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 (21-13) — After avoiding another series loss on Wednesday in Milwaukee, the Rangers sat back and watched as both the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland A's lost, expanding the Rangers' lead over their two biggest division rivals even more. As it stands, the Rangers have the largest division lead in baseball at 3 1/2 games and after a series in Houston, the Rangers play six of their next 10 games against the A's. All of this, and Adrian Beltre has yet to get going. That's good news for the Rangers, and bad news for everyone else. Next up: Friday, 7:10 p.m., at Houston Astros.
2. Oakland A's (18-17) — The A's will be playing today to avoid a four-game sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Indians, which would be music to the Rangers' ears — sweet, sweet music. Josh Reddick is on the disabled list, joining pitcher Brett Anderson, and things just don't seem to be going very well for the Swingin' A's. They'll have a chance to right the ship though in the coming week with the six games against the first-place Rangers. Next up: Today, 11:05 a.m., at Cleveland Indians.
3. Seattle Mariners (16-19) — The Mariners are hot, one of the hottest teams in baseball, actually. They got an expected boost on Wednesday with a dominant effort from Felix Hernandez on the mound and have now won seven of their last 10 times out. After a day off Thursday, the Mariners will host a three-game set against the A's, and don't be shocked to see the Mariners pull into second place by the time Sunday rolls around. Next up: Friday, 9:10 p.m., vs. Oakland A's.
4. Los Angeles Angels (11-22) — OK, point and laugh, everyone. This team is just in shambles. The pitching staff without Jered Weaver is a mess, the bullpen is a mess, as always, and the big bats in the Angels' lineup still aren't coming around (looking at you, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton). The only teams with worse records in all of baseball are the last-place Astros and the Miami Marlins. Those two teams were supposed to be awful. This one wasn't. But they've now lost eight of their last 10 games and with a loss tonight would fall victim to a three-game sweep at the hands of the Astros and a sixth-straight loss. They're 9 1/2 games behind the Rangers and Mike Scioscia's job has to be in jeopardy. Ouch. Next up: Today, 7:10 p.m., at Houston Astros.
5. Houston Astros (10-24) — The Astros have won two straight against the Angels, and they're still only to 10 wins on the season. That tells you about all you need to know about what could finish the 2013 season as the worst team in baseball. Next up: Today, 7:10 p.m., vs. Los Angeles Angels.