They call it the wild west for a reason.
The American League West is shaping up to be one of the most interesting divisions in Major League Baseball. There are two teams gunning for the top spot and a third could make a run before the end of the season. The West will turn out to be a league to watch as the season goes on. Here are where the teams stack after the first month of the season.
Well, they are what we thought they were: one of the worst teams in baseball. However, there are some bright spots for the Astros. They may have the fewest wins in baseball at 10-21, but there is no where to go but up. The Astros are young, as they mature it’s possible Houston could become a legitimate threat in a few years.
Prediction: The Astros stay in the cellar of the American League West, but the future is bright for this young team.
Los Angeles Angels
Good news for the Angels: Albert Pujols is starting to look like his old self. In the series against the Nationals two weeks ago, Pujols looked to be in prime offensive form, hitting three home runs in the series. In the past week against Texas, the Angels offense fell flat. They are an even .500 in the past ten games and their season record sits at measly 15-15. The Angels have so much potential, but it still is not being fulfilled.
Prediction: The Angels could be the team to make a run at the top of the division. However, their offense has to perform as expected. Mike Trout can not be the only one to carry the team offensively. If their offense begins to produce consistently, the Angels will be consistent and may have a real shot at the division crown.
Billy Beane may finally have produced a team that can get him to the World Series. Sports Illustrated predicts that the A’s will make it all the way to the last series in October before losing to the Washington Nationals. The A’s are living up to that expectation early on. Their record is 19-12, enough to give them a two game lead in the division over the Texas Rangers. Sonny Grey dominated in the series against the Rangers and when the A’s win, they win big. They also are capable of playing small ball to win close games. A Cespedes infield single won Sunday’s game against Boston in the bottom of the 10th.
Prediction: The real race in the West will be between the Rangers and the A’s, as expected. It really is a toss up between these two teams, but the A’s will come out on top if they continue to win close games. Youth and inexperience killed Oakland in the playoffs last year, but now they have the experience. This could be the team that finally plays Billy Beane into the postseason.
Shockingly, the Mariners are not that far off the pace. They are only one game below .500 and could make a late season surge. The Mariners are being carried by Robsinson Cano, their big off season acquisition. Their upcoming series against the A’s will be huge. It could show what type of team the Mariners really are and whether or not they can compete with the big boys.
Prediction: The Mariners get some key victories and Cano has a big year, but it is not enough to get them back to the playoffs.
The Rangers were wheeling and dealing in the off season. The only player they did not acquire seemed to be Cano. Texas picked up Prince Fielder this off season to boost their lineup in hopes to finally live up to their own expectations. The Rangers have underachieved since they made the World Series in 2010. The question is whether or not these off season acquisitions will pay off in the long run.
Prediction: The Rangers are the only team that can threaten they A’s at the top of the division. Whether or not they take the division will depend entirely on their performance on the field. Can their offense produce runs to support the pitchers? Can the Rangers ride on the arm of Yu Darvish for that long? Only time will tell, but the Rangers can definitely make a run at October.