We will make no trash can jokes here. You’ll get plenty of those during the regular season. This is just about the A.L. West, which teams are good, and as much as some people hate to admit it, that starts with the defending American League champion Astros.
Division Champions: -280
Regular Season Wins: 94.5
It’s hard to completely separate the team that is the Astros from the scandal that has engulfed the Astros, because no doubt the scandal will influence their play this season. But Astros players insist that it will serve as a driving force for even better play on the field as they try to prove themselves worthy.
It’s hard to imagine Justin Verlander, Zack Grienke, George Springer, Carlos Correa, and Michael Brantley having to prove themselves, or being any better. But if any team can turn it up a notch, it’s this group.
Division Champions: +340
Regular Season Wins: 89.5
The A’s have won 97 games in each of the last two seasons, which makes that 89.5 win total look very enticing. Oakland is a top tier team, and if it can avoid another slow start it could easily hit that over.
The rest of the A.L. West is improved, but the A’s have healthy young arms, great defense, and if Khris Davis can return to his 40+ home run form, instead of the 23 he hit last year, this team will be a contender.
Los Angeles Angels
Division Champions: +800
Regular Season Wins: 85.5
It’s hard to believe that a team with Mike Trout could lose 90 games, but that is exactly what happened to the Angels last season. The unquestioned best player in baseball can’t do it all, and L.A. is hoping the addition of Anthony Rendon can take some of the load. The Angels are also high on the hiring of manager Joe Maddon.
But the reality this team simply doesn’t have enough pitching to compete. Their best case scenario is a third place finish.
Division Champions: +2500
Regular Season Wins: 78.5
If you ask the Rangers they will tell you they are being woefully underrated. They are high on the addition of Corey Kluber and now feel the entire rotation is solid. They also get All-Star Joey Gallo back from injury and they’re opening a brand new ballpark.
But overall the lineup is lacking. A great rotation can only take you so far in this division.
Division Champions: +10000
Regular Season Wins: 66.5
When Opening Day rosters are set there may be no younger team in baseball than Seattle. That bodes well for the Mariners of 2022 and beyond, but it likely means that once again this team will break 90 losses and threaten to hit 100.
The Mariner youth movement is in such force that even the once thought to be untouchable Kyle Seager will most likely be traded sometime during this season, for even more young prospects.