2023 American League West Division Preview

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

2023 American League West Division Preview


2023 American League West Division Preview


Major League Baseball is only six days away from the start of the regular season and we have finally reached the sixth and final division preview. The American League West is and has been run by the defending World Series Champions, the Houston Astros, for a number of years now. The Seattle Mariners snapped its playoffs drought last season and will look to challenge Houston atop the West. Both the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers got better this offseason and will look to push for the playoffs while Oakland dwells in the basement of the division.

Oakland Athletics – projected record 55-107 – 5th AL West

The A’s are going to be really, really, really bad. Oakland’s best hitter is Jesus Aguilar and will be joined by Seth Brown, Tony Kemp and Ramon Laureano. Christian Pache is projected to come off the bench and I will not be surprised if he finds himself in a starting role very soon. Japanese rookie Shintaro Fujinami will headline the staff along with James Kaprielian and JP Sears. Trevor May is the only notable bullpen piece and I would not be surprised if he was moved at the deadline. It is going to be a long year for the A’s.

Texas Rangers – projected record 81-81 – 4th AL West

Texas was very active in free agency again this season signing Nathan Eovaldi, Andrew Heaney and Jacob DeGrom. Even with these additions, the bullpen still needs some work and questions remain about the rotation’s ability to stay healthy. Martin Perez and Jon Gray are the only returners to the rotation and may have to pick up the slack if DeGrom and Eovaldi’s injury history continues. The lineup is solid. Led by Marcus Semien and Corey Seager, the Ranger bats need to get going for this team to content for anything. Texas will turn for support from Nathaniel Lowe, Adolis Garcia, Josh Jung and Jonah Heim. This team will need 162 games of solid offense and its rotation to stay healthy just to be in contention. Injuries and the bullpen will ultimately be Texas’ downfall.

Los Angeles Angels – projected record 85-77 – 3rd AL West

The Angels enter 2023 with a solid team on paper. The lineup features the league’s two best hitters in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani along with Anthony Rendon, Taylor Ward, Hunter Renfroe and Brandon Drury. Jared Walsh and David Fletcher will be mainstays in the starting nine while Gio Urshela and Brett Phillips will be solid pieces off the bench.

Los Angeles’ rotation looks sound as well. The group is lead by Ohtani and also features Patrick Sandoval, who looked very solid during the World Baseball Classic, and Tyler Anderson. Reid Detmers and Jose Suarez will round out the starters. The bullpen is not terrible as Carlos Estevez, Jimmy Herget, Ryan Tepera and Aaron Loup make up a decent backend. The Angels need to stay healthy (looking at you Rendon) and boost its pitching prior to the trade deadline just to give Trout and Ohtani a chance at the playoffs.

Seattle Mariners – projected record 95-67 – 2nd AL West

Seattle broke its playoff drought last season and even won its Wildcard series against Toronto before falling to Houston in the ALDS. The Mariners come into 2023 primed to make a deep run into October. The lineup returns its major pieces in Julio Rodriguez, Ty France, Eugenio Suarez, Cal Raleigh and Jared Kelenic while adding Kolton Wong, Teoscar Hernandez and AJ Pollock.

The rotation has the potential to be one of the best in the American League. Luis Castillo signed an extension following his move from Cincinnati in July while Logan Gilbert and Robbie Ray are the second and third options in the rotation. George Kirby and Marco Gonzales as the fourth and fifth starters give Seattle a deep rotation that features raw talent all throughout. The bullpen is above average as well. Paul Sewald will have the closing duties while Andres Munoz, Diego Castillo and Matt Brash complete a solid backend. The Mariners need to grab another solid bullpen piece and maybe another bat and it will have the ability to compete for a World Series.

Houston Astros – projected record 105-57 – 1st AL West

The defending World Series Champions are ready to keep its title as the Astros bring an absolutely loaded roster into 2023. ALCS and World Series MVP Jeremy Pena will lead the Houston lineup along with Kyle Tucker, Alex Bregman and slugger Yordan Alverez. Newly signed Jose Abreu will slot into the middle of the order and Jose Altuve will rejoin the team in two-to-three months following his broken thumb in the World Baseball Classic. Chas McCormick. Jake Meyers and Martin Maldonado will round out the order.

While the rotation lost its ace in Justin Verladner, the group is still one of the best in the league. Framber Valdez will anchor a rotation that consists of Christian Javier, Luis Garcia and Jose Urquidy. Rookie Hunter Brown, who has a comp of Justin Verlander, will likely be the team’s number five arm to start the season. The bullpen is top notch as well with Ryan Pressly closing games, Rafael Montero and Bryan Abreu setting him up and Hector Neris, Ryne Stanek and Phil Maton handling the middle innings. The possibility of an Astro repeat is on the table.

Houston Astros 105 57 YES – AL #1
Seattle Mariners 95 67 10.0 YES – AL #5
Los Angeles Angels 85 77 20.0 NO
Texas Rangers 81 81 24.0 NO
Oakland A’s 55 107 50.0 NO



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