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. Texas Rangers (78-67) — The Rangers are now 11 games over .500 with 17 games left to play, which is simply remarkable considering where the ship was in early May. Since May 20, the Rangers have the second-best record in the American League behind Toronto, and they've finally caught their in-state rival by winning the first three games of a four-game set. They can take a 2 1/2-game lead with one more win over Houston on Thursday night. Next up: Tonight, 7:05 p.m., vs. Houston Astros.
2. Houston Astros (77-69) — The Astros are falling apart at the seams, having won just three of their last 10 games and were demolished on Wednesday night by the Rangers despite having their AL Cy Young candidate on the mound. There's still time to recover, but not much. Next up: Tonight, 7:05 p.m., at Texas Rangers.
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3. Los Angeles Angels (73-72) — Jered Weaver is getting ejected from games, and the Angels are fading into the sunset, now five games back of first-place Texas. Next up: Tonight, 7:10 p.m., at Minnesota Twins.
4. Seattle Mariners (71-76) — The Mariners are simply looking to play spoiler now, and they have a good chance of doing it to the Rangers, who they have absolutely owned this year. Next up: Friday, 7:05 p.m., at Texas Rangers.
5. Oakland Athletics (62-84) — Not much to see here. They'll simply try to play spoiler for Houston and Texas, who they still face again this year. Next up: Today, 1:10 p.m., at Chicago White Sox.