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. Los Angeles Angels (75-50) — Look who suddenly has the best record in all of baseball. The Angels are 8-2 over their last 10 games, have won three straight, and have now taken over the lead in the two-team race for the American League West title. The Angels haven't been in this position since 2009, when they last won the division before the Rangers' reign started. They took a big blow, however, on Wednesday when they likely lost ace Garrett Richards for the season with a knee injury. Next up: Tonight, 6:10 p.m., at Boston Red Sox.
2. Oakland Athletics (74-52) — The A's are in a tailspin since making all their big deadline moves, including shipping off core bat Yoenis Cespedes to Boston for ace Jon Lester. They have now lost eight of their last 10 games, including a loss to the awful New York Mets on Wednesday. They've won just one game in the past week. After a day off Thursday, there's a pivotal series against the Angels. Next up:Friday, 9:05 p.m., vs. Los Angeles Angels.
3. Seattle Mariners (68-58) — The Mariners are nearly as hot as the Angels, but they didn't just suffer a devastating injury. They're one game back in the AL Wild Card race and still have plenty to play even if their division hopes are essentially dashed. Next up: Friday, 6:10 p.m., at Boston Red Sox.
4. Houston Astros (54-73) — The Astros are looking for a four-game sweep of the Yankees this afternoon in the Bronx. That would just be funny on several levels. Next up: Today, 12:05 p.m., at New York Yankees.
5. Texas Rangers (49-77) — The Rangers have the worst record in all of baseball. That's still a weird sentence to write, but it's true. At this point, if you're a Rangers fan, you hope they finish that way, too. A No. 1 draft pick and league-high spending budget would be a huge boost for an already strong organization and farm. Next up: Friday, 7:05 p.m., vs. Kansas City Royals.