They lost some key players over the off-season, including Vladamir Guerrero, Chone Figgins, and John Lackey. Whatever they have lost they will make up for in new additions and current players. Los Angeles has one of the strongest rotations in all of baseb
Los Angeles Angels 1st
They lost some key players over the off-season, including Vladamir Guerrero, Chone Figgins, and John Lackey. Whatever they have lost they will make up for in new additions and current players. Los Angeles has one of the strongest rotations in all of baseball with Jered Weaver replacing Lackey at the top. Weaver was 16-8 last season with four complete games and two shutouts, solid numbers for an ace pitcher to have. So far this year he is 5-3 with slightly lower ERA and WHIP marks than last season (3.20 and 1.19). Weaver will assuredly be exciting as the summer (keep an eye on his solid strikeout to inning ratio), but he also has a strong group behind him. Earvin Santana, Joe Saunders, Scott Kazmir, and Joel Piniero fill out the rotation which MLB betting think will be the the weakness for the once powerful Angels.
Starters are not the only strong point of the Angels' pitching, the bullpen has some worth as well. Losing K-Rod seemed like a devastating blow to Angels fans, but Brian Fuentes did a great job of filling that void last season with 48 saves. Scot Shields, if he can return to form after last season's injuries, will be a solid contributor to the bullpen. In case Shields does not regain his old spark the Angles have added Fernando Rodney as insurance. From the first to the ninth, the Angels have pitching that will take them to the playoffs.
To make up for the loss of Guerrero the front office went out and got Hideki Matsui as a free agent. Matsui was the World Series MVP for New York last season, and his bat at DH will assuredly make up for Vlad. Matsui does not hit for a high batting average, but he brings home run power and, as his World Series MVP shows, he is a clutch performer.
The Angels really rolled the dice with the letting Figgins go and replacing him with Brandon Wood experiment. If Wood can give the Angels any level of competent play for the remainder of the season they will not notice the loss.
LA has been the dominant force in the AL West in recent years, but some of the other teams are actually close to knocking them off. The Mariners are much improved this season, with a strong pitching core led by Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee. With the retirement of Ken Griffey, Jr. the organization loses a real class act, but it makes them better on the field because they can fill his slot with more production (he was only hitting .184). Ichiro always gives Seattle high levels of output, and ex-Angel Figgins fits into the order nicely. The Texas Rangers have a decent line up led by Rich Harden, but how the Rangers do basically falls on how well he holds up. Texas needs him to come back from his recent injury and improve on the mediocre performance he has put up so far in 2010. Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler lead a powerful attack, with the addition of Guerrero adding to that core, making the Texas Rangers a very intriguing team to watch for MLB betting this season.
The Oakland A's will not give anyone much trouble again this year. Once again they have great young prospects and look to be good a few years down the line… but we know how that always ends up in Oakland. It will be a tight race down until the end, but the real fight will be for second place.
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