MLB 2023: AL West Division Preview

by Scott Rickenbach

Monday, Feb 27, 2023
AL West Division Preview for MLB 2023

Houston Astros – Of course the big news here is Justin Verlander is now with the Mets. However, Houston still has plenty of talent remaining from the club that won the World Series over the Phillies last fall. But my key question would be who will step up as a true #1 in the rotation. Again, this team should be one of the best in the league but truly the only way to go is down after they did win it all last season. 

Los Angeles Angels – When I look at the projected Angels lineup I am impressed by what I see. However, this team always struggles to stay healthy. It just seems like they are snakebit in the health department. They have some solid starting pitching but I do not trust this bullpen at all. That looks like a weak area. So the more I look at this team, except for when Ohtani and Sandoval are on the mound, this could be a team that has a lot of overs this season. That is based on a healthy lineup and an unimpressive bullpen.

Oakland Athletics – Another rough season likely for the Athletics. When one looks at this pitching rotation it is just had to have faith. They added some new arms but just not key guys to rely upon really. Everyone would have to have really surprising seasons for this rotation to be something to talk about. As for the defense that should be a strength with this team and they are strong behind the plate. But this lineup looks weak again and particularly the bottom half. Just do not know where much offense will come from with this team. 

Seattle Mariners – Finally the Mariners got back to the playoffs last season. I like the fact they are not sitting still now either. Seattle added some players like Hernandez, Wong and Pollock in the off-season. As long as last year’s rookie sensation Julio Rodriguez does not have a sophomore slump, this team will again be a threat for post-season action! 

Texas Rangers – Have to be excited about this team. Is not just the addition of deGrom either as it is a truly revamped starting rotation. I like the Rangers chances of being able to surprise some teams with a consistent parade of solid starting pitching to the mound each series. As is the norm with the guys the Rangers have in the rotation, staying generally healthy overall will be a key. The concern for Texas the way I see it is that they are really going to need some guys to step up in the lineup. They just do not have a lot of big bats in the current projected lineup. These team likely going to have to rely on pitching. 

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