AL West: Astros Remain in Orbit



The Houston Astros are the defending World Series champs and few would be surprised if they went back-to-back in 2018. All of that is to say they will win the AL West—easily.

Will Win: The Astros. How would you like to have a staff so deep you could trade McHugh for another bat? The Astros added Gerritt Cole to a staff with Verlander, Keuchel. McCullers, and Morton. They have mini-mite Altuve who does it all, along with Gattis, Gurriel, Correa, Springer, and Reddick. Plus, as I said, they will probably use McHugh as bait to add to this. This is a 100+ win team unless three or four arms fall off.

Will Disappoint: The Los Angeles Angels. They won the Ohtani sweepstakes and already a bit of buyer's regret is seeping in. It would be good for MLB if he's really good and he might be—but I doubt it will be this year; his very presence will take at-bats from Pujols, who has slipped but has still has forgotten more about hitting than Ohtani currently knows. LA has Mike Trout, MLB's best talent, and some useful guys—Kinsler, Simmons, Cozart—but the pitching is mediocre at best and most of it is pretty awful.

Dark Horse:  I hesitate to say it since they are chronic underachievers, but I'll go with the Seattle Mariners. I like Cruz, Cano, and Seager in the middle of the lineup and a staff with King Felix, Paxton, and Pazos looks better than that of the Angels.

Predicted Finish:

1.  Houston Astros: I would be shocking if they didn't go deep into the postseason.
2.  Seattle Mariners: Normally I'd say Texas, but wait for it…
3. Texas Rangers: Love their lineup of Beltre, Gallo, Odor, and Profar. Decent staff as well. Texas will start strong, but management knows this team isn't good enough. I look for a makeover at trade deadline in which the disappointing Andrus will go, as will Fister, Hamels, and Moore.
4. Los Angeles Angels: They need pitching and that goes well beyond the hope that Ohtani turns into a hurling/slugging Babe Ruth.
5. Oakland A's: It's getting boring. Get a few retreads, hope, falter, and trade. Most likely to go by mid season: Piscotty, Lucroy, Khris Davis.

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