I predict the Texas Rangers will win the A.L. West.
Unleash Nelson Cruz!
Update: Nelson Cruz is unleased! His 3 run homer in bottom of 7th ties game at 3-3; his RBI double in bottom of 9th ties game at 4-4.
The key swing of the game. If you can believe it: this minimalist swing launches a line drive into right center field. The ball carries on the RBiA jet stream and short hops the back wall of the Rangers bullpen. That pitch was a fastball which was just off the outside edge of the strike zone. It was a fabulous pitch, actually, yet Cruz got sweet spot on it.
The Angels will have a good team, will be a big factor in the West, and might win the West. Seattle will begin rocky due to injuries. If Seattle gets healthy, they could close fast and contend. Oakland will be a dangerous team which will be no fun to play, yet will not have the consistency to seriously contend. The Rangers are the best bet.
In recent seasons, the Rangers have been streaky: capable of going on hot streaks of decent pitching and of good hitting in which they would win a bunch of games very fast. In future, that will rarely be the case for this franchise.
Rather, good pitching will keep the Rangers in contention in game after game all through the season, and the Rangers will win more than they lose over time. The Rangers will consistently put pressure on opponents, and will win a lot of close games.
The offense will be more focused on moving runners along and scoring some runs each night. There will be fewer games in which the Rangers score 9, fewer games in which they score 2, and more games in which they score 4 or 5. Combine with consistent pitching which puts consistent pressure on opponents, and you've got a good, consistent, professional baseball team which wins most of its games. There will be lessened chances of spectacular streaks in either direction - either winning streaks or losing streaks. Rather: we will see steady professional baseball which will be difficult for opponents to consistently defeat. Steady, professional, winning baseball. For about the next 10 years, or more. It's time, now. And, in future seasons, things will only get better.