World Series Picks: 2011 AL West Predictions and Preview

Last Updated: March 27th, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Complete List of AL West Lines Can Be Found Below

Last season, the Rangers weren’t just able to knock the Halos out of the catbird seat in the AL West, but they nearly won the whole enchilada as well. Will history repeat itself? Check out this year’s AL West preview and the AL West odds to find out.

The Texas Rangers (1.25 to 1 @ Sportbet Sportsbook) are once again the favorites to win this division, but we aren’t so sure that it’s justified. Sure, this was a team that did well most of last season, but Vladimir Guerrero and Bengie Molina are both gone, and Texas wasn’t able to nail down Cliff Lee in the offseason either. The pieces are still in place for Manager Ron Washington to get the job done, but the task is going to be significantly harder now than it was at the end of last season when the Rangers probably did really have the best team in the American League.

As for those Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2.95 to 1 @ Sportbet Sportsbook), they were truly losers in the offseason as well. Not only couldn’t they lure a big time starting pitcher to town, but they didn’t get Carl Crawford or any other big bats via free agency either. The Halos still have a nice looking nucleus, but there were definitely some faults last year, especially after Kendry Morales suffered his season ending injury relatively early on. Dan Haren might be a sneaky pick for AL Cy Young this year though, especially without any huge contenders emerging as early favorites.

The team that really could make strides this year is the Oakland Athletics (2.25 to 1 @ BetUS Sportsbook). There were a lot of great signings in the offseason by General Manager Billy Beane, including Hideki Matsui, Josh Willingham, David DeJesus, Grant Balfour, and Brian Fuentes. None of the moves by themselves are all that amazing, but the whole story is now looking sharp in Oakland. This pen is stacked, and the starting rotation is featuring five up and comers this year, including Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez, Dallas Braden, and Brandon McCarthy. This is definitely a squad to watch out for this year.

Rounding out the pack will be the Seattle Mariners (23.50 to 1 @ Sportbet Sportsbook). The M’s just haven’t made enough moves to make us go, “Wow!” Unless there’s suddenly some offense joining Ichiro Suzuki in the lineup, there’s no way that this team plates enough runs to consistently win for any pitcher not named Felix Hernandez. Things would really be disastrous for the Mariners if they had to trade King Felix at the trade deadline, something that is a legitimate possibility if the price is right.

Odds to Win AL West @ BetUS Sportsbook (as of 3/27/11):
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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2.25 to 1
Oakland Athletics 2.25 to 1
Seattle Mariners 20 to 1
Texas Rangers 1 to 1.20

Betting Lines to Win AL West @ Sportbet Sportsbook (as of 3/27/11):
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Texas Rangers 1.25 to 1
Oakland Athletics 2 to 1
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2.95 to 1
Seattle Mariners 23.50 to 1

2011 AL West Odds @ Hollywood Sportsbook (as of 3/27/11):
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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2.75 to 1
Oakland Athletics 1.80 to 1
Seattle Mariners 20 to 1
Texas Rangers 1 to 1

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Posted in MLB Baseball - Last Updated on Sunday, March 27th, 2011 @ 2:23 pm (EST)
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