This division is a two-horse race between the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels. Oakland and Seattle will have far too much trouble scoring runs to win this season.
Los Angeles Angels 89-73
The addition of Vernon Wells and the return of Kendry Morales should provide enough pop to lead the Angels to the AL West crown. The starting rotation is solid, and the club still has the genius of Mike Scioscia on the bench. Look for the Angels to make a deal or two to strengthen the lineup.
Texas Rangers 86-76
The loss of Cliff Lee and Vladimir Guerrero will be huge for the Rangers this season, and if you add the Michael Young trade drama things are not looking good for the Rangers. Even with Lee gone the Rangers have a good rotation, but is it good enough to win consistently? The Rangers should be able to score runs, and if the rotation and bullpen duplicate last season the Rangers will be in it until the end of the season.
Oakland A’s 76-86
The A’s are hoping that the additions of Hideki Matsui, David DeJesus and Josh Willingham will be enough to score more runs, and help a decent pitching staff win baseball games. Without an ace in the rotation or a reliable hitter in the lineup it will be another long season for the A’s.
Seattle Mariners 70-92
Poor Felix Hernandez. If he played anywhere else but Seattle he might be considered the best pitcher in baseball. Last season he won the Cy Young Award with a 13-12 record. 13-12! Of course he also had a 2.27 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 232 K’s. The problem with the Mariners is scoring runs. They ranked last in seven offensive categories, and they are banking on Jack Cust and Miguel Olivo to help them out. Those two will not be enough, and the Mariners could be on their way to another 100-loss season.
AL West MVP Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas
AL West Cy Young Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle
Al West ROY: Hank Conger, C, Los Angeles