Seems like most are agreed that the Angels will win the division, but where will the rest fall in? Going more on feelings (I'm such a sensitive guy) than on baseball acumen, here is what I come up with:
2nd place: Oakland A's. I just don't see them falling apart; it seems that no matter who they lose, some unknown steps up to play well. That team has some magic beane or something.
3rd place: Texas Rangers. While I tend to see last year as mostly a fluke (see Kenny Rodgers' win total for exhibit #1), they DO HAVE an incredible offense. If the starting pitching holds its own until their bullpen comes on, they could be trouble. Also, didn't they have a young starter, Ryan Drese (?), who looked ready to break out and be someone special?
4th place: Seattle Mariners. This was another fluke and there is no way they will be as bad in 2005--their two big free agent signings should see to that. Depending on how well Sexson comes back from his injury and how close Beltre can come to matching his awesome 2004, the M's could be right in the mix. Seems to me they also had a young pitching talent who took it to the Angels twice in one week towards the end of last season.
(Wow, that's it. It sure seems lame having only 4 teams in a division; I still can't get used to that.)
Anyway, botom line is that I think the division from 2nd-4th is going to be bunched up pretty tight with movement up and down the standings all season long. Nobody is going to fall completely out of contention like Seattle last year.
As for the Angels, I HATE picking them to win, but I guess it would be pretty dumb not to. I do think it won't be as easy as some people think. Anything can happen (and throughout Angel history, it has) and I won't be surprised if any of the three teams jump up to snag the West.
This Fan-Post is authored by an independent fan. Tell us what you think and how you feel.