2014 MLB AL West Odds and Predictions – Vegas Odds to Win the American League West Division: Despite being a very competitive division in recent, the American League West has been a one-team division when it comes to playoffs. In fact, the AL West has produced just one wild-card team in the past 11 seasons. However, that trend could be set to change in 2014. The two-time defending division winning Oakland Athletics aren’t going anywhere, and several other teams were busy upgrading in the offseason. With that in mind, here is a closer look at how the teams stack up in the AL West for the 2014 MLB season.
1. Texas Rangers: The Rangers were busy this offseason, but by adding Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder to a lineup with Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios, they have rebuilt the powerful offense that carried the team to back-to-back pennants in 2010 and 2011. Granted, the rotation could use another top-tier arm, but Texas has a Cy Young candidate in Yu Darvish for an ace an enough quality arms to support what should be one of the best offenses in the majors.
2. Los Angeles Angels: Last year was a disaster given the payroll, but the Angels’ stars are healthy heading into 2014, and a playoff appearance could be the end result. After all, Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols give the lineup some serious potential. Meanwhile, a healthy Jered Weaver should help a rotation that also added some depth by acquiring Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs. Despite last year’s disappointment, the talent level on this team is undeniable, and a year to get healthy and develop chemistry will do wonders.
3. Oakland Athletics: In typical fashion, the Athletics have assembled a lineup of mostly-unknowns and a rotation of young arms that might just find a way to get the job done. Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick are among the bigger bats for Oakland while Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin will head a deep rotation. If Jim Johnson can take care of business in the ninth, there is no reason the Athletics can’t contend for a playoff spot again in 2014 and make a run at a three-peat in the division.
4. Seattle Mariners: They made a splash in free agency by landing second baseman Robinson Cano, but one strong bat isn’t going to fix a terrible offense. On the flip side, the pitching staff is strong at the top with Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, but even if rookie Taijuan Walker hits the ground running, the backend of the rotation and the bullpen aren’t anything special. In the end, the Mariners are still a few bats away from contending for anything.
5. Houston Astros: Jason Castro is a good young catcher, and second baseman Jose Altuve is a legit .300 hitter. After that, the Astros’ lineup is filled with a bunch of unknowns, and the rotation is even worse. On the plus side, Houston has an incredible farm system, but for the purposes of the 2014 season, the Astros are going to call the cellar of the AL West home.
Prseason Odds to win the 2014 AL West Division
Oakland Athletics win AL West +180
Los Angeles Angels win AL West +220
Texas Rangers win AL West +180
Seattle Mariners win AL West +700
Houston Astros win AL West +10000
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