AL West Preview

1) Oakland A’s – They really don’t have a single superstar, but the thing the A’s have that no other team seems to have, is 25 men that contribute. Cespedes proved he is for real and Reddick broke out. They added more outfielders, signed a stud defensive shortstop from Japan, and added Jed Lowrie to bring some pop to the infield. They have a bullpen that is underrated and a pitching staff that is as good as any in baseball. Brett Anderson and Bartolo Colon are real front end starters, Jarrod Parker proved he has what it takes to be a future #1, Tommy Milone showed he can go a full season keeping batters off balance with his mix of speeds, and A.J. Griffin was almost untouchable down the stretch. The mix of power, speed, and pitching in the giant ballpark in Oakland will have the A’s atop the division yet again.

2) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – I really don’t like what the Angels have done. Losing Grienke without really adding a solid arm. They sign Josh Hamilton, but he is just as much a clubhouse cancer as he is a benefit on the field. I think the loss of uber utility man Macier Izturis will be a bigger loss than people realize. All that being said, they have too much talent to not be in the hunt for the division or at least Wild Card come mid-September.

3) Texas Rangers – They need to make a deal. Profar is legit. I think they should reach out to St. Louis about Oscar Taveras or Detroit about Castellanos in exchange for Elvis Andrus. The loss of Hamilton won’t really be that big a loss. I still like their rotation, Darvish will be a Cy Young contender, but I am just not sure they have enough in what I believe to be in the running for most talented division in baseball (along with the AL East).

4) Seattle Mariners – The laughing stocks of the West will surprise some people this year. I really wanted to list them at second in the division, but couldn’t justify it with the rosters of the Angels and Rangers, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they are in the mix for playoffs late September. They added a ton of power options in Morales, Ibanez, and Morse. They moved in the fences, and they have as talented a group of pitching prospects as there is in baseball. If the rookie pitchers make the bigs this year and pitch like the hype, the Mariners will be a hard team to beat.

5) Houston Astros – The Astros first year in the American league just might be the worst season a team has ever had. Their big league roster can be beaten by some AAA teams. That being said, I love what they are doing in Houston. The Astros are building from the ground up. They are stockpiling young arms. Have a future slugger coming up through their system in Jonathon Singleton, granted he will be serving a 50 game suspension for smoking weed. They secured a shortstop with the first overall pick. Plus they have the top pick this year, and should have it next year as well. They will be terrible this year, but will be competing with Seattle and Oakland at the top of the division in just a few years.


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