2022 American League West Preview

<p>AP Photos</p>

AP Photos

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OddsJam StaffApril 7, 2022, 07:31 PM

After a roller coaster lockout in the off-season filled with glimmers of hope and absolute despair, we made it. Baseball is happening on April 7! In preparation for opening day, we’re going to take you through a preview of every division in the MLB, who the manager is, pitching rotations, notable acquisitions, etc. So without further ado let’s take a look at the American League West!

American League West Division

Honestly, not too many surprises coming out of the AL West last year. Despite what anyone outside of Houston had hoped, the Astros sat atop the division. The Mariners and Athletics were above .500. Everyone else was a sub .500 team. 

Houston Astros

American League West Preview
AP Photos

Last Year’s Results

  • 95-67 (.586)

2022 Payroll

  • $173,939,599 (8th in the league)

2022 Manager

  • Dusty Baker

2022 Projected Lineup

  1. Jose Altuve
  2. Michael Brantley
  3. Alex Bregman
  4. Yordan Alvarez
  5. Yuli Gurriel
  6. Kyle Tucker
  7. Chas McCormick
  8. Jeremy Pena
  9. Martin Maldonado

2022 Projected Rotation

  1. Framber Valdez
  2. Jake Odorizzi
  3. Justin Verlander
  4. Jose Urquidy
  5. Luis Garcia

You could almost hear a collective groan when the Astros made the World Series last year. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, because they were a well-put-together team. The Astros lost Carlos Correa, Timi Garcia, Marwin Gonzales, Kendall Graveman, Zack Greinke, and Brooks Raley. They gained Nico Goodrum and Hector Neris.

Somehow this lineup lost Correa and found itself still in a great position. Heading up the “veterans” category of this lineup are Altuve and Bregman. Alvarez and Tucker headline the “new generation” of Astros baseball.

The pitching rotation is where the Astros will either be made or broken. Verlander may be returning but he is a 39-year-old coming off of Tommy John surgery. Valdez, Garcia, and McCullers are solid pitchers. However, McCullers is injured, Valdez is a contact pitcher, and Garcia had an impressive debut season but can we expect a sophomore slump?

Caesars has Houston at -175 to win the AL West. Depending on their starting rotation that could be the steal of the year or the worst money sink of the year. 

Oakland Athletics

AP Photos

Last Year’s Results

  • 86-76 (.531)

2022 Payroll

  • $32,548,334 (28th in the league)

2022 Manager

  • Mark Kotsay

2022 Projected Lineup

  1. Anthony Kemp
  2. Stephen Vogt
  3. Sean Murphy
  4. Seth Brown
  5. Jed Lowrie
  6. Stephen Piscotty
  7. Elvis Andrus
  8. Kevin Smith
  9. Cristian Pache

2022 Projected Rotation

  1. Frankie Montas
  2. Cole Irvin
  3. Daulton Jefferies
  4. Paul Blackburn
  5. James Kaprielian

Sporting the second-lowest payroll in the league and still finishing above .500 can be considered a victory in itself. The organization most widely known for its analytics-driven, penny-pinching utilization of its roster coined “Moneyball” continues to still work with a low budget.

This coming season the Athletics have lost Chris Bassitt, Mark Canha, Andrew Chafin, Matt Chapman, Khris Davis, Mike Fiers, Yan Gomes, Josh Harrison, Sean Manaea, Starling Marte, Mitch Moreland, Matt Olson, Sergio Romo, Trevor Rosenthal, and Burch Smith. They added Brent Honeywell, Sheldon Neuse, Adam Oller, Christian Pache, Kevin Smith, Kirby Snead, Eric Thames, and Stephen Vogt.

The batting lineup is lacking in almost every way with aging, struggling, or just middling bats throughout. As far as the rotation goes it doesn’t look much better. Frankie Montas proves to be a very valuable asset, but that is about it.

Caesars has the A’s at +3500 to be at the top of the American League West. Honestly, this may be a rather generous line. At the same time, we’ve never had a movie made about my roster construction, so who are we to question it. 

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Los Angeles Angels

American League West Preview
AP Photos

Last Year’s Results

  • 77-85 (.475)

2022 Payroll

  •  $169,413,094 (10th in the league)

2022 Manager

  • Joe Maddon

2022 Projected Lineup

  1. Shohei Ohtani
  2. Mike Trout
  3. Jared Walsh
  4. Anthony Rendon
  5. Max Stassi
  6. Brandon Marsh
  7. Jo Adell
  8. Tyler Wade
  9. David Fletcher

2022 Projected Rotation

  1. Shohei Ohtani
  2. Patrick Sandoval
  3. Noah Syndergaard
  4. Jose Suarez
  5. Michael Lorenzon
  6. Reid Detmers

What happens when you put two of the greatest talents baseball has ever seen on the same team together? Apparently, a sub .500 season. The Angels continue to waste Trout’s prime and threaten to do the same with Ohtani.

The Angels lost Dylan Bundy, Steve Cishek, Alex Cobb, Dexter Fowler, Junior Guerra, and Juan Lagares. They gained Archie Bradley, Matt Duffy, Michael Lorenzen, Aaron Loup, Noah Syndergaard, Ryan Tepera, Andrew Velazquez, and Tyler Wade.

The Angels lineup continues to have 2-3 solid contributors that can be counted on and then the rest. As far as the rotation goes Noah Syndergaard could be an amazing acquisition if he can stay healthy, or a brutal disaster if not. We could be witnessing the end of Trout’s tenure in Anaheim if the Angels aren’t trending upward this season. 

Caesars has the Angels at +400 to win the AL West. If everything comes together correctly for the team this season, that could definitely happen. However, given their track record, are you willing to risk it?

Seattle Mariners

American League West Preview
AP Photos

Last Year’s Results

  • 90-72 (.556)

2022 Payroll

  •  $92,745,714 (22nd in the league)

2022 Manager

  • Scott Servais

2022 Projected Lineup

  1. Adam Frazier
  2. Ty France
  3. Jesse Winker
  4. Mitch Haniger
  5. Eugenio Suarez
  6. Julio Rodriguez
  7. Jarred Kelenic
  8. Tom Murphy
  9. J.P. Crawford

2022 Projected Rotation

  1. Robbie Ray
  2. Logan Gilbert
  3. Marco Gonzales
  4. Chris Flexen
  5. Matt Brash

The Mariners really could be a sneaky contender this year. Yes, they lost Tyler Anderson, Jake Bauers, Sean Doolittle, Justin Dunn, Jake Fraley, Yusei Kikuchi, Jose Marmolejos, Keynan Middleton, James Paxton, Kyle Seager, and Joe Smith. They gained Adam Frazier, Robbie Ray, Eugenio Suarez, and Jesse Winker.

The additions of Frazier, Winker, and Suarez strengthen this lineup tenfold. It also never hurts to add a reigning Cy Young winner, which is exactly what the Mariners did by adding Robbie Ray. Add in a plethora of promising pitching prospects that are either in the majors or soon to be in the majors and we might want to be watching out for the Seattle Mariners.

Caesars has the Mariners at +460 to win the American League West. That’s a fantastic line that I wouldn’t mind putting some action on.

Texas Rangers

American League West Preview
AP Photos

Last Year’s Results

  • 60-102 (.370)

2022 Payroll

  • $132,861,333 (14th in the league)

2022 Manager

  • Chris Woodward

2022 Projected Lineup

  1. Brad Miller
  2. Marcus Semien
  3. Corey Seager
  4. Mitch Garver
  5. Nate Lowe
  6. Adolis Garcia
  7. Kole Calhoun
  8. Willie Calhoun
  9. Andy Ibanez

2022 Projected Rotation

  1. Jon Gray
  2. Martin Perez
  3. Dane Dunning
  4. Taylor Hearn
  5. Spencer Howard

2021 was a pretty brutal season for the Texas Rangers. Triple-digit losses aren’t generally a great thing for a team. The Rangers lost Mike Foltynewicz, Brock Holt, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Jordan Lyles. They added Kole Calhoun, Mitch Garver, Jon Gray, Greg Holland, Brad Miller, Martin Perez, Garrett Richards, Corey Seager, and Marcus Semien.

The front office spent $500 million between Seager and Semien. The big question is, is that enough for a team that had over 100 losses last season? The lineup looks strong, but if you can talk yourself into this team based on the batting you will talk yourself out of it when you see the pitchers. Jon Gray is presumably the staff ace and that should be all I have to say about this rotation. 

Caesars has the Rangers at +1800 to win the AL West. Truthfully, you’re likely throwing away money by betting on this.

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