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AL West 2022 season preview, outright odds & predictions

American League West MLB

Next up on the board is the American League West, a division with some of the best talent in baseball. Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, Justin Verlander and Corey Seager all call the AL West home, but who will take the crown in 2022?

American League West outright odds

  • Houston Astros -140
  • Los Angeles Angels +380
  • Seattle Mariners +550
  • Oakland Athletics +700
  • Texas Rangers +3000

All odds courtesy of Bovada

Houston Astros

On paper, the Astros are the best team in the division by a long shot. Say what you want about the Astros, but they have the experience that should prove to be very important should they be neck and neck with another team coming down the stretch.

Despite all the controversy the Astros have found themselves in over the course of the last two seasons, they have still found a way to advance past the regular season. They somehow made the playoffs the year after the cheating scandal was confirmed despite all the drama surrounding them. They also cruised to a 95-67 record a season ago, a record good for first place. The defending West champions look to be in for another strong season.

Dusty Baker has done an amazing job keeping the team grounded through all the controversy over the last few seasons. Although the potential loss of Carlos Correa will sting, it shouldn’t be the end all be all for the Astros. The starting rotation is deep, the bullpen is deeper, and the lineup is full of proven players who are in the midst of their prime. Love them or hate them, the Astros have done a great job of building a winning team and they look to be headed for their fifth division title in the last six seasons.

Los Angeles Angels

Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani are the best duo not only in the AL West but in the League. Every conversation about the Angels winning their division should start and end with Trout and Ohtani. Trout, despite being widely regarded as the best player in the MLB has dealt with his fair share of injuries that have hurt his reputation and certainly hindered his team. Time and time again, the Angels have proved that it takes more than one player to win a championship but now they have two. The two-way Japanese super star bursted onto the scene a season ago where he won the AL MVP.

Not only did Ohtani slug 45 homeruns and carry a .257 average, .372 on base percentage and a .592 slugging percentage. Ohtani pitched to a 3.52 earned run average and a 3.55 strike out to walk ratio across 130.1 innings. Ohtani was outstanding last season but the Angels still failed to make the playoffs. Both Trout and Ohtani want to win, so the Angels must do everything in their power to capitalize on the athletic prime of two generational talents. Should the Angels find themselves in the conversation come the trade deadline, we would expect them to be big buyers to patch some holes in order to get them into the postseason.

At +380 odds and a healthy Ohtani and Trout the Angels are worth throwing some money on to win the division.

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners shocked the world a season ago when they finished with a 90-72 record narrowly missing the playoffs in the last game of the season. The Mariners became America’s team last season and are looking to be strike lightning in a bottle again this year. The loss of Kyle Seager this offseason definitely hurts the Mariners. Seager was a career-long Mariner and was the heart and soul of the team down the stretch last year. The Mariners look to be in the market for a third basemen to replace Seager, but they did manage to add reigning Cy Young winner Robbie Ray from the Blue Jays before the lockout.

The addition of Ray will surely help the Mariners rotation, but there isn’t much to be excited about after him this year. J.P. Crawford and Mitch Hanniger have both quietly become solid major league players and should be mainstays in the Mariners lineup in the coming years. It likely won’t happen again for the Mariners this season, we like them a lot going forward though. We wouldn’t recommend taking the Mariners +550 this season, but with a full offseason next year they could be a sneaky come back team in two years.

Oakland Athletics

The Athletics are at a turning point in their franchise. They are rumored to be ready to move on from Matt Chapman and Matt Olson, both could be moved by the trade deadline. Even though Billy Bean has left, the Athletics have built a solid front office that is at the forefront of the analytical movement in the MLB. It likely won’t be the Athletics year, we could even see them being big sellers come the trade deadline.

Chris Bassitt, Sean Manaea, and Frankie Montas have all shown flashes and could be potential moves to replenish the Athletics 26th ranked farm system. It is probably time for the Athletics to take a step back and find who they are in the post-Billy Bean era. Don’t waste your money with the A’s at +700.

Texas Rangers

Prior to the lockout the Rangers had spent the most money out of all 30 MLB teams this offseason. The Rangers spent over $562 million thus far in the offseason and they likely aren’t done yet. They inked Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Jon Gray and Kole Calhoun to contracts and when the offseason resumes and the lockout ends, they could spend more money.

Even after all that spending, it still likely won’t be the year for the Rangers. It should certainly be noted that they are willing to spend and look to be gearing up to build a contender in the coming years, but as currently constructed they are just not good enough. Similar to the Angels, it’s possible the Rangers find a way to hang in with the Astros come mid-season and could make some moves at the deadline. The +3000 odds are definitely a long shot but crazier things have happened. This bet could be worth $5 to see what happens.

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