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 (84-55) — The Angels were just swept by the Houston Astros, and yet, they're still owners of the league's best record and are now holding on to a five-game lead in the division over Oakland after catching them last month. The loss of Garrett Richards for the season hasn't hurt the Angels yet, but it remains to be seen how they'll handle it come the postseason when they don't have their ace starter. Regardless, it's pretty much a nice, easy coast to October for the Angels now. Next up: Tonight, 7:10 p.m., at Minnesota Twins.
2. Oakland Athletics (79-60) — The A's have been in a nosedive basically since they made all those big moves around the July 31 trade deadline. And so far, all those big moves have been backfiring on the A's and GM Billy Beane. They have won just three of their last 10 games and fallen five games out of the division lead and now have just a 2 1/2-game lead over the second wild card spot. Next up: Tonight, 9:05 p.m., vs. Houston Astros.
3. Seattle Mariners (76-63) — The Mariners are hot on the trail of the Tigers for the second wild card spot, now just a half-game back of that AL Wild Card Game. And if the M's get into the postseason, look out. The three-headed pitching monster of Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and James Paxton would be awfully tough to face in a playoff series. Next up: Tonight, 7:05 p.m., at Texas Rangers.
4. Houston Astros (61-79) — Well, it looks like the Astros won't lose 100 games this year, so good on them. They have won four straight games and somehow just swept the division-leading Angels. They've also pretty much assured themselves of a not-last place finish with an eight-game lead over your Texas Rangers. Next up: Tonight, 9:05 p.m., at Oakland Athletics.
5. Texas Rangers (53-87) — It's really hard to envision the Rangers avoiding a 100-loss season the way things are going. They've lost six straight, just two of their last 10, and their pitching staff and offense are on their last leg. Might as well play for that No. 1 draft pick now. Next up: Tonight, 7:05 p.m., vs. Seattle Mariners.