The AL West is one of the best division in the league because they have emerging teams like the Astros and Mariners as well as established clubs like the Angels and Athletics.
1. Los Angeles Angels
Last season, the Angels won the most games in the AL last season, 98, because they had the number one scoring offense in baseball. For the first time in his career, Mike Trout won the MVP while Albert Pujols was able to return to glory and Kole Calhoun and Erick Aybar emerged as quality starters. The Angels have one of the most underrated rotations in baseball. Garret Richards is a legitamite ace, Jered Weaver, CJ Wilson, and Matt Shoemaker are experienced arms in the middle of the rotation, and Andrew Heaney is a young prospect with potential.
2. Seattle Mariners
The Mariners have always obtained great starting rotations led by Felix Hernandez. In addition to King Felix, the Mariners have veterans, JA Happ and Hisashi Iwakuma, and young studs, James Paxton and Taijuan Walker. This offseason, the Mariners signed the best offensive player on the market, Nelson Cruz, which will defend Cano in the lineup. Along with Cruz and Cano, Kyle Seager, Austin Jackson, and Seth Smith are professional hitters and should the Mariners to the playoffs and 90+ wins.
3. Oakland Athletics
The A’s have made the playoffs in the past three seasons because they pitch at a high level and mash the ball. However, they did not win many games in the playoffs, which forced Billy Beane to make several changes this offseason. The A’s will be counting on comeback seasons from Ike Davis, Brett Lawrie, Josh Reddick, and Ben Zobrist. The A’s are thin at starting pitching because they only have two reliable starters, Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir. However, the bullpen should be the strength of the team due to the combination of Eric O’Flaherty, Tyler Clippard, and Sean Doolittle.
4. Houston Astros
The Astros have lost over 92 games for the past four seasons, but the streak should end this season. The Astros have an improving offense with sluggers Chris Carter, Evan Gattis, and George Springer and consistent hitters Jose Altuve, Juan Castro, and Cory Rasmus. While the offense will be average, the pitching staff will be holding back their progress. Although Scott Feldman, Dallas Keuchel, and Colin McHugh are underrated, they are middle to late of the rotation starters. However, their bullpen has talent after the additions of Luke Gregerson and Pat Nishek.
5. Texas Rangers
Last season was an absolute disaster for the Rangers because they suffered the most injuries in the history of MLB. Unfortunately, this season has not started well as Yu Darvish is set to miss at least multiple months and possibly a year due to a torn ligament in his elbow. The offense should be improved due to the return of Prince Fielder and Shin Soo Choo from injury. If they are able to reach their potential, they have the ability to win a lot more than 72 games. If the pitching staff, Ross Detweiler, Derek Holland, Yovani Gallardo, remains healthy, which is a big question, they should have an average starting staff.