Thursday, March 22, 2012

Albert Pujols Will Propel Angels to AL West Title

As opening day approaches, I'm making predictions for each of the six divisions in MLB.   I have projected won/loss records, runs scored (RS), runs allowed (RA) and run differential (RS-RA) for each team.  I don't have a complex formula to determine the results.  I just looked at last year's final numbers and moved teams up and down according to how much I thought they would regress or improve from last year to this year.

There is a big gap between the haves and have nots in the AL West.  The Angels and Rangers will vie for the division title, while the Athletics and Mariners will be among the worst in the league.  The Angels spent a fortune on Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson and it should pay off handsomely.  Pujols will revitalize what was previously a sub-par line-up and they have one of the top rotations in baseball.  Look for them to dethrone the still powerful Rangers.

With one of the best line-ups in the American League, the Rangers should give the Angels a battle.  If Japanese import Yu Darvish lives and converted reliever Neftali Feliz immediately live up to their potential, Texas could very well repeat.  However, I'm picking them for a second place finish and a wild card. 

Projected AL West Standings

Team
W
L
RS
RA
RS-RA
Los Angeles Angels
95
67
739
605
134
Texas Rangers
93
69
832
708
124
Oakland Athletics
72
90
651
744
-93
Seattle Mariners
67
95
578
711
-133


Divisional Awards

MVP
Albert Pujols, LA
Ian Kinsler, Tex
Adrian Beltre, Tex

Cy Young
Felix Hernandez, Sea
Dan Haren, LA
Jered Weaver. LA

Breakout Players
Yu Darvish, Tex
Jesus Montero, Sea
Kendrys Morales, LA (comeback more than a breakout)

Blogs

I won't waste time trying to give detailed analyses of teams I don't follow on a daily basis.  These blogs can tell you more about the teams than I can:

Angels
Halos Heaven
Halo Hangout

Rangers
Lone Star Ball
Baseball Time in Arlington

Athletics
Athletics Nation
Swingin' A's

Mariners
Lookout Landing
U.S.S. Mariner

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