MLB: American League West Preview


Feb 20, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; A general view of Tempe Diablo Stadium during the Los Angeles Angels

Pitchers and catchers have reported to Arizona and Florida and before we know it the 2015 MLB season will be underway in full force.

Over the upcoming weeks Heat Waved will begin previewing the six MLB divisions. We will predict the division winner, wild card caliber teams, win/loss totals, and a player to watch for that will lead their respective team in the upcoming season.

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First off, we will begin with the ultra-competitive American League West with no clear front-runner in the division entering the year.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are the defending American League West champions, but were eliminated from the 2014 playoffs in the divisional round to the hands of the eventual American League champion Kansas City Royals.

The Oakland Athletics also made the playoffs last season as one of two wild card teams, but blew a 7-3 lead in the 8th inning to the Kansas City Royals and eventually lost a 12-inning marathon 9-8 to the Royals in a win-or-go-home game.

The Seattle Mariners had the most successful 2014 campaign of the non-playoff teams in the division. Seattle finished just one game behind the Athletics as they just narrowly missed the playoffs.

The Houston Astros finished fourth in the division in yet another rebuilding year, but it seems as if the club isn’t too far off from where they need to be.

Finally, the bottom-feeders in the division was the Texas Rangers who won just 67 games as they dealt with their fair share of injuries including losing what seemed like a million first basemen throughout the year.

Every team in the division has picked up new pieces, lost some key contributors from prior years, and shipped off players to different clubs. Without further ado, I present to you the 2015 American League West preview…

1. Los Angeles Angels: 96-66

Division Winner

Player to Watch: Mike Trout

Oct 5, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Los Angels first basemen Albert Pujols (5) reacts after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Kansas City Royals during game three of the 2014 ALDS baseball playoff game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

2. Seattle Mariners: 90-72

Wild-Card Caliber

Player to Watch: Felix Hernandez

Aug 11, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) pitches to the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

3. Oakland Athletics: 86-76

Wild-Card Caliber

Player to Watch: Sonny Gray

Sep 30, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oakland Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp (4) hits an RBI single against the Kansas City Royals during the sixth inning of the 2014 American League Wild Card playoff baseball game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

4. Houston Astros: 76-96

Player to Watch: George Springer and Jose Altuve

Jun 26, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) and center fielder George Springer (4) celebrate a victory against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Houston beat Texas 8-3. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

5. Texas Rangers: 68-94

Player to Watch: Prince Fielder

Apr 19, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder (84) hits a home run against the Chicago White Sox during the fourth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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