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 (21-13) — After they were supposed to run away with the AL West last year and failed miserably, it looks like the Mariners could be for real this year. They've won eight of their last 10, including a sweep of the Rays. Next up: Friday, 9:10 p.m., vs. Los Angeles Angels.
2. Texas Rangers (20-15) — The Rangers have been 1 1/2 games behind the Mariners for what seems like eternity, and so far this year, the two teams are clearly the cream of the AL West crop. The Rangers are coming off a big series win over the best team in the AL and now look for revenge against the Jays. Next up: Friday, 7:05 p.m., vs. Toronto Blue Jays.
3. Houston Astros (14-21) — The Astros are still struggling, mostly because of their pitching and especially their bullpen. It's early, and they still have tons of good, young players. It'd be silly to write them off already. Next up: Tonight, 6:10 p.m., at Boston Red Sox.
4. Oakland Athletics (14-21) — The A's have won just one of their last 10 games and have dropped five straight. A big part of their extended struggle is the underperformance they're getting from ace Sonny Gray. Next up: Friday, 6:10 p.m., at Tampa Bay Rays.
5. Los Angeles Angels (13-20) — While it's way too early and stupid to write off the Astros, we can go ahead and put the Angels in the ground. Their ace (and really only really good starter) is out for the year, and they have three hitters. Next up: Tonight, 9:05 p.m., vs. St. Louis Cardinals.