AL West Division Odds
Los Angeles Angels
The AL West is a division filled with question marks. While the Astros are still the favorite to win, no one knows how they will play following the cheating scandal. Both the Athletics and Angeles have young teams that have a chance of knocking the Astros off the top. The Rangers and Mariners have a long way to go before they are contenders again.
The Astros have been one of the best teams in baseball over the last several, but those impressive performances have been tainted by there cheating scandal. The Astros have become the most hated team in baseball, and it will be interesting to see how opposing fans react this season. The Astros will need to show a similar amount of success this season if they want to be remembered as a good team and not cheaters. A second World Series title would definitely prove that this Astros team belongs.
The Astros are still in a good position to win this season returning 8 of the 9 players in the starting lineup from last year’s World Series team. The loss of Gerrit Cole will hurt the pitching rotation, but they do still have a strong pitching staff. While the Astros players remain basically the same, there has been a lot of movement in the front office. This will be an interesting season for the future of the Astros organization.
It is hard to be good in a division that features the Astros, but the Athletics have managed to win 97 games in both of there last 2 seasons. The Athletics have one of the best young teams in baseball and hope to improve this season. If the Athletics can keep there pitching rotation healthy, they will definitely be a problem in the AL West.
The Athletics also sport one of the best defences in baseball. They are lead by Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien, and Matt Olson in the infield. Not only can these guys play the field, but they all have powerful bats. If the Athletics can keep all of there players on the field they will definitely challenge the Astros in the AL West this season.
Los Angels Angels
Last season Angels star Mike Trout won his third American League MVP. While he could have gone basically anywhere in he chose to sign a mega-contract with the Angeles. This move cements the fact that he believes in the Angeles ability to win. The Angeles responded back this offseason hiring Joe Maddon as there manager. They hope that he can lead them to the same success that the Cubs were able to achieve.
While the Angels most likely won’t be competing for a title anytime soon the addition of Anthony Rendon should help there pitching staff. Another factor that will help the Angels is the return of Shohei Ohtani to the field. The Angles really struggled last season after the loss of Tyler Skaggs, but they hope to rebound this season.
The Rangers are hoping that there new stadium will bring new life to a team that has struggled the last few seasons. If the Rangers have any hope of seeing the postseason they will have to rely heavily on there pitching staff. The return of Joey Gallo should provide the Rangers with a much-needed boost on offense.
Unfortunately for the Rangers there most is full of many flaws. Last season the Rangers struggled to keep the same players on the field using 19 different starting pitchers, 5th most in MLB history. Manager Chris Woodard hopes that he can keep players on the field during his second season as manager. If the Rangers want to compete they are going to have to find more power from the plate.
The Mariners enter year 2 of there rebuild and it appears that it will be a few more years before they are a contender. The Mariners went 68-94 last season, but it hardly seems to matter for this organization. This team is one of the few that is willing to fully embrace the rebuild in order to have a good team in the future.
I would be very surprised if this team is anywhere but last in the AL West this season. This year will certainly not end the Mariners 19 year playoff drought. This team will one day be good again, but this is not the year.