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 (32-20) -- Just .500 over their last 10 games and riding a season-first three-game losing skid, the Rangers could really use a win in today's series finale with the Diamondbacks after having the last two days off, one because of an odd scheduling quirk and one because of weather. They're still in good shape, but they need to stop their losing skid and keep the streaking A's and Angels at bay. Next up: Today, 1:05 p.m., vs. Arizona Diamondbacks.
2. Oakland A's (31-23) -- The A's are surging in a big way, winning nine of their last 10 games, have won six straight games and with a win today will sweep the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants. They have one of the best bullpens in baseball and somehow keep putting runs on the board despite their less-than-impressive stats. Next up: Today, 2:45 p.m., at San Francisco Giants.
3. Los Angeles Angels (24-29) -- The Angels have gone on a tear since digging themselves quite the hole early in the season, having reeled off eight of their last 10 games. They close a series with the crosstown foe Dodgers tonight and are now just 6 1/2 games behind the Rangers after trailing by double-digits just seemingly yesterday. Next up: Today, 9:05 p.m., vs. Los Angeles Dodgers.
4. Seattle Mariners (22-31) -- After getting off to a decent start, the Mariners have fallen back in the pack, finally letting the Angels pass them after going on an enormous losing skid that ended with that 13-inning affair against the Rangers. They're now 10 1/2 games back of the Rangers. Next up: Today, 2:40 p.m., at San Diego Padres.
5. Houston Astros (16-37) -- The Astros just don't do much worth talking about except for the occasional win over a team they shouldn't beat, but hey, it's baseball, even the worst teams are going to win every once in a while. Next up: Today, 7:40 p.m., at Colorado Rockies.