Updated: Dec 21, 2020
Let's jump in, as usual; we are going to go bottom to top, so 5-1
5. Starting at the bottom of the division. This team pains me to put here, but hey, it is what it is. The Seattle Mariners fall to 5th place in the AL West. Mind you; they are playing against the NL West as well this season for 20 games and the already tough AL West for 40 games. The other teams are just a lot better. The M's have far too many question marks surrounding them. Who is going to play, and where and how well are they going to do? That is the main one. With the arrivals of Evan White at 1B jumping from AA, Shed Long was looking to prove himself at 2B. The OF has a bright future on the Taxi Squad. At the same time, Kyle Lewis and Braden Bishop look to earn their keep and Jake Fraley. The rotation is also a huge question after Marco Gonzalez, Yusei Kikuchi, Kendall Gravemen. I think that Justus Sheffield, Justin Dunn, will crack the 4/5 spots and look to earn their keep. But with the arms of George Kirby and Logan Gilbert and a recent pick of Emerson Hancock with the highest upside among a talented group. If the ideal options don't work out, don't be shocked to see these guys get their shot for the last 15-20 games. Put all this together, and you got a 5th place team, with four places upside barring injury.
4. The Texas Rangers are my next team in this division. The Rangers I don't feel have enough to get the job done. The rotation is improved with Kyle Gibson, Jordan Lyles, Cory Kluber, and Mike Minor. The positional/offensive additions of Robinson Chirinos, Greg Bird, and Todd Frazier should bring a little something more than what they had last year. Add in the young bats of Sam Huff and Nick Solak to help. It still isn't nearly enough with their schedule this season. It's just not going to be there—sorry, Rangers fans.
3. This one pains me just slightly; this team is a favorite of mine in The Oakland A's. Somehow these teams have been getting it done year after year for almost ten years now, with the Bats and Gloves of Matt's, Chapman and Olson. They had a substantial addition to Tony Kemp. They have decent options in the corner OF in Piscoty and Chana. They have Sean Murphy, Franklin Barreto, Luis Barrera, and Ramon Laureno all on the rise. The biggest question for me with this team is the rotation with Sean Manea at the top. They were followed by unproven prospects Jesus Luzardo and AJ Puk, who I both fully expect to be there from day one and get their shot. It makes me question how the pitching ends up. This team has enough offense on paper to carry them and the defense and back up with pitching. Those two alone made this a tough call for me. The pitching is the biggest reason they finish 3rd this year to me.
2. This second place is a WC team regardless of me in the AL and right there with the Yankees, Rays, Twins, and Indians. It comes down to me, and IF I genuinely believe in what I think will happen. Its who do I believe in the most. Gut check! The Houston Astros fall to second here by maybe 1-2 games. I say this because I don't think they will rebound as well and be able to respond after their offseason. They lost their ace in Cole, Verlander has struggled with injuries, Grienke isn't getting younger. They also lost Miley, Harris, and Marciniak. They are only bringing in Joe Smith for the pen. They are looking to rely on the young guns of Nivaldo Rodriguez, Enola Parades, Kent Emmanuel, Forests Whitely, Bryan Abreu. When it comes to offense alone, they have enough to get it done. But with their pen in flux and the rotation, I don't think they are as dominant. With Springer, Brantley, Reddick, Peacock, and Gurriel all due to be FA by the end of the season, we could see the Astros blow it up and start fresh. That's what I know for them, depending on how this year goes. But I guess only time will tell.
1. Yes, I believe in the best player in baseball to win the AL West's sprint. Mike Trout and the LA Angels will win the west. When your team is as well rounded as the Angels is hard to see them not getting there. When you have the best player of the last decade and possibly all-time in Trout, you add one of the best 3B in the league who just won a WS in Rendon. You have a well-rested team as well—no lingering injuries. You are getting Griffin Canning, and Ohtani back adds in Julio Teheran and Dylan Bundy and Jacob Barnes. Not to mention Jo Adell, Ohtani, milestone chasing Pujols, Hermosillo into the mix as well. This team is talented, young, and has proven records of success about everywhere you look. This team is dangerous, so watch out.
Final Divisional Standings
1- Angels- 45-15- Playoffs and 1st place clincher during the last series with Houston
2- Astros- 42-18- fall short of 1st during the final series with LA but get the 1st WC
3- Athletics- 38-22- This team is so hard to predict, but I think LA/Hou eliminate them very late
4- Rangers- 30-30- Elemicated midseason but are a headache down the stretch
5- Mariners- 23-37- They start hot, come back to earth, lose a bunch, bring in all the young guys, and go with it. They will be a fun team to watch.