It seems that every season, a lot of sports media outlets make predictions for the upcoming baseball season before spring training has even begun. The problem with that is nobody knows what will happen during the spring training games, especially when it comes to unforeseen injuries. A good example is the New York Yankees who were predicted to win the AL East. Now they are without two starting pitchers. Luis Severino is done for the season and James Paxton won’t be back until June. That puts a lot of pressure on newly signed pitcher Gerrit Cole.
With that being said I decided to wait until the last couple of weeks of spring training to make my predictions for the AL West. The teams are listed in order of how I think they’ll finish.
Houston Astros (95-67)
Losing Gerrit Cole will hurt the team that won 107 games last season. Plus Justin Verlander has already had a groin issue this spring and left Sunday’s game with triceps soreness. He’s no spring chicken anymore.
Bold predictions: The Astros lead the league in most hit batters. That’s a given. MLB will demand that they use cloth trash cans.
Texas Rangers (89-73, Wild Card)
The Rangers have the best starting rotation in the division. They have improved the bullpen. Isiah Kiner-Falefa has been lights out this spring. Rougned Odor has improved. They have their first winning spring training in years. They are looking better than expected.
Bold predictions: First off, they’ll win one of the two wild card spots. Greg Bird will start more games at first than Ronald Guzman. Joey Gallo will have a career year which sees him play in the All-Star game and win the Home Run Derby.
Los Angeles Angels (85-77)
The Angels added Anthony Rendon in the offseason to go along with Mike Trout who is arguably the best player in baseball. The problem with the team is lack of pitching depth. All offense and weak pitching can’t win a strong division.
Bold prediction: Albert Pujols, who is somewhere near 50 (opinion), continues his decline and becomes more of a full-time designated hitter.
Oakland Athletics (79-83)
The A’s always seem to be that team that’s on a see-saw every year. They are either up or down. They are still a young team but they don’t look as good on paper as they did last year.
Bold prediction: They somehow win the division and “Moneyball 2” debuts in theaters in the spring of 2022.
Seattle Mariners (62-100)
The Seattle Mariners play baseball in the AL West.
Bold prediction: They win the World Series, a bunch of sports writers who made predictions quit their jobs and some guy who made a bet on them in Vegas wins millions of dollars and buys the team.
So there you go. Regular season baseball is just around the corner and I think it will be the first exciting season in years for the Texas Rangers.
Until next time, I’ll see you in the cheap seats!
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