2011 AL West Predictions

The Monks wrap up the American League today with a look at the Western Division. Here we go!

Nick:

  1. Oakland A’s
  2. Texas Rangers
  3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  4. Seattle Mariners

Worst division in baseball by far. Losing Cliff Lee is a huge loss to Texas and if Michael Young gets traded that’ll hurt too. Getting Beltre will help, but the A’s will manage to squeak by with good, young pitching and some not quite over the hill vets in the batter’s box. The Anaheim Angels (the only name they should ever be called) continue to fall apart with laughable trades and big time misses on free agency, a fact that will always bring me joy. Seattle just sucks.

Josh:

  1. Texas Rangers
  2. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  3. Oakland A’s
  4. Seattle Mariners

I think the Rangers have a great shot at winning this division again. Their lineup is stacked with some great hitters. The bullpen will create problems again. I hate their bullpen. I had a great time researching this division and reading all the Ranger fans’ blogs complaining about the ‘pen. They have every right to be pissed. Neftali Feliz is the only good thing in it and they want to move him to the starting rotation. This makes him a very intriguing fantasy player but creates big problems for their pen. If he isn’t there, they won’t win the West. I think the Angels will give the Rangers a good run for their money. I’m just going to say that I am confused about the Angels. They could be great or awful. I hope the latter. I do want to mention the A’s….now that I mentioned them….that is all.

Steve:

  1. Oakland A’s
  2. Texas Rangers
  3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  4. Seattle Marines

This division is one of the best testing grounds for my ideas about the importance of pitching acquisitions to the success of a team. In that model both the Angels and the Rangers are in trouble. The Angels are a mess for many reasons but after Jered Weaver I don’t like their staff at all (and I know they have Dan Haren, but I don’t like him in the AL). Texas, especially, seems poised for a big step backwards on the mound. They will score runs, but they’ve scored runs for the last 10 years. No Cliff Lee and regression performances from Lewis and Wilson will be their downfall. The A’s on the other hand, in a bit of irony, look a whole lot like the 2010 Giants. Really good young pitching (lots of strikeouts) a strong bullpen and several under the radar but helpful veteran additions to a lineup that struggled mightily to score runs last year. Outside of SF I think they have the deepest pitching from opening day starter to last man in the bullpen. It will be close but the A’s are going to be back in the postseason.

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Jon (Jon’s picks added 3.25.11)

  1. Oakland A’s
  2. Texas Rangers
  3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  4. Seattle Mariners

I am so under impressed by this division, it’s hard to really invest much analysis. Anaheim is a mess, Seattle is perennially terrible and the Rangers have failed to lock up a potentially bright future. The A’s are going to be really fun to watch and will be the only team draw to my (or anyone else’s) attention.

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