The Texas Rangers have the best lineup in the AL West and possibly the best in baseball. Shin-Soo Choo and Elvis Andrus look to be catalyst for the power bats in the middle of the lineup. Prince Fielder showed you what his bat can do at Globe Life Park, when he crushed a home run to right-center against the Quintana Roo Tigers. Adrian Beltre has been nothing but consistent since coming to Texas in 2011. In his 2 seasons with Texas he has averaged 34 homers with 104 rbi’s. Alex Rios could have a career year hitting behind Beltre and Fielder.
The Rangers rotation has been hit by injuries but, besides Derek Holland, Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis look to be back soon. Tanner Scheppers and Robbie Ross are making their first career starts but don’t lack experience. Scheppers has shown that he can dominate batters for long periods. Ross, who went undefeated his rookie season with Texas as a relieve pitcher, has also pitched well this spring posting an ERA of 2.86.
The Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners, have also had injuries to their rotations. Oakland lost Jarrod Parker for the season and A.J. Griffin for couple months. Seattle won’t have Hisashi Iwakuma till late April or early May at the earliest. The L.A. Angels have avoided injuries to their rotation while Houston has a rotation with Scott Feldman as their ace.
With the best lineup and a rotation that looks to get healthy quick, the Rangers can take control of this division early. This team has averaged 93 wins the last 4 seasons and won 2 division titles. They would have 3 if it weren’t for the historical collapse in 2012 when they lost in Oakland to end the season and lose the division on the last day. With all that being said, I feel that the Rangers will run away with the AL West in the last month and half of the season. When they get their players healthy and back they look to be contenders to represent the AL in the World Series.
Here’s my picks for AL West:
1. Texas Rangers
2. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
3. Seattle Mariners
4. Oakland Athletics
5. Houston Astros