Ok folks! Lauren here. I’m back with my MLB predictions for the upcoming season. This week I’m covering the Westside of both leagues. Here’s how I think the AL West will stack up.
American League West
1. LAA Angels (Paper Champs): Yep, I know. Call me a sucker. I like the Angels though. If Pujols, Hamilton and Trout live up to the billing and they can find some pitchers behind Weaver and Wilson, the Angels have a great chance to win the division. They may be let down by Ryan Madson in the closer spot, just like my Reds, because of his elbow. They could be a bust, but I’m going with the Halos.
2. Texas Rangers (Ch, Ch, Ch, Changes): No Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, or Mike Napoli. They added the smart, but brash, A.J. Pierzynski to catch. He talked mad crap about the Rangers during their run for the championship in 2011. Their starting pitching could be pretty good with Darvish, Holland, Harrison and Ogando. The 5 spot needs to be filled because Neftali Feliz had Tommy John surgery in August. Will the loss of team leaders have a negative effect on the Rangers? I hope not.
3. Oakland A’s (Hungry): They were the Cinderella story of last season, beating the Rangers straight up for the top spot, but I’m not sure about this year. Oakland has depth, so it has been reported that they have a spirit of competition in camp. They had great pitching last year and they are excited about Brett Anderson playing a full season. They added Chris Young, from the D-Backs, to mix it up at the plate and in the outfield. Can they make winning a habit?
4. Houston Astros (New Kids on the Block): Making the shift over to the American League will be interesting for the Astros. I am excited about the team because of the manager, Bo Porter. There aren’t too many African American skippers in the big leagues, so I’m pulling for the guy. He’s young, energetic and well known in the Houston area. He wants players who are accountable and fundamentally sound. The Astros may be towards the bottom of the pile this year, but the owners have built a solid coaching staff and minor league system. They have great expectations.
5. Seattle Mariners (Sink or Swim): No one is predicting great things for the Mariners this year. They added Raul Ibanez, Michael Morse and gave King Felix a huge contract. They even brought the fences in at Safeco Field for the hitters. They may have a slightly better offense, but who is going to pitch after Hernandez? I think Seattle will sink again this year.
What do you think?
Next up, the NL West. Stay tuned…