox, the Rangers fell into a tie for the second-best record in baseball with the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves with the best team in baseball coming to town this weekend. The Rangers bats have come and gone recently and will need to be out in full force to be successful against the Red Sox this weekend. But first thing's first, win the series with the White Sox in tonight's rubber game. Next up: Today, 7:05 p.m., vs. Chicago White Sox.
2. Oakland A's (16-13) — The A's are showing last year wasn't a fluke as their young bats are still hitting, including Josh Donaldson, who was the AL Player of the Week last week. Coco Crisp is dealing with a hamstring injury though and Brett Anderson has a sore ankle, so there are some injury concerns and that 19-inning affair against the Angels that lasted well into Wednesday morning certainly didn't help matters. Next up: Friday, 6:05 p.m., at New York Yankees.
3. Seattle Mariners (13-17) — The Mariners' pitching has always been adequate, but as of late they're raking the ball at the plate. The additions of Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse has turned the Mariners into a possible contender along with the changes at Safeco Field where they moved the fences in a bit. Next up: Friday, 6:07 p.m., at Toronto Blue Jays.
4. Los Angeles Angels (10-17) — After winning on Wednesday against the A's behind a strong start from former Ranger C.J. Wilson, the Angels are still 3-7 over their last 10 games. The Angels' team ERA is a lofty 4.87, which is good for the second-worse in all of baseball in front of only the Astros. As good as the Angels' lineup might be — and guys like Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton will pick it up — the pitching staff is in shambles and shows no real signs of getting better. Next up: Tonight, 9:05 p.m., vs. Baltimore Orioles.
5. Houston Astros (8-20) — About once a week, the Astros are good for putting on an offensive display and putting up eight runs. The rest of the time, they might combine to score that much. Second baseman Jose Altuve is about the only consistent bat the Astros have. It's going to be a long season, as expected, in Houston. Next up: Tonight, 7:10 p.m., vs. Detroit Tigers.