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Rangers Join Tribe In Racing To Division Leads, And Orioles Lead East

The Indians, who have just completed their second of consecutive sweeps of Boston and Seattle, and who stand at 7-2 on the season, will go to Anaheim on Monday night to begin a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels (5-4), who won the final two games of their weekend series against Toronto (5-4) and reside in second place in the AL West. Cleveland finds itself -- at the beginning of a new American League week -- atop the Central Division by one full game over the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago White Sox, both of whom begin the week at 6-3.

Chicago will be in action on Monday at home against the Oakland A's (4-5), while the Royals will be off on Monday and will begin a series on Tuesday in Minnesota against the Twins (3-6).

The final member of the Central Division, the Tigers (3-6), have the unenviable task of welcoming the Texas Rangers (8-1) to Comerica Park on Monday for the beginning of a three-game series against the defending American League champions, who have the best record in the major leagues, and who bounced back from their first loss of the season in the opener of a Saturday doubleheader in Baltimore with two straight wins over the Orioles (6-3).

The Rangers are already three games clear of second place in the West, and Seattle (2-7) -- the victim of the Indians' sweep -- already finds itself six full games behind Texas after only nine games. The Mariners have lost seven in a row and will welcome Toronto to town on Monday night, looking for a win, any win.

In the East, the Orioles, despite their two straight losses, still lead by a full game over the Yankees (5-4), after New York's late loss on Sunday night against the Red Sox (2-7), who, believe it or not, are at present ahead of the Rays (1-8).

The Blue Jays find themselves in a tie with the Yankees, a game behind the Orioles

For a couple of good sources for checking out all the standings for yourself, I recommend Yahoo! Sports, which gives a good breakdown and also has a handy link to current wild-card standings.

Another resource that I like to peruse is mlb.com, which is excellent for all things major leagues, not just for standings.

Be sure to check back here for another update on Friday morning, when we will take a look at how things have changed between now and then, and give you the weekend match-ups all throughout the AL.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.