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 (64-49) — What a difference a week can make. In 10 days, the A's saw their six-game lead in the division dwindle to zero. Now, after suffering a sweep at the hands of the Reds, the A's are in a dead heat with the surging Texas Rangers and have won just one of their last seven games, against the Rangers. Bartolo Colon even got hit hard on Wednesday afternoon by the Reds, and when that happens you know things aren't going well for the A's. The A's schedule doesn't get any easier for the rest of the month. Next up: Friday, 6:07 p.m., at Toronto Blue Jays.
1. Texas Rangers (65-50) — After getting swept and going 26 innings without scoring a run in Cleveland, the Rangers have gone on an absolute tear over their last 10 games, winning nine of them, including two sweeps of the lowly Los Angeles Angels. With Nelson Cruz on the shelf for the rest of the regular season, the Rangers have adapted and are 3-0 without their big slugger. It's hard to imagine, but things get easier this weekend. Next up: Friday, 7:10 p.m., at Houston Astros.
3. Seattle Mariners (53-61) — The Mariners are in an interesting situation this season with their front office basically working to keep their jobs after continuous struggles. They had plenty of parts they could have split with at the trade deadline but kept all of them to try to play for the best possible record they can get this year. It's pretty obvious they're the third-best team in the West, but they aren't a playoff threat, even after a recent hot stretch that has since cooled off. Next up: Friday, 9:10 p.m., vs. Milwaukee Brewers.
4. Los Angeles Angels (51-62) — This team is in a full-fledged landslide, winning three of their last 10 and dropping four straight games. Manager Mike Scioscia is about at his wit's end and actually made his team take pitcher's fielding practice prior to Wednesday's finale against the Rangers — something reserved for the back fields during spring training. It's almost an insult to ask a big-league team to do that before a regular-season game, but Scioscia did it. Next up: Friday, 6:10 p.m., at Cleveland Indians.
5. Houston Astros (37-76) — LOL. The Astros are young and have potential, but they're a good three or four years away from it, and that's if all goes well. Next up: Friday, 7:10 p.m., vs. Texas Rangers.