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 (54-38) — In case Rangers fans haven't figured it out yet, the A's aren't going anywhere, and this is shaping up to be a race to the end. The good thing for Rangers' fans and a bit of silver lining? The A's have gone nearly two months now without putting a single player on the disabled list, and the Rangers, as we know, are on the complete opposite end of the spectrum and yet the A's are still leading by just a half-game. Next up: Friday, 9:05 p.m., vs. Boston Red Sox.
2. Texas Rangers (53-38) — The Rangers now have four of their five rotation pitchers that started the season on the disabled list but Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz are smashing the ball, specifically Beltre, and Leonys Martin has come on and contributed more than probably anyone expected and has to be a strong candidate for AL Rookie of the Year honors through the first half of the season. Now, the Rangers are waiting for reinforcements and possibly an upgrade or two at the July 31 trade deadline. Next up: Today, 6:05 p.m., at Baltimore Orioles.
3. Los Angeles Angels (44-46) — The Angels have won 11 of their last 14 games as Josh Hamilton has started to swing the bat like the guy that was a shoo-in MVP candidate before July 2012 came around. C.J. Wilson is pitching like an ace lately, and Jered Weaver has started to look better after a massive dip in velocity early in the season. Next up: Friday, 9:10 p.m., at Seattle Mariners.
4. Seattle Mariners (40-51) — The Mariners are candidates to unload before the July 31 trade deadline with guys like Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse on several teams' radars and several young guys are making way in the bigs and in the minors, namely top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker. This is a rebuilding team. Next up: Today, 2:40 p.m., vs. Boston Red Sox.
5. Houston Astros (32-59) — See above regarding the seller thing, but this team is in much worse shape in its current state than the Mariners. Good things appear to be on the horizon here, just not this year. Next up: Friday, 6:10 p.m., at Tampa Bay Rays.