American League West Preview

By: Maize_in_Spartyland

The major league baseball season begins in Tokyo, Japan, on March 28th at 6:10 AM EST with the Seattle Mariners facing the host Oakland Athletics. The start of the major league season means a new beginning for each of the 30 teams – each team has an equal shot at making the post season. While each team starts with the same record, the end result won’t be the same.

Today, I’ll cover the American League West teams, offering a prediction as to whether each team will exceed or fall short of their expectations.

Los Angeles Angels

Manager: Mike Scioscia, thirteenth year

Last Division Title: 2009

Last AL Pennant: 2002

Last World Series Title: 2002

Last Season Record: 86-76

Key Changes: Added 1B Albert Pujols, SP C.J. Wilson, and RP LaTroy Hawkins

LVH over/under win total: 92.5

The Angels entered the offseason last season having missed the playoffs for the second year in a row. The Angels didn’t make many changes, but made two major ones, bringing in Pujols and Wilson. The Angels were already in the top half of the major leagues in terms of total home runs. Los Angeles was in the top third in team ERA – the addition of C.J. Wilson should help to ensure that the Angels keep their spot there. For the first time in a few years, Los Angeles will enter Opening Day with a relatively healthy rotation – Jared Weaver, Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson, Ervin Santana, and either Garrett Richards or Jerome Williams.

Over/under win total projection: Over

Oakland Athletics

Manager: Bob Melvin, first full year

Last Division Title: 2006

Last AL Pennant: 1990

Last World Series Title: 1989

Last Season Record: 74-88

Key Changes: Lost SPs Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill; added SP Bartolo Colon, OF Seth Smith, and OF Yoenis Cespedes

LVH over/under win total: 71

Oakland’s offseason moves become more and more bizarre. After dealing two of their best pitchers, Cahill and Gonzalez, the Athletics signed Cuban defection Cespedes to a four year $36 million deal. The Athletics also signed OF Manny Ramirez to a minor league deal – Ramirez has to sit out 100 games first, though. Oakland’s infield leaves a lot to be desired, but their outfield is pretty strong. Expect Oakland’s starting rotation to be Brandon McCarthy, Tommy Milone, and Tyson Ross. Bartolo Colon, Dallas Braden, and Brett Anderson are currently injured. Oakland was in the top third in ERA in 2011, but among the bottom third in batting average.

Over/under win total projection: Under

Seattle Mariners

Manager: Eric Wedge, second year

Last Division Title: 2001

Last AL Pennant: Never

Last World Series Title: Never

Last Season Record: 67-95

Key Changes: Lost SP Erik Bedard and Michael Pineda

LVH over/under win total: 72

After starting the season 43-43 through the first three plus months of the year, the Mariners collapsed, losing 17 straight to fall to 43-60. Seattle was an atrocious 28-50 on the road last season. Seattle was last in the MLB in batting average last season, while the pitching staff was middle of the road. The Mariners lost three of their starting pitchers between Opening Day 2011 and Opening Day 2012 – Bedard, Pineda, and Doug Fister. That said, 1B Justin Smoak is back and 3B Chone Figgins can’t be as bad as he was last season, can he? Expect a starting rotation of Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Blake Beavan, Hector Noeski, and Kevin Millwood.

Over/under win total projection: Under

Texas Rangers

Manager: Ron Washington, sixth year

Last Division Title: 2011

Last AL Pennant: 2011

Last World Series Title: Never

Last Season Record: 96-66

Key Changes: Lost C.J. Wilson; added RP Joe Nathan and SP Yu Darvish

LVH over/under win total: 91.5

After a ten-year playoff drought, the Rangers have made the playoffs, and World Series, in back-to-back seasons. The Rangers scored the third most runs in major league baseball and had the best batting average. Still, the pitching staff was middle of the road, and they lost ace C.J. Wilson in free agency. There is excitement about Darvish’s arrival in the States, but the question is whether he will be able to deal with having to pitch more than once every seven days. Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton will need to pick up their hitting from atrocious seasons in 2011. Texas will having an Opening Day starting rotation of Colby Lewis, Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz, and Matt Harrison. Noticeably absent is Alexi Ogando, who will likely be out of the bullpen.

Over/under win total projection: Over


One response

  1. Pingback: New Content Added: Week of March 25th | beforevisitingthesportsbook

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