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The state of the AL West, latest prediction

Posted on: May 14, 2009 12:28 am
 
So there you have it, the Angels no matter how battered are staying right with the Texas Rangers who have now won 9 of thier last 11. I know you heard me say that the Mariners were going to win this division and while I think they are a greatly improved team from last year, I tell you this now. These last 4 games against the Rangers forced me to see that Texas is clearly a better team as a whole, every single guy in that lineup can and will go deep all too often. And if Josh Hamilton keeps getting hotter now that he has been back for 2 games and has 2 homeruns then the Mariners don't stand a chance in this division when the Angels get healthy and I think we have known for a few weeks now that Oakland doesn't stand a chance either.

As the first quarter of the season comes to a close in the coming weeks, know this......The Angels and the Rangers are going to fight for this division. If Kevin Millwood can keep up his current pace, Vicente Padilla has given up one run on two hits in his last 15 innings which is obviously never a bad sign and Frank Francisco can keep saving games when he gets back in to the bullpen then this team is going to win a lot of games this year. The bats are rediculous right now, 56 homeruns in 34 games. And that new 20 year old shortstop Elvis Andrus is going to shine in this league, as if he wasn't good to begin with, he gets Omar Visquel to mentor him. Give me a break, that kid has been amazing in the 6 hole on the field and in the 9 hole in the lineup. Texas is deep and you better get used to it because they are still a young team.

After winning the division 4 out of the last 5 years you don't need me to tell you too much about the Angels but know that when this team is healthy they are still one of the toughest teams in all of baseball. The way Torii Hunter is on sportscenter every other night with another catch and is hitting for some good power this year again is always dangerous for opponents with the amount of heart that he has. Joe Saunders is throwing the ball extremely well and so is Jered Weaver. When Ervin Santana, John Lackey, Kelvim Escobar, Dustin Moseley and Vladimir Guerrero come back to the team they are something to watch and a team that can completely shut the opposition down.

So 34 games in to the season, here are my predictions for the AL West..

1. Texas Rangers (93-69)
2. LA Angels (91-71)
3. Seattle Mariners (83-79)
4. Oakland Athletics (74-88)

I think this is the year that the Rangers pitching does just enough for that incredible offense to win them the division this year.

Glad to hear some comments and criticism.....


Comments

Since: Jun 16, 2008
Posted on: June 4, 2009 12:20 am
 

The state of the AL West, latest prediction

I agree with you on this prediction.   The Texas Rangers look really good.   The entire lineup is deadly.   Hank Blalock is hitting again and with Nelson Cruz, Michael Young and the incredible Ian Kinsler, I think this could be the year.   The key to the entire situation is having Frank Francisco stay healthy in the closer role.   The Rangers are notorious for getting the tar beat out of the bullpen in late July and August.   Francisco is perhaps the best closer the Rangers have had... ever (?)     I think to Eric Gagne and his implosion after the roids wore off in Los Angeles.  It's not brought up a lot, but how many more home runs would a 'clean' guy like Ken Griffey Jr have right now if the pitchers weren't also all roided out?

The Angels offense is starting to look old.  Vladamier Guerrero is still very good but nothing like he was a few years back.   Bobby Abreu has been a nice addition and Chone Figgins is a pest to keep off the bases, but outside of those guys and Torii Hunter there simply isn't much pop in the lineup.   Howie Kendrick has been a tremendous dissapointment for the Angels.   Ervin Santana is looking more than hittable and even the Mariners woeful offense knocked around both Santana and John Lackey in the recent series in Anaheim.

I think the A's will lose more games than 88.   I see them offloading anyone and everyone in order to get rid of salary and find some new talent.

It will be really interesting to see what the Seattle Mariners decide to do.     When will they begin shopping guys that are getting hot and may get prospects back?   Are we committed to a re-building year?   Thus, do we deal Erik Bedard, Jarrod Washburn, Adrian Beltre, Yuniesky Betancourt and defensively limited Jose Lopez?   I can't tell if upper management is looking for these trade pieces to do well for return investment, or they are truly intending making a run at it...

as I see Jose Lopez bounce into another darn double play, I really believe they are going to try and re-do the entire infield sans Russell Branyan.

2 runs scored.   Bottom of the 8th.  Another typical night of terrible hitting with RISP.   It's painful to watch at times.  Props to the starting pitching and bullpen.    Sign Russell Branyan to a 3 year deal now.   He looks like the real deal.   Other than that, some awful draft selections like Jeff Clement and Brandon Morrow have really set the team back a few years.   I'd take Ryan Braun over Jeff Clement any day of the week.  I'd take Tim Lincecum over Brandon middle relief Morrow in a heartbeat.  But, hindsight is 20/20.   Too bad we couldn't have seen what a train wreck Bill Bavasi would create as conductor.


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