2012 MLB Predictions: AL West
The American League Central Division will no doubt be a two-team race. It’s hard to believe that the either the Seattle Mariners or the Oakland Athletics will be able to compete with the Texas Rangers or Los Angeles Angels.
The revamped L.A. Angels, with the additions of first baseman Albert Pujols and starting pitcher C.J. Wilson, are Brett Rosin’s favorites to win the division mainly due to their starting rotation. Along with Wilson, Dan Haren and Jared Weaver might be the best top-three pitchers any team can throw out to the mound. The Angels aren’t a team people consider to win just an AL West title; now it’s a World Series discussion the halos find themselves in. That’s what adding a player like Albert Pujols can do to a conversation.
The Texas Rangers have represented the American League in the World Series the last two seasons and if they want to get back to the Fall Classic they’ll need their Japanese hurler Yu Darvish to fill the void C.J. Wilson left behind when he signed with the Rangers’ division rivals.
The Rangers still have one of the most potent lineups in all of baseball, not to mention the best hitters park to play in as well. Even if the Rangers can’t win their third division title in a row, they are likely still a playoff team. This race in the AL West could come down to the wire, but Brett Rosin gives the edge to the new and improved L.A. Angels.