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.....