|A Look at the American League West||| Print |||Send|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on April 08, 2007
The smallest division in the major leagues, the American League West, has not been a big force in the postseason the previous few seasons. It has been five years since they even had a team in the World Series. The race to October should be good, however, because these four squads feature plenty of talent.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Cause for Concern: Other than Vladimir Guerrero, there isn’t much to like on the offensive side. Howie Kendrick is the second best hitter on the team, but he doesn’t have any power. Until Juan Rivera comes back around the All Star Break from a broken leg injury, pitchers might as well intentionally walk Guerrero.
Prediction: 1st place, with 96 wins
The Cause for Concern: This past offseason, the A’s lost Barry Zito, their staff ace, and Frank Thomas, their designated hitter. That kind of production is difficult for any team to replace, especially one that doesn’t have any money to spend on offseason acquisitions.
Prediction: 2nd place, with 88 wins
The Cause for Concern: The final three members of the starting rotation are no one’s idea of a strength. Horacio Ramirez and Miguel Batista all had ERAs in the high 4s, while Jeff Weaver put up a 5.76 mark in that category. There’s always the chance that one of these overpaid pitchers will earn their paycheck, of course.
Prediction: 3rd place, with 86 wins
The Cause for Concern: The entirety of the Rangers’ rotation features five guys who would be middle-of-the-rotation talents on the other three teams. The conditions of The Ballpark in Arlington make it difficult for pitchers, but the personnel is at fault, too. Kevin Millwood just isn’t an ace, and Vicente Padilla is too lazy to work, even though he has some of the best stuff in the American League.Prediction: 4th place, with 82 wins