Opening Day is in just over a week. I am getting so EXCITED! I just finished up recording episode 113 of Legends Lingo. We did our predictions for each division, so if you want a spoiler for next week listen to that. I am getting to my last American League division tonight, the AL West. Check out my other articles here. Also, Pat did his predictions and they can be found here. I believe this is going to be another tight race. The A’s are always good, while the Astros still have a lot to prove, and can we finally get Mike Trout back into the playoffs please!! I am going to give records based on 162 games.
1. Oakland A’s 90-72
The A’s just find ways to be good with a very low salary. That is why they call it money ball. Matt Olson is going to be a MVP candidate and could even win it. Matt Chapman is going to have a huge bounce back year. Sean Manaea, Jesús Luzardo, and AJ Puk can make a great rotation. They lost Liam Hendricks, but the bullpen is still really solid. The A’s will take the AL West once again.
2. Houston Astros 89-73
The Astros were almost the second team in MLB history to come back from a 0-3 series to win it. They lost to the Rays in 7 games in the American League Championship Series. Yes they were 1 win away from making it back to the World Series in the season after all the cheating came out. They lost George Spring to the Blue Jays. But, they still have Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman. The offense for the Astros will still be deadly. I can see them winning the AL West, but not having Justin Verlander really hurts.
3. Los Angeles Angels 88-74
I want so bad to have Mike Trout play postseason baseball. I think it is not as important in baseball as in other sports how many rings a player has. But Mike Trout only being in the playoffs once is really hurting him. I believe if the Angels cannot make the playoffs in the next 2-3 years he should ask to be traded. Enough negative talk on the Angels. They have 2 of the most exciting players to watch in Trout and Shohei Ohtani. From everything I am hearing the training wheels are off of Ohtani. So I am expecting any where from 25-30 starts and close to 200 innings. If the Angels get that from him watch out. A little preview to the latest Legends Lingo, Matty D says the Angels win the AL West because of Ohtani on the mound. I love to hear that!
4. Seattle Mariners 80-82
I do believe the Mariners rotation is going to be better than what many people say. Having 4 good lefty in it provides a different look than most teams. Also the young pieces that they have will be a lot of fun to watch. Now that Kevin Mather is gone, hopefully we can see Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodríguez in 2021. Also having the 2020 AL Rookie Of The Year in Kyle Lewis helps. But the Mariners are just not good enough to compete in 2021.
5. Texas Rangers 70-92
The Ranges are not very good. After trading away Lance Lynn, they also traded away Elvis Andrus. One of the bright spots for the Rangers is Joey Gallo. I love watching how far he can hit a baseball. But really besides that what else is there to watch? The Rangers need to get better in order to compete in the AL West.
I really believe any team 1-3 has a legit chance to win the AL West. I hope this is the season we finally see Mike Trout in the playoffs again.
-Tom “Powder” Cadmus (@powder42308)