2016 Canadian draft list
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Young Eyes: The Playoff Speculation: AL West Edition
By Zach Swanson
As the dust almost all but clears, the question shifts from who goes where to how will the teams turn out in the regular season. I look at the possible playoff teams, surprises and busts in this new 6-part series.
The AL West is a weird case, as it looks as if they have a front runner in the division, but at the same time it looks as though they don’t.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim would and should be qualified as the best overall team in the West, with Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and the young pitching staff led by Garrett Richards and Matt Shoemaker.
But the Texas Rangers, Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners aren’t far behind (sorry Houston Astros).
The Angels should have a playoff spot if their pitching can stay healthy and pitch even average, as their lineup should hold up and be the true foundation for the team.
The Mariners have one of the best lineups in the league, led by Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager and recently acquired Nelson Cruz, which supports a great 1-2 punch in Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma followed by the shutdown king, Fernando Rodney. If they can keep pace with the Angels down the stretch, don’t be surprised to see them take the division.
The A’s and Rangers are the same case, as they both have a few guys who they will need to look to for postseason hopes.
Absolute: Angels making the playoffs. That’s it.
Surprise: If the Rangers stay healthy, I could see them making a run for it.
Bust: A’s (and Astros).