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 (54-40) — The Angels have won 13 of their 15 July games and have won seven straight. They're getting some contributions at the plate other than those from Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, and their pitching staff has been fantastic — a bit of a surprise. Next up: Today, 2:35 p.m., vs. Minnesota Twins.
2. Houston Astros (53-43) — The Astros have now won three straight, but haven't been able to make up any ground on the red-hot Angels. They're going to be big players at the trade deadline as they look to beef up their pitching staff, but they're definitely in it for the long haul. Next up: Today, 7:10 p.m., vs. Boston Red Sox.
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3. Texas Rangers (45-49) — The Rangers have won two straight games and actually won a series in Colorado. Now, they head off to face the hottest team in baseball, but at least it's on the road where the Rangers have excelled this year. Next up: Friday, 9:05 p.m., at Los Angeles Angels.
4. Oakland Athletics (44-52) — The A's aren't in last place anymore, and they're only two games back of the Rangers for third. They're aren't necessarily hot or anything, it's just the bottom three teams in the division are all playing at about the same pace. Next up: Today, 2:35 p.m., vs. Toronto Blue Jays.
5. Seattle Mariners (43-52) — The Mariners slipped into last place for the first time in a long time, which just further illustrates the huge disappointment they've been this year after being picked by many to win this division in spring training. Next up: Today, 12:08 p.m., at Detroit Tigers.