As two AL West foes- Mariners and A’s soon to play the first regular season game of the 2012 season in Japan- I am here writing my final divisional preview and prediction, this one will be the AL West Preview. Was won by Texas Rangers and advanced to the world series for 2nd season in a row…eventually to lose two world series in a row. So what will 2012 be like in the AL West division?
2011 AL West final standings:
- Texas Rangers (96-66)
- LA Angels : (86-76)
- Oakland A’s: (74-88)
- Seattle Mariners: (67-95)
2012 AL West Predictions:
- Texas Rangers (95-67)
- LA Angels (91-71)
- Oakland A’s (70-92)
- Seattle Mariners (66-96)
Rangers analyst: Texas Rangers has represented the AL in the world series the last two seasons but failed to win it all both times. As the previous few seasons, Texas poised with a powerful lineup and ready to go at it again in 2012. They will be returning alot of their 2011 starters. They got Mike Napoli without a doubt top 2, or the best catcer in the MLB- hit 30 homers. Ian Kinsler a great contact hitter, also smashed 32 HR’s. Adrian Beltre still hits for decent power- though starting to age and injuries. Elvis Andrus (still maturing, getting better at shortstop), also have always MVP candidate Michael Young as their DH. Outfield made up of David Murphy, Josh Hamilton, and Nelson Cruz- one of the better outfields in MLB. Hamilton of course having the drug/alchol addiction problems (and the relapse in the winter). Even with a injury-played season he was able to put up solid numbers offensively. Rangers pitching staff a little different at the top- their “ace” CJ Wilson has moved on to play for the Rangers top foe- the Angels. Their rotation will look like: Colby Lewis, Alexi Ogando, Feliez, Derek Holland, and Matt Harrison. Pen features set-up man Koji Uehara (acquired at last years deadline) and Joe Nathan will take the Rangers starting role, of course his last few seasons have been plagued with injuries. I think the Rangers will have a small edge over LA Angels- but it could go either way.
Angels Analyst: Huge offseason for the halos. They signed arguably the best hitter in baseball to date in Albert Pujols. Then even added to a already strong rotation, by gasping their rivals former ace CJ Wilson. CJ will join Ace Jered Weaver coming off his best season- 18-8 record, and Dan Haren, making the Angels the best 1-2-3 punch. No slouch at #4 slot either- they have Mr. No Hitter Ervin Santana and another youngster yet to be known will round out the halos rather strong rotation. Angels huge splash of signing Albert Pujols will beef up their lineup. A good combo of good veterans of Bobby Abreu (still hits for good BA), Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter, along with up-rising stars of Mark Trumbo, Mike Trout and Peter Borjous. They even get Kendry Morales back after out all last season. Thats a good line-up for any team and with that solidly good 1-2-3-4 punch, Angels should be a fun squad to watch and watch out because they are ready to prove that they want to win itall this season. Again I pick the Rangers, but I would not be surprised at all if Angels end up winning the West.
A’s Analyst: Tough pick between Athletics and Mariners for the race to 3rd place. I chose the A’s- a coin-toss hunch type prediction. A’s are indeed in full-blown rebuilding mode and should be for the next 2-3 seasons, if not a little more. They traded away Gio Gonzalez (to the Nationals) in effort to rebuild for the future. No more AS pitcher Trevor Cahill either. However A’s also made some head lines by signing Yoenis Cespedes ( 6 year deal). Also head-scratcher the A’s signed Manny Ramirez to a minor-league deal and had him working out this spring training. Ramirez will have to serve his 50 game suspension first- before he can comeback in the very last day of May. I don’t see Ramirez being much of a big threat- after seeing him struggle majorly before he retired early last season. Definitely a rebuilding year for Oakland, hopefully they’ll be back to win for the 2015-2016 season.
Mariners Analyst: Another wofeful season in 2011 for the M’s. They had little in the way of offense (averaging less than 3.5 runs a game). Highlight of the season was a bad highlight- losing 17 games in a row at one point, tying the 1962 Mets team for most losses in a row. Offensive power outage was the theme for the M’s in 2011. Led by Ichiro who for the first time in his MLB career that he did not hit for a .300+ batting average- he also failed to pick up over 200 hits for the first time in MLB career. He is not the only one that strugged, Chone Figgins hit a whoppering .188 average. Though they did acquire Jesus Montero in the Montero-Pineda swap in the offseason. Montero ranked #3 prospect in MLB. Montero came up for the Yanks in the 2nd half and showed teams what he is made of. King Felix still the leader in Seattle, along with Jason Vargas, Charlie Furbush, and Blake Beaven. So should be a 2 team race between Rangers/Angels and A’s/M’s pretty far behind them.
In review for each division:
NL East: Phillies, Braves, Marlins, Nationals, Mets
NL Central: Cardinals, Reds, Brewers, Pirates, Cubs, Astros
NL West: Diamondbacks, Giants, Rockies, Dodgers, Pads
AL East: Yankees, Rays, Red Soxs, Blue Jays, Orioles
AL Central: Tigers, Indians, Twins, White Sox, Royals
AL West: Rangers, Angels, A’s, Mariners