Monday, February 11, 2008

American League Preview: AL West

Texas Rangers:
2007: (75-87) 4th Central
2008 Projection: 68-94 4th Central

Prospects. That is about all you can say about the Rangers. After trading away Texiera the Rangers are sitting with a slew of new talent to watch out for. Add Nolan Ryan as the new President and you have something to watch in the upcoming years. The only underrated veterans added to the lineup were Ben Broussard and Milton Bradley who will have to carry a heavier load than they are accustomed to. So it comes to down to the new talent to watch over the season to see how they will progress and they come in the form of Josh Hamilton, Jason Jennings, Eddie Guardado, and Kaxuo Fukumori.

Bottom Line: The Rangers have something to look forward to, it’s just not the 2008 baseball season.

Oakland Athletics:
2007 (76-86) 3rd west
2008 Projection: (83-79) 3rd West

The A’s are sitting a year removed from a 93 win season and have made a few moves to try to get back to that level. In 2008 90 wins may be out reach but low to mid 80s is not. The outfield gets some help in the form of Emil Brown coming over from Kansas City. Another player to watch in the outfield will be Ryan Sweeny, a second year player who with unimpressive numbers last year could be a key fill in over the season. Digging deep for help, the A’s have also picked up two candidates for come back player of the year. It has been reported that they picked up seasoned vet Mike Sweeny to a minor league contract as well as throwing Kevin Foulke into the two spot in their rotation straight out of retirement.

Bottom Line: While the stats for the 2007 rotation were not completely unimpressive they will need to do their part carry the load until the lineup can pick up some momentum.

Seattle Mariners
2007: (88-74) 2nd the West
2008 Projection: (90-72) 2nd West

The Mariners were overlooked in 2007 as most of the Western Division usually is, but there is no denying the Mariners were a decent ball club. Their biggest issue came from their starting roation which posted 4.73 ERA (10th), 70 QS (12), a BAA of .281 (13th), and a WHIP of 1.48 (11th). For a club that still managed to win 88 games that’s not half bad, especially considering two huge off season acquisitions in the form of Erik Bedard and Carlos Silva.

Bottom Line: Pair the pitching additions with a decent season of offensive production from Richie Sexson and the rest of their lineup and the Mariners should be able to make the West a little interesting.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
2007: (94-68) 1st West
2008 Projection: (95-67) 1st West

The Angels once again look to be the favorite in the West if they can hold off the Mariers. The story here that will field the basically the same team that we saw in their 2007 campaign. The biggest acquisition was center fielder Torri Hunter (.287 28 HR 107 RBIs 2007) from Minnesota. That’s not to mention the fact that he has one seven straight golden gloves. He should add some added balance to an already good lineup and hope to make up for a forgettable ALDS in 07. In the bullpen they signed Jason Bulger who posted a 2.84 ERA and should add some needed relief in late innings.

Bottom Line: If Hunter continues to produce in his new SoCal home while the rest of the lineup and rotation stay healthy then the Halos are poised for another division title.

4Real Out...