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AL West Preview

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Last year we were treated to an unbelievable comeback/collapse atop this division. The A's battled back sweeping Texas in the final series of the year capping off a comeback that saw them 13 games back at the end of June to win the division outright. That forced Texas into the one game playoff against the Orioles in which the Rangers lost again. 

The Winner: LA Angels

Last year the Angels just could not get going. No matter how much talent they had they for whatever reason could not get any momentum behind them.

They have ace Jared Weaver and CJ Wilson back which is arguably the best pitching duo in the league. They also brought in Jason Vargas, Tommy Hanson, and Joe Blanton to round out their rotation. That is a pretty nice starting five. Vargas was a steal. He had a really good year last year pitching for the Mariners. Now that he will get some run support he could take a big step this year to a more elite guy. That could give them three great pitchers.

When you have stout pitching like that and then you toss in Trout, Trumbo, Pujols and now Josh Hamilton to go along with their already above average lineup you have a lot of teams scared especially within the division. Trout was nearly MVP as a rookie. Trumbo is a keeper in a lot of fantasy leagues. Pujols is Pujols. He will get his shit together, he can't have two bad seasons in a row. Then you add Josh Hamilton to the mix? Watch the hell out.

The Contenders: Oakland A's, Texas Rangers

The A's have to take a step back this year right? They caught fire last year and rode guys that were thrown away by bigger clubs, like Josh Reddick, to a division title. There is no way their offense can muster enough juice again this year to overcome their suspect/young pitching.

The Rangers should start the year out strong. They should be playing pissed off. They have something to prove to everyone this year. The problem with them succeeding is they lost perhaps their best bat and did not get any pitching help. They will be relying heavily on unproven talent like Yu Darvish early and often. Matt Harrison will have to pitch his ass off this year and guys like Lance Berkman, who is batting third for them, are going to have to step up big time for this team to have any playoff hopes. Look for the Rangers to start off strong but taper off, miss the playoffs and watch the rival Angels win this one rather easily. 

The Rest: Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners

This division might just have the two worst teams in baseball. While the Mariners at least have King Felix and a couple young pieces, like Justin Smoak. The Astros have a roster that will make less money than A-Rod will this year. They are a total disgrace to the game nd should be banned from play this year for their complete lack of effort to field a decent team. They should be competing for the Tigers record for most losses in a season and I think they might have that locked up with a month to go.

Friday, March 29, 2013

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