2009 American League West Preview

Last, but not least, the AL West:

Predicted Standings
1. Los Angeles Angels
2. Oakland Atheltics
3. Texas Rangersvlad
4. Seattle Mariners

Best Hitter: Vladimir Guerrero
Best Pitcher: Joe Saunders

Angels
The Angels lost some key members of their 2008 team, but still have a strong starting staff and experienced lineup that gives them a great shot to repeat as AL West champions. With Torri Hunter, Vladimir Guerrero. and Chone Figgins, the Angels’  lineup will not have a problem scoring runs. Add in Bobby Abreu and Juan Rivera and this batting order puts fear into opposing pitchers. The rotation may be a little more shaky with Joe Saunders leading the staff, but Dustin Moseley and Shane Loux are question marks in the 2-3 spots. The health of John lackey is also a concern for the Angels as he will start the year on the DL. The loss of K-Rod in the offseason will hurt Los Angeles as well, but picking up Brian Fuentes leaves the Angels with a more-than competent closer to hold leads and bring the Angels back to the playoffs.

Athletics
Oakland’s acquisition of Matt Holliday in the offseason gives the A’s a strong offense, but a rotation of unknown pitchers leaves the Athletics with a lot of question marks. Holliday, Mark Ellis, and Jack Crust lead the offense, and even though it is not as powerful as the Angel’s offense, Oakland will still score plenty of runs. The rotation is the concern as prospects Trevor Cahil and Brett Anderson will get thrown into the fire right away and how they react to being in the majors will likely make-or-break the A’s season. If they excel, look for Oakland to compete for the division title, but if they struggle, the Athletics are going to be looking at the bottom of the division. Continue reading “2009 American League West Preview”

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