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. Houston Astros (47-34) — The Astros are coming off a sweep of the defending AL champion Royals and just keep winning after going through a bit of a skid a couple of weeks ago. The team is for real, about two or three years ahead of schedule. Next up: Friday, 6:10 p.m. at Boston Red Sox.
2. Los Angeles Angels (41-38) — The Angels are going through all kinds of internal strife with the resignation of GM Jerry Dipoto after he butted heads one too many times with Mike Scioscia. But the Angels are winning games right now and have a huge series coming up this weekend against the Rangers. Next up: Friday, 7:05 p.m., at Texas Rangers.
3. Texas Rangers (40-39) — The Rangers are the coldest team in the division, having won just three of their last 10 games, but two of those wins came on Monday and Tuesday, and they can win a four-game set Thursday against a good Orioles team. The offense is coming around after struggling through June as they head into a pivotal stretch that could determine where the Rangers stand at the July 31 trade deadline. Next up: Tonight, 6:05 p.m., at Baltimore Orioles.
4. Seattle Mariners (36-42) — It's hard to believe there haven't been heads rolling in Seattle yet. They were expected to be the favorite in the division and have lagged behind since the season began. Next up: Tonight, 9:05 p.m., at Oakland Athletics.
5. Oakland Athletics (36-45) — The A's can shake up the AL West pecking order this weekend when they take on the Mariners. They're currently just 1 1/2 games back of being out of the division cellar. Next up: Tonight, 9:05 p.m., vs. Seattle Mariners.