OAKLAND, CA - JULY 06: Jeff Samardzija #29 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning at O.co Coliseum on July 6, 2014 in Oakland, California. Samardzija is pitching his first game for the Athletics. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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 (59-36) — The A's have made their big trade, acquiring Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Cubs last week, and they're probably not finished as they still need help at second base and can always use some more depth. The A's bullpen also has a couple of question marks, as well, but as a whole, this team is loaded and it shows with what is the best record in all of baseball. Next up: Friday, 9:05 p.m., vs. Baltimore Orioles.
2. Los Angeles Angels (57-37) — There is no hotter team in baseball. They've won nine of their last 10, including their last five thanks in large part to your Texas Rangers. They're one of those teams that probably didn't want to hit the all-star break. The Angels' bullpen got a big fix when they shipped away the dumpster fire that is Ernesto Frieri and brought in a former accomplished closer Jason Grilli in hopes of a reclamation. This Angels team is finally what we've expected the past three Angels' seasons to be. Next up: Friday, 9:05 p.m., vs. Seattle Mariners.
3. Seattle Mariners (51-44) — The Mariners were hot on the trail of the A's and Angels before the break, and before they ran into a 10-game stretch where they only won four games, even if they did almost sweep Oakland. The Mariners are going to be big-time buyers at the deadline and will look to push to get one of the two wild card spots. Next up: Friday, 9:05 p.m., at Los Angeles Angels.
4. Houston Astros (40-56) — Same thing we've been saying for a good while now: This team is fun to watch, but it won't show results this season. Look out though. Right now, they're just aiming to beat out the Rangers for fourth place. Next up: Friday, 7:10 p.m., at Chicago White Sox.
5. Texas Rangers (38-57) — While the Angels are the hottest team in baseball, the Rangers are the coldest one, and in turn, have the worst record in all of baseball. They began their firesale on Wednesday, shipping Jason Frasor off to Kansas City, and have officially gone into evaluate-for-next-year mode. Next up: Friday, 6:07 p.m., at Toronto Blue Jays.