Season Previews in Review: American League West

Back during Spring Training, I took a look at each team and made predictions about how each team would do and how I thought their season would go. This was the first year doing this, and I figured now was a good time to take a look back and see how it went. I reviewed the AL East and AL Central previously, and now it’s on to the AL West.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Predicted Record: 86-76            Actual Record: 80-82

I’m not entirely sure what happened with this team. The only event that I can pinpoint that stands out as a major turning point in the season was the loss of Kendry Morales for the season back in late May. Their pitching seemed suspect at the beginning of the season, and might have been worse had it not been for the midseason acquisition of Dan Haren from the Diamondbacks. The Angels continue to develop solid players though, with Peter Bourjos coming up after the All-Star break and should continue to develop next season. This team needs a bit of help in the offseason, but should do well and spend what is needed to do that.

Oakland Athletics

Predicted Record: 79-83            Actual Record: 81-81

It wasn’t easy for me to predict that my hometown A’s would finish in last place in the division, and despite their record I was pleasantly surprised that they finished 2nd. It speaks a lot more to the lack of quality in the division than their performance in my opinion though. This team was built entirely around pitching and defense, which is good because the offense couldn’t have been too much worse honestly. They will need to go find a power bat, and hope that both Chris Carter and Michael Taylor will continue to improve and provide some of that power to the lineup in 2011.

Seattle Mariners

Predicted Record: 88-74            Actual Record: 61-101

This couldn’t have been what they were expecting at the start of the season in Seattle. Matching Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez should have helped to bring this team to the front of a weakened division, and yet by the time Lee made his first start, they were practically out of the race already. The team just generally seemed to be taking on water throughout the season, from the surprise midseason retirement of Ken Griffey Jr. to the trade of Cliff Lee and the eventual firing of manager Don Wakamatsu, this team simply did not perform at all to the expectations of the fans or the ownership group.

Texas Rangers

Predicted Record: 86-76            Actual Record: 90-72

On this side of the division, the Rangers made nearly every perfect move for themselves to win the division. They plugged Neftali Feliz into the closer’s role almost immediately. The signing of Vladimir Guerrero during the offseason played out perfectly. The midseason acquisitions of not only Cliff Lee but also Bengie Molina and Jorge Cantu helped the team all the way to the World Series. Even the unsettled ownership situation wasn’t able to derail their performance, and in the end the team was sold to the Greenberg group as had been widely expected.

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