MLB 2012 AL West Predictions
The 2012 baseball season is upon us. There really isn’t much better than going to the ballpark, having a beer and watching baseball. Each spring we all share the same feeling of energy and hope that “this is the year”.
Here are my predictions on the 2012 AL West:
This division appears to be a two team race between the Los Angeles Angels and the Texas Rangers. The Angels made a huge splash in the off-season by acquiring All-Star first baseball Albert Pujols. The Rangers counter with a devastating lineup of their own with a solid pitching rotation. Seattle is weak and Oakland is once again rebuilding.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels are good. Really, really good. Any team that sports a rotation of Jared Weaver, Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson and Ervin Santana you are going to have a chance. The addition of Pujols may make this team a World Series contender. L.A. also has a very deep outfield with the likes of Vernon Wells, Tori Hunter and Bobby Abreu. In the Angels system is future star in the waiting Mike Trout. Some consider Trout the best hitter in the minor leagues. Trout will likely begin the season in AAA, but look for him to join the big club before its over. This could be a big year for the Angels.
General Manager Billy Beane had a very busy off-season as he sold off most of Oakland best players in search of prospects in another rebuilding effort. Oakland has major financial and stadium issues. Word form Major League baseball waits on whether of not A's owner Lew Wolff will be allowed to relocate his team to San Jose. On the field Oakland will have a unproven rotation led by 9 game winner Brandon McCarthy. Veteran Bartolo Colon was added to provide some stability. The biggest move the Athletics made in the off-season was signing Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes. Expect Oakland to struggle with Seattle to stay out of the AL West cellar.
The Mariners have some exciting young players like second baseball Dustin Ackley and of course King Felix. Outside of that this team just does not have much firepower. After Felix Hernandez the starting rotation had a combined 21 wins a year ago. Offensively Seattle was dreadful in 2011, and did not do much in the off-season to improve their lineup. They still have aging star Ichiro Suzuki in Right field, but this group is once again going to struggle to score runs. They just don't have enough to compete with the Angels and Rangers. Look for another long year in Seattle.
The defending AL champs come into 2012 ready to make another run. Texas did lose C.J. Wilson in the off-season, but should still have a solid starting rotation. They added Yu Darvish who they are counting on to have a strong rookie season. The Rangers still have a very dangerous lineup led by Josh Hamilton. Texas is going to need Nelson Cruz to stay healthy and have Adrain Beltre have another great year to keep pace with the Angels. Look for the Texas Rangers to make a run at the AL West title.
How they will finish: