Blog Entry

AL West Preview

Posted on: February 12, 2012 1:19 pm
 
So its been a while again since my first post of the series but after some intense calculations i have finished all of my projections so they should be more frequent now. Now we take a look at what I think is the second worst division in baseball; the AL West. While they have 2 very good teams at the top, the backend of the division is pretty bad and the addition of the Astros next year is not going to help. It should be a dog fight for the division between the Rangers and Angels but there is little chance the other teams get involved in the race. Lets take a deeper look at the teams this season.

1. TEXAS RANGERS

C- Mike Napoli
1B- Mitch Moreland
2B- Ian Kinsler
SS- Elvis Andrus
3B- Adrian Beltre
LF- David Murphey
CF- Josh Hamilton
RF- Nelson Cruz
DH- Michael Young

Pitching-

1. Colby Lewis
2. Yu Darvish
3. Derek Holland
4. Matt Harrison
5. Neftali Feliz

CL- Joe Nathan
SU- Mike Adams
SU- Alexi Ogando

While the starting pitching might not be as star studded as the Angels they have better overall depth. The offense is basically unchanged from last year but is still one of the best in the league. All in all the Rangers are a very balanced team that should be fairly consistent and be in World Series contention yet again.

2. LOS ANGELES ANGELS

C- Chris Iannetta
1B- Albert Pujols
2B- Howie Kendrick
SS- Erick Aybar
3B- Alberto Callaspo
LF- Vernon Wells
CF- Peter Bourjos
RF- Torii Hunter
DH- Mark Trumbo

Pitching-

1. Jered Weaver
2. Dan Haren
3. C.J. Wilson
4. Ervin Santan
5.  Jerome Williams

CL- Jordan Walden
SU- Scott Downs
SU- LaTroy Hawkins

Probably the Media favorites to win the division but Im still skeptical. While they added one of the best hitters of all time the offense still seems questionable as its filled with declining veterans. The top of the rotation should be one of the best in baseball outside of the Philadelphia but after the front 4 there is a significant dropoff in talent. I think the Angels have the potential to be a better team than the Rangers but there is also a lot more risk. I bit last year on predicting great things for the Red Sox who were the big Free Agent spending team that year but Im trying to learn from my mistakes by avoiding the Angels this year. I think they finish in second but they could win the wildcard.

3. SEATTLE Mariners

C- Miguel Olivo/Jesus Montero
1B- Justin Smoak
2B- Dustin Ackley
SS- Brendan Ryan
3B- Kyle Seager
LF- Mike Carp
CF- Franklin Gutierrez
RF- Ichiro Suzuki
DH- Jesus Montero/Casper Wells

Pitching-

1. Felix Hernandez
2. Jason Vargas
3. Hisashi Iwakuma
4. Blake Beaven
5. Hector Noesi/Kevin Millwood

CL- Brandon League
SU- Shawn Kelly
SU- Tom Wilhelmsen

Im actually very intrigued by the Mariners this year as they have several young players who could be pretty good. An offensive core of Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley might be interesting to watch. The pitching staff also has some interesting arms and the always dominate King Felix at the top of the rotation. I dont think they will be that good this year but they could be a fun team to watch over the summer. They should be solidly ahead of the A's for 3rd place though.

4. OAKLAND Athletics

C- Kurt Suzuki
1B- Brandon Allen
2B- Jemile Weeks
SS- Cliff Pennington
3B- Scott Sizemore
LF- Seth Smith
CF- Coco Crisp
RF- Josh Reddick
DH- Kila Ka'aihue

Pitching-

1. Brandon McCarthy
2. Bartolo Colon
3. Brad Peacock
4. Jarrod Parker
5. Tommy Millone/Dallas Braden

CL- Fautino De Los Santons
SU- Joey Devine
SU- Grant Balfour

Another team that I am very interested to watch this summer. They have gone for the complete rebuild and now we get a chance to watch some good prospects try and come into their own. The rotation is very sketchy although Parker and Peacock have some nice potential and when Brett Anderson comes back from injury he could help. The offense is going to be abismal but guys like Brandon Allen, Jemile Weeks and Josh Reddick should be interesting to watch. They should be pretty bad but like the Mariners they should be fun to watch.


All in all this should be a fairly exciting divison to watch but in terms of proven talent, outside of the top 2 teams there is not much there. The division could be better than i think they are but we will have to wait and see. Now look out for My NL Central Preview later this week.          
        
Comments

Since: Mar 25, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 2:00 pm
 

AL West Preview

I completely agree that the Mariners will be better than people expect and so will the A's. With this division im playing it safe and picking the Rangers and Angels as the top dogs but i could easily see both the back end teams being stronger than I have rated them. I do have dispute your statement that the AL East is weaker than the AL West. The Yankees are arguably better than they have been in a while with the additions of Hiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineada, the Red Sox had a down year and were still a 90 win team and the roster is very similar with multiple bounceback candidates, the Rays are a World Series contendor and the Blue Jays are on the rise. The AL East may not be quite as talented at the top as the AL West but they have 4 teams that should finish .500 or above. Thanks for the feedback and I look forward to reading your response :)




Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: February 18, 2012 9:56 pm
 

AL West Preview

While your comments reflect how the Rangers & Angels have dominated in recent years; I actually se the West being more competitive than your giving the A's & Mariners credit for. Sure they may tire and fade away towards the back end of the summer, however do feel they'll the Mariners in particular will be closer to the top of the division than people realise.

I actually feel the East maybe the weakest division in the AL because the Red Sox are trying to recover from last September, JAys and Orioles have been poor and th Yankees are not as strong as they have been in the last few seasons.

I see Tampa as the most balanced and strongest team in the East.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com