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A Look Around the West

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 02: Jon Lester #31 of the Oakland Athletics is greated by teammates in the dugout after he was taken out of the game in the top of the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals at O.co Coliseum on August 2, 2014 in Oakland, California. Lester left the game with the Athletics leading 8-3. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/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 (69-44) — Still the best team in baseball record-wise, and it's not even really close. The A's are the only team playing better than .600 baseball and are coming off a huge trade deadline when they got seasoned ace Jon Lester to add to their already-strong rotation. Even still, they're just 5-5 in their last 10 games and dropped Wednesday's game to Tampa Bay. Next up: Tonight, 9:05 p.m., vs. Minnesota Twins.

    2. Los Angeles Angels (67-46) — The second-best team in baseball by record has dropped two straight to their LA rival Dodgers and close out a four-game set on Thursday night. The Angels have a retooled bullpen and will almost certainly lock up a wild card spot if they don't catch the A's, who currently hold a two-game lead over the Halos. Next up: Tonight, 9:05 p.m., vs. Los Angeles Dodgers.

    3. Seattle Mariners (59-54) — The Mariners have fallen 10 games out of the division race, but they're still very much in the thick of the race for the second AL wild card spot — a game back of Toronto and a half-game back of Kansas City. They upgraded in center field last week at the deadline by acquiring Austin Jackson in the three-team deal for David Price and have won two straight over the Braves. Next up: Tonight, 9:10 p.m., vs. Chicago White Sox.

    4. Houston Astros (47-67) — They've dropped two straight to a bad Phillies team and are 5-5 in their last 10 games. They currently hold a two-game lead over Texas in the division and a three-game lead in the Silver Boot series. With a series win this weekend, they could all but secure that bad boy. Next up: Tonight, 6:05 p.m., at Philadelphia Phillies.

    5. Texas Rangers (45-69) — Enough, already. Hey, at least they won back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month and their second series in three tries. Not too shabby. Next up: Friday, 7:10 p.m., at Houston Astros.