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A Look Around the West

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 09: Nelson Cruz #23 of the Seattle Mariners rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field on August 9, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

    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. Seattle Mariners (16-11) — Nelson Cruz is mashing balls into orbit, and the Mariners' pitching staff has looked good so far, including its reworked bullpen. The result? The M's have won three straight and are in first place a month into the season after their disappointing 2015 campaign. Next up: Thursday, 7:10 p.m., at Houston Astros.

    2. Texas Rangers (15-13) — The Rangers have dropped two straight heartbreakers in Toronto in what has been a tremendous series so far. They look for a series split on Thursday with what they hope will be a refreshed bullpen and maybe a rejuvenated offense, as well. Next up: Thursday, 6:07 pm., at Toronto Blue Jays.

    3. Los Angeles Angels (13-15) — It's real simple for the Angels: They have OK pitching and three guys who can swing a bat. That's not enough to be serious contenders in a pretty good division. Next up: Friday, 9:05 p.m., vs. Tampa Bay Rays.

    4. Oakland Athletics (13-16) — The A's have been surprisingly competitive, but now they've dropped four straight, including a sweep at home by the Mariners. Next up: Friday, 6:05 p.m., at Baltimore Orioles.

    5. Houston Astros (10-18) — The Astros have won two straight games to get to double-digits in the win column, so good for them. Now, they head to play the first-place team in the division. Next up: Thursday, 7:10 p.m., vs. Seattle Mariners.