Finally! our journey takes us the the last division in baseball. The AL West which is due to be a three team race in the long haul. Keep your eyes peeled for my AL playoff predictions and of course my final World Series Predictions. Also lemme know how good those 5 diamond in the rough pitchers were. I know I got Sean Manaea who was #1 on that list and he scored 27 points vs the Mariners. He’s playing the hot Red Sox next so pick up with caution.
Alight let’s dig in!
1. Houston Astros
Additions: Gerrit Cole, Hector Rondon
Departures: Colin Moran, Mike Fiers
Honestly they can do it again. If the team is relatively healthy I don’t see why not. Not only did they keep the majority of the World Series winning team but they improved it mightily. Hector Rondon should be a great set up man and another bolster to the bullpen while Gerrit Cole has gotten off to a hot start with his bag full O’ K’s. The 3 man of Keuchel, Verlander and Cole could be the kiss of death for any of these teams in the league, Combine that with their young stars like Correa, Altuve, Bregman and Springer and you got a team that has a very strong chance of repeating this year. Remember after the Cubs won the World Series in 2016 and we were talking dynasty. We here we’re doing the same thing, except this time, I think it’s legit. Astros take the division to say the least.
2. Los Angeles Angels
Additions: Shohei Ohtani, Zack, Cozart, Ian Kinsler
Departures: Yusmero Petit
No it wasn’t the Yankees who had the best offseason, no way it was the Angels, simply by landing future Rookie of the Year Shohei Ohtani. I know it’s early but if he has proven anything, he has proven that he’s here to stay and he’s the real deal without question. I mean come on if you can hit a home run, off of Corey Kluber, in only your second at bat against him, you’re a legit hitter in my book. Oh and he’s a damn good pitcher. But wait there’s more! The angels robbed the Tigers like a bank in securing veterans Justin Upton and Ian Kinsler who are still good players at this stage of their careers. They also snagged a 2017 All-Star in Zack Cozart who boosts the lineup and the defense. Finally! The Angels built some sort of a team around Mike Trout! Now let’s see what they can do with it.
3. Seattle Mariners
Additions: Dee Gordon, Ryon Healy, Juan Nicasio
Departures: Yonder Alonso, Yovani Gallardo
The signing of Dee Gordon doesn’t make much sense when you already have a high quality second baseman in Robinson Cano. Gordon will be playing CF which matches the amount of speed that he has to go on and chase that ball down when necessary. Gordon hasn’t played center field in his professional career yet so it should be interesting to see how he develops throughout the year. Don’t expect the Mariners to do much of anything since they didn’t make a significant upgrade to their rotation. Once they do that, then we can say that progress has been made but until then, they are stuck in sub mediocrity.
4. Oakland Athletics
Additions: Stephen Piscotty, Yusmero Petit
Departures: Ryon Healy
Giving up young power stud Ryon Healy to the Mariners isn’t an upgrade to a team that needs upgrades. They aren’t committed to a full rebuild just yet which is a bit concerning considering it’s another year of mediocrity. Their ace now is aforementioned Sean Manaea after the departure of Sonny Gray via trade. There isn’t much behind Mqanaea in terms of rotation but the pick up of Blake Treinen from the Nationals should save some wins for the A’s. He is the difference between 4th and 5th in the division. If the rotation and hitting core can back up the ace and the closer, maybe this team can sneak by the Mariners, but other than that I don’t see anything special here.
5. Texas Rangers
Additions: God (Bartolo Colon), Matt Moore
Departures: Miguel Gonzalez
Remember when the Texas Rangers choked to the Cardinals in the World Series? When was that 2013? Geez how the time has just flown by! Now the Texas Rangers are in the pit of sadness and they aren’t moving anytime soon. They bolstered their rotation a bit behind aging ace Cole Hamels but that won’t be enough in the long run. Their offense is below average and their rotation can’t close out the simplest of games (example 2017 Sam Dyson). Expect the Rangers to be basement dwellers for the season.