Baseball season is almost upon us. As the weather (hopefully) gets warmer, we at Mass Hysteria will be previewing all of MLB's divisions to prepare you for what will inevitably take over your life over the next seven months. The format is eerily similar to what HZMLS did with our NFL Previews, so I guess imitation is the highest form of flattery. This is Part 4 of 6: The AL West.
In case you missed it, Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3.
Los Angeles Angels
Why The Angels Will Win The AL West
Because they win the West like every year. Seriously, with the inferiority that has existed in the AL West as of late, the Angels could field a team of blind, drunk, lesbian hobos and still clinch it in August. Yeah they lost K-Rod, yeah John Lackey and Ervin San-tana (ay!) are hurt, and yeah they got a former Rockies closer to anchor their bullpen. Is anyone ready to bet against these guys yet? Let the Bobby Abreu era begin!
Why The Angels Won't Win The AL West
ZOMG MOST SAVES IN TEH W0RLD EVR!!!!1111!!! Look, I'm the first in line at the "K-Rod is Overrated" convention, but face it - the dude is a pretty damn good baseball player.
Without him this pitching staff is going to have a lot of trouble finishing off the close ones. And with this team not being in a very good position to score a lot of runs, there are going to be a lot of nail biters. Plus, this entire Angels team doesn't look as intimidating as it has in years past. Also, much fewer goggles.
Why The Athletics Will Win The AL West
Matt effing Holliday. And yeah, I know critics will bring up his home/road splits from Colorado, and they're right to an extent, but bottom line: this dude can rake no matter where he is. Plus, he's the offensive cog this team has needed for a while to possibly push them over the hump. They also have Cust and Giambi back, who fit the OBP mold, and they also got some dude named Nomar in the offseason.
Why The Athletics Won't Win The AL West
Spell it with me now: D-U-C-H-S-C-H-E-R-E-R. If you read his name and you end up with spit all over your monitor afterwards, you're pronouncing it wrong. Anyway, this A's starting pitching does not look solid enough to me right now, but then again, they're young and I learned my lesson betting against a Moneyball team, so right now I'll just say "wait and see." However, I can tell you that Douche-er, their ace, is hurt and is going to start the season on the DL. At this point, he's the only sure thing on their staff and they could really struggle without him.
Why The Mariners Will Win The AL West
This division has quite a bit of nostalgia in it, doesn't it? Giambi back with the A's, and now Griffey back with the M's. The Mariners are going to win this division by returning to the days of Griff, back when this team was just so much effing fun to watch. If Bedard is healthy, this pitching staff could also be fun to watch, so don't sleep on this team just yet.
Why The Mariners Won't Win The AL West
The Mariners lost their best reliever in JJ Putz and the bullpen could be a real concern for them this year. Also, as nasty as Ichiro is at certain things, his game is missing a lot of dimensions, notably power, extra-base hits, and patience at the plate (i.e. walking). Imagine how nasty he would be if he could mix in walks with his crazy about of bunt, infield, and bloop singles?
Why The Rangers Will Win The AL West
Josh Hamilton is no longer on blow. The only crack he's involved with is the crack of his bat. The only smack in his life is the smack of the ball hitting his... yeah, you get it. Scoring runs was never a problem for the Rangers last year, so they should continue to put them up in bunches. I'm sure by now we've all heard about their young catchers who the Red Sox were interested in, and they should provide some help in replacing the offensive loss of Milton Bradley.
Why The Rangers Won't Win The AL West
That's your #1 starter there. The only team he should be starting for is the All-Ugly Team (I will have to post on this later). Padilla and Randy Johnson anchor the rotation on the All-Ugly Team. Anyway, the Rangers biggest problem was pitching last year, and it looks like they've addressed exactly none of it. Kris Benson is back and in the rotation, but unless his hot ass wife makes him pitch like Nolan Ryan, I don't see how this staff is going to succeed.
Smarty Barrett's pick to win the AL West: Call it a gut feeling if you must, but the Angels' reign at the top of this division comes to an end this year. I really like the A's to win this thing - I like Holliday to continue to be nasty, and a few of their low-risk/low-money/potential-high-reward signings to come through. Plus, we'll get to hear the MONEYBALL DOESN'T WORK IN THE PLAYOFFS diatribe again.
GHABB,Y's pick to win the AL West: The real winner here will be whoever gets Matt Holiday from Oakland at the trading deadline (Theo, please call early and call often), but otherwise, I'm thinking the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange County of Burbank of the San Fernando Valley of the Naughtyamerica.com Studios (My Friend's Hot Mom.com alone is well worth the $24.95 per month) win the division by roughly 153 games. None of the other teams here even seem to be trying. And, just as predictable as the Angels' inevitable division win will be their first-round exit in the playoffs. Hey Artie Moreno - how do you say "Epic October Fail" in Spanish? At least their fans will be able to take solace in some high-quality internet porn, filmed right in their backyard.
HZMLS Pick to Win the AL West: I am going to have to go ahead and agree with Smarty on this one. This is a win by subtraction. The Angels are not going to be nearly as good as some people think, and the Rangers and Mariners suck. Who does that leave? The A's, MR MONEY BALL HIMSELF Billy Beane, and Matt Holliday of course.
What say you, readers?