The AL West has clearly been the Astros division for a couple of years now, winning the division 5 times in the last 6 years. MLB teams are only getting better by adding star players to potentially make a run for the World Series. The real question is, which teams will actually make that playoff run this season? On paper, the AL West isn't so bad besides the Oakland Athletics, so here are my two contenders in the division and one fraud in the AL West.
AL West contender: Seattle Mariners
The Mariners made the playoffs last season for the first time since 2001, finishing with a 90-72 record, then losing to the Astros in AL Divisional Series. Houston ended up sweeping the Mariners that series, but it was much closer than what it seems.
This offseason, Seattle ended up adding OF Teoscar Hernandez to the team. He is a great bat and a good defender. Then they added 2B Kolten Wong from the Brewers, who is also a solid bat to have in the lineup. To top it off with additions made this offseason, Seattle then signed OF A.J Pollock and DH Tommy La Stella. They addressed starting pitching during the trade deadline last season after acquiring Luis Castillo from the Cincinnati Reds.
Projected Mariners Starting Rotation:
- Luis Castillo / Logan Gilbert / Robbie Ray / Marco Gonzales / George Kirby
Projected Opening Day Mariners Starting Lineup:
2B Kolten Wong / CF Julio Rodriguez / 1B Ty France / RF Teoscar Hernandez / 3B Eugenio Suarez / C Cal Raleigh / LF Jarred Kelenic / DH AJ Pollock / SS J.P. Crawford
On paper, this looks like a great lineup, making me believe that the Mariners will be contenders and easily make the playoffs.