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.