The AL West has been dominated by the A’s since the early days of Kinsella. While they did take a two year break to rebuild, they are solidly in control once again. The Angels broke through to make playoff runs in seasons 20 and 21, but dropped back under .500 last year. The Beavers are in rebuilding mode under new ownership, and Seattle is saddled with big contracts that under produced.
It looks like the A’s will walk into the playoffs yet again.
The predicted standings for this season are:
Oakland Athletics 96-66 (Division Champ)
Anaheim Angels 82-80
Portland Beavers 67-95
Seattle Mariners 53-109
Oakland Athletics (mikebr13, 5th season)
Last Year: 99-63
Runs Scored/Allowed: 841/824
Players Added: 3b/rf – Perry Adams (Cha)
Players Lost: cl – Trace Weber (fa), rf - JP Cabrera (CHA)
Preview: Ownership raised a few eyebrows when the A’s went from contenders to a fire sale overnight under mikebr’s ownership. Apparently, it was all part of the plan for the A’s as they returned to prominence by winning back to back division titles. The boys in green are now one of the most feared teams in the league with a host of young stars and a minimal payroll.
An early season trade with the Knights brings Perry Adams (-0.9 War) to the team, but gives them good defense as their offense improves. Trading JP Cabrera means not much loss in offensive production. The team is led by Luis Baez (.303/.394/.619, 9.3 war) and Anibal Maduro (.331/.408/.618, 9.0 war). With two players responsible for a combined 280 runs created, chances are your offense will be pretty good.
Overall: The A’s are one of the best rounded teams. Their downfall is defense with several players using their bat to make up for their glove. The pitching staff has one of the best collection of FIP and Whip pitchers available. Only three pitchers were above 4.0 fip, and no pitchers had above 1.29 whip. Amazing.
Anaheim Angels (sweetness355, *Founding Member)
Last Year: 77-85
Runs Scored/Allowed: 841/824
Players Added: sp – Humberto Sierra (CWS)
Players Lost: ss – Mark Maxwell (Min), rp – Armando Chavez (AZ)
Preview: Although it would be hours or even days to sort through all of the trades done by the Angels, it has become apparent that trader-sweet is always looking for a good deal and a chance to improve in Orange County.
This year has been incredibly quiet on the trade front. Will it last? Or are the Angels content with the team they are currently with? The Angels big four hitters (Alex Romero, Brendan Spruill, Craig Frazier, and Rodney Magee) combined for 404 runs created (over half of the teams total production). They should all have similar years, so it’s up to the pitching, defense, and roll players.
Overall: This is a solid team. The role players need to step up and give the Angels that fifth guy that can produce at a higher level.
Portland Beavers (Dakar, 1st year)
Last Year: 57-105
Runs Scored/Allowed: 616/822
Players Added: p – Michael Dupler (RuleV, Cin), 2b – Seth Baker (RuleV, AZ), 1b – Jaime Wang (ruleV, Min), c – Aubrey Mercedes (LAA), ss – Joakim Miranda (NYM), cf – Sam Morris (tex), dh – Sherman Daley (t-Min),
Players Lost: 1b – Chick Fassero (t-min), cf - Benji Castro (AZ), lf – Tomas Dotel (min)
Preview: Kinsella was buzzing with the news that famed owner Dakar had joined the league and taken over the Beavers deep in the heart of the northwest. Tremendous leagues. 34 division championships. 5609 wins (and counting). The Beavers were a consistently mediocre team with the old ownership, so with Dakar will things be different?
The first order of business (apparently) was to dump Chick Fassero. In return the Beavers started their rebuilding with 2b Dean Stevens (season 21, 35th pick). Fassero takes his 78 runs created and 1.2 war with him to Minnesota. Benji Castro also packed his bag as he took his 64 rc to Arizona.
Overall: It’s going to be a long year in rainy Portland. “Keep Portland Weird”…words to live by for Dakar.
Seattle Mariners (suginamiku, *Founding Member)
Last Year: 64-98
Runs Scored/Allowed: 705/883
Players Added: ?
Players Lost: ss – Rodrigo Marin (Fla)
Preview: Sug and the Mariners made a surprise run to the World Series a few years ago when they shocked all of Kinsella with their magical October. Things have been cold and rainy in the Emerald City since then as the M’s have won 72, 75, 68, and 64 games.
One name to remember is Erik Cosby. As a 20 year old rookie, Cosby posted a .254/.335/.353 line with 71 runs created. Scouts say that his speed and athleticism set him apart. He should be able to contribute as much as 90 runs.
The Mariners gave up 883 runs…and no moves were made to make that group better or even competitive. Their offense scored 705 runs…no moves were made to make that group better either. Yet payroll is $100 million yet again with $82.4 of that spent. Maybe the Mariners are waiting for vets to become a little more affordable? The current roster is underperforming their contracts by a significant amount.
Overall: Haven’t seen any indication the Mariners will be better, but they could be worse with the loss of Marin (their most productive hitter at .300/.406/.497, 6.3 war, 98 rc).