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 Athletics (48-30) — The A's have the best record in all of baseball, and it's no surprise. The years of writing off the A's as "lucky" or "team of destiny" are long gone. The A's are just flat-out dominant. It's just too bad they don't have fans that appreciate them. There's a bunch of fans in DFW right now that would love to go see a winning baseball team. Next up: Friday, 6:10 p.m., at Miami Marlins.
2. Los Angeles Angels (43-33) — The Angels are on a roll, which of course was helped by the fact they got to play the Rangers recently, sweeping Texas for the first time since 2008, which is coincidentally the last time the Rangers weren't very competitive. The Angels have won five straight games and are getting a nice boost from guys you'd never heard of until recently like C.J. Cron and they also have one of the best pitchers going right now in Garrett Richards — the hardest-throwing starting pitcher in all of baseball. They're going to be in it until the end. Next up: Today, 2:35 p.m., vs. Minnesota Twins.
3. Seattle Mariners (42-37) — Turns out, the Mariners were as predicted — a much improved team and a legitimate contender for the postseason, and possibly even the division. Currently, they're only 6 1/2 games out of the lead and have won seven of their last 10 games. Robinson Cano has made the offense exponentially better, and even a retread like Logan Morrison is on a tear at the plate right now. And that pitching? Well, we all knew that was good. Next up: Friday, 9:10 p.m., vs. Clevaland Indians.
4. Texas Rangers (35-42) — Losers of seven straight, including a sweep at the hands of the Angels and one game away from a sweep by the Tigers, the Rangers are effectively done. It's been a long time coming and they deserve credit for staying afloat as long as they did, but their catastrophic injury situation has finally gotten the best of them. Next up: Tonight, 7:05 p.m., vs. Detroit Tigers.
5. Houston Astros (33-46) — The Astros have lost four straight, and have the same mark as the Rangers over their last 10 games (2-8), which is fortunate because the Rangers could easily be in last place in the division right now, and still could end up there. The Astros are young and exciting, and they're about to no longer be a laughing stock. Next up: Today, 1:10 p.m., vs. Atlanta Braves.