With the offseason in full swing, here are my predictions for how the American League West will end up coming next fall.
5. Texas Rangers
Yes, the Rangers have made some big moves this offseason by signing Marcus Semien and Corey Seager, but they’ve forgotten one thing, pitching. If the Rangers want to succeed in the AL West, pitching is one area in which they need to improve.
The Rangers pitching staff finished with the third-worst earned run average in the American League with 4.79. So as it would seem, they’re going to need their offense to keep them in games this season unless the pitching improves.
4. Oakland Athletics
The Athletics this offseason have lost some of their better players such as Starling Marte, Sergio Romo, Mark Canha, and more. With these moves, it’s hard to tell if Oakland will remain competitive in the division, which is why I have them finishing fourth.
If Oakland remains competitive, then I think they have the potential to beat out Texas, but not by much, as well as fall to the rest of the division. Who knows, anything can happen in baseball so maybe Oakland surprises some folks.
3. Los Angeles Angels
The Angels made one of the biggest moves thus far during the offseason by signing right-handed pitcher Noah Syndergaard, adding some depth to their starting rotation. The Angels have shown that they have the offense to contend with the rest of the west, it has just been their pitching that has held them back.
If Shohei Ohtani can repeat his 2021 AL MVP season and Syndergaard can return to his dominant form, expect the Angels to be a threat next spring.
2. Seattle Mariners
The Mariners just fell short of a wildcard spot last season in which they had one of their better seasons yet. They were firing on all cylinders late in the season and became a threat as they were attempting a playoff push. Seattle’s biggest loss this offseason was the third baseman Kyle Seager, but they did however sign reigning AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray.
The Mariners are a good team who will no doubt be one of the two teams contending for the division title, and who knows, maybe this is the year that they can end their playoff drought?
1. Houston Astros
Call me biased, but the Houston Astros will repeat as the AL West champs in 2022. So far the Astros haven’t lost any major pieces (until Correa signs elsewhere), and they’ve only made two moves this offseason, resigning Justin Verlander and adding Hector Neris to the bullpen. The Astros don’t need to fill any holes this offseason as right now the only uncertainty is the status of Carlos Correa.
The Astros still have a dominant starting rotation that will see JV return and still have one of the best lineups in the major leagues, so it’s without question why the Astros will repeat.
The entire AL West has upgraded themselves in their own way, but I still feel the Astros will reign atop the division again. The AL West will be a fun division to watch this season, and who knows, maybe someone will dethrone the ‘Stros?
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