A Look Around the West

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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. Houston Astros (34-27) — The Astros are off on Thursday, and boy, they could use it. The former best team in baseball has now suddenly dropped seven straight games. They've called up a couple of big prospects, highlighted by shortstop Carlos Correa, but so far, they haven't provided the spark they'd hoped. It's almost panic time for the Astros. Next up: Friday, 7:10 p.m., vs. Seattle Mariners.

2. Texas Rangers (31-28) — The Rangers had an ugly loss to Oakland on Wednesday night, but have still won seven of their last 10 games and have made up a ton of ground in the West over the past week. They've taken advantage of the Astros' stumble and are now just two games back in the West, and they're doing this without Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton. Next up: Thursday, 2:35 p.m., at Oakland Athletics.

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3. Los Angeles Angels (29-30) — The Angels are just a ho-hum team, and that's about the long and short of it. It's crazy because they still have the best player in baseball, but the pitching staff has underperformed this year and the team is still looking for someone else other than Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to produce at the plate. Next up: Thursday, 6:10 p.m., at Tampa Bay Rays.

4. Seattle Mariners (27-32) — The Mariners are six games back of the Astros, thanks to a couple of wins in a row. Still, everyone in the front office and manager Lloyd McClendon has to be on the hot seat after the Mariners' massive spring expectations have fallen well short so far.  Next up: Thursday, 11:10 a.m., at Cleveland Indians.

5. Oakland Athletics (24-37) — To illustrate just how bad the A's are, the team has won more than they've lost lately, and the first-place Astros have dropped seven straight. Yet, the A's are still 10 games behind in the West standings. Next up: Thursday, 2:35 p.m., vs. Texas Rangers.

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