In a weekly post, we'll take a look around the AL West — what's happened so far, and what's on tap in the coming days.
1. Texas Rangers (82-69) — The Rangers continue to win when it matters most, and they're the only team in the division doing so. A sweep on Thursday afternoon would mean the Rangers are guaranteed to leave Houston on Sunday in first place in the division. They're being led by Cole Hamels, Colby Lewis, Adrian Beltre and Shin-Soo Choo right now, and they're on a nice roll having won eight of their last 10 games. Next up: Today, 2:35 p.m., at Oakland Athletics.
2. Houston Astros (80-73) — The Astros have dropped two straight as they take a day off before welcoming the Rangers to town in what will be a last-stand, Alamo moment for the Astros, who have lost seven straight games to Texas. Next up: Friday, 7:10 p.m., vs. Texas Rangers.
3. Los Angeles Angels (78-74) — The Angels took two straight games from the Astros to keep their head above water in the race, although the Wild Card is more likely given their 4 1/2-game deficit to Texas. But, remember, the Angels do come to Arlington for four games to end the season next week. Next up: Friday, 9:05 p.m., vs. Seattle Mariners.
4. Seattle Mariners (74-78) — All that's left for the Mariners is playing spoiler, as they'll likely be eliminated from playoff contention by Friday or Saturday. Next up: Tonight, 7:10 p.m., at Kansas City Royals.
5. Oakland Athletics (64-88) — See above, except the A's are already long eliminated. They do have a series remaining with Houston, who they took two of three from recently in Oakland. Next up: Today, 2:35 p.m., vs. Texas Rangers.