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. Oakland Athletics (25-16) — The A's keep winning, but thanks to the White Sox they lost their first game in six tries on Wednesday. Obviously, the A's are the one team in the division that can pull away and put some serious separation between themselves and the rest of the division. The bullpen is still a serious question mark as Luke Gregerson was the latest to blow a late lead for the A's on Wednesday. Next up: Friday, 6:05 p.m., at Cleveland Indians.
2. Los Angeles Angels (21-18) — The Angels have surprised this year, not getting off to their customary devastating start to the season and now you see the results — they're only three games back of Oakland near a quarter through the season. Mike Trout is struggling, but Albert Pujols and Erick Aybar have carried the offense. The pitching staff is still a bit of a mess. Next up: Today, 9:05 p.m., vs. Tampa Bay Rays.
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3. Seattle Mariners (20-20) — The Mariners have lost two straight to the struggling Rays and are still waiting on some injured starting pitchers to make their season debuts. They aren't spectacular, but they could be a scary team if they can hold on until they're fully healthy. Next up: Friday, 7:10 p.m., at Minnesota Twins.
4. Texas Rangers (20-21) — It's actually somewhat miraculous the Rangers are one game under .500 at this point, and don't be shocked if things get worse soon with the news that Matt Harrison and Martin Perez are likely out for the season. Not to mention the fact the Rangers just lost their first series to Houston since 2008. Ouch. This team has a much-needed off-day on Thursday before returning home. Next up: Friday, 7:05 p.m., vs. Toronto Blue Jays.
5. Houston Astros (14-27) — Yes, this team just took two of three from the Rangers. But they're still the worst team in baseball, and it's not really that close. Next up: Friday, 7:10 p.m., vs. Chicago White Sox.