Yesterday, we looked at the Central and how the Tigers will most likely run away with the title. Today, we take a look at the mighty, mighty West with the new look Angels and the juggernaut Rangers.
So enough of this palaver, let's get on with the show.
1st- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
I was really torn with the decision to pick the Angels over the Rangers, but at the end of the day I just felt that the Angels have a slight edge over the Rangers.
The signing of Albert Pujols helps out this offense exponentially, but the Angels still have underachieving Vernon Wells in the lineup. The Angels also acquired the once future catcher of the Rockies, Chris Iannetta, and is an upgrade over the incumbent Jeff Mathis.
The Angels have the edge over the Rangers in pitching, which could tip the scales in the West. The Halos might very well have the best rotation in the American League and the addition of C.J. Wilson will make them stronger. Wilson, Ervin Santana, Dan Haren, and Jered Weaver have the talent to chop down the high powered Ranger offense.
With pitching like this the pennant is within their grasp, the offense just can't fall on their face.
2nd- Texas Rangers
How will the Rangers fare after their heartbreaking World Series defeat and loss of C.J. Wilson seems to be the biggest questions for the 2012 Rangers. Well, the Rangers still have their offensive power. No major losses in the lineup helps this team compete for a third straight AL West title. Presuming Josh Hamilton's recent problems are not a distraction, the offense will be just fine.
Pitching got a major facelift in the offseason. Wilson leaves so enter Yu Darvish, the Japanese import. Darvish has a ton of talent, but will it translate in the Majors. Dice-K, Nomo, and Irabu all had talent, but seemingly sputtered stateside. Neftali Feliz will convert from closer to starter and I'm not so sure that is a great idea. Why take your great closer and convert him into a starter? Hopefully, it won't blow up in the Rangers face.
3rd- Oakland Athletics
The A's were the surprise team that signed Cuban phenom Yoenis Cespedes and they are hoping he becomes the next big star for the A's. However, they made the eyebrow raising signing of Manny Ramirez.
Ramirez will be nothing but a distraction to this young team and could negatively influence Cespedes. If the movie Moneyball was 100% true, then we know Oakland had a hard time dealing with Jeremy Giambi, so what makes you think ManRam will be any better?
On the pitching side, the rotation is still pretty much intact, save for Gio Gonzalez, and Oakland got their pitching coach, Curt Young, back, so that helps. The loss of Andrew Bailey will hurt, but they still have Grant Balfour who is probably the best pitcher in the Pen.
4th- Seattle Mariners
What to say about the Mariners?
They trade their young pitcher Michael Pineda to the Yankees for Jesus Montero and leave Felix Hernandez as the only competent starter on the team. The offense looks like it will suffer. Ichiro's skills are eroding and Chone Figgins has completely taken a nosedive since leaving Orange County. At least they still have Dustin Ackley.
Mariners fans, Seahawks camp is in August.