1. Los Angeles Angels - The Angels were the big bust finishing third last year. Think this year they return to the winner’s circle. Great manager in Mike Scioscia. They added Josh Hamilton to play outfield and in the process weakened division rival Texas. Love Pujols and Trout to score a lot of runs.
2. Oakland Athletics - The A’s won the division last year in improbable fashion, stealing it from the Rangers on the final weekend. They now have two of the Red Sox best prospects in Josh Reddick, who was with them last year, and Jed Lowrie, who they acquired from Houston, and both are hitting .300 in the spring. Acquired John Jaso to be a catcher. They just seem solid.
3. Texas Rangers - Last year’s slide at the end of the regular season and loss to Baltimore in the wild card will continue this year. They just keep losing big pieces. Darvish is having injury problems in the spring. Neftali Perez isn’t back from Tommy John surgery and I think infielder Michael Young will be missed. They added A.J. Pierzynski at catcher and Lance Berkman at 1B or DH. Both are on the backside of their careers. Counting a lot on Ian Kinsler, Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz.
4. Seattle Mariners - Have one of the best pitchers in baseball in Felix Hernandez. Moved in the fences and hope that generates more offense. Added Kendrys Morales in a trade from the Angels to be the DH. Hoping he can return to form he had before injuring himself celebrating a home run in 2010. Would help if Jesus Montero could show himself as the catching prospect the Yankees hyped him to be. Won’t contend the line will be drawn between third and fourth.
5. Houston Astros - Not much to say. Will be worst team in the AL. Will lose 100+. Not close to contending. The Astros will help the rest of the West contend for the wild card spots.
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Nolan Ryan is a baseball hall of famer who pitched nine seasons in Houston. How many 20 win seasons did he have in Houston?