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. Texas Rangers (47-29) — Considering all that's gone wrong with this team over the past month, it's really remarkable to see them still holding a 4 1/2-game lead over the equally hot Los Angeles Angels. The pitching staff is a shell of its former self, the best player on the team and early-season MVP favorite is mired in a horrible slump that's coming up on a month, but somehow the team keeps winning. After bulldozing its way through a soft Interleague schedule, many thought the Rangers' fortunes would go back the other way with resuming an AL schedule against a stout Detroit Tigers lineup. Instead, the Rangers took two of three and scored 13 runs on Wednesday. Could it be a sign of things to come? Look out. Next up: Today, 7:05 p.m., vs. Oakland A's.
2. Los Angeles Angels (42-33) — Mike Trout continues to amaze, as he did with his catch of the year candidate on Wednesday to rob Baltimore's J.J. Hardy of an early home run off Jered Weaver before the Angels exploded en route to a 13-1 win to sweep the Orioles. Just like the Rangers, the Angels are 8-2 over their last 10 games and now they head to Toronto to face a struggling Blue Jays squad in a four-game set. Next up: Today, 6:07 p.m., at Toronto Blue Jays.
3. Oakland A's (37-39) — The A's are somehow still floating around .500 but got some bad news with both Brandon McCarthy and Bartolo Colon hitting the disabled list. Better yet, the Rangers will miss rookie phenom Jarrod Parker, who shut down Seattle on Wednesday night. Next up: Today, 7:05 p.m., at Texas Rangers.
4. Seattle Mariners (32-45) — Ouch. Not much to say here. The Mariners are struggling mightily and now get to host a surging Boston Red Sox team. Next up: Today, 9:10 p.m., vs. Boston Red Sox.