Our AL West futures pick for 2020 wonders how Houston will be affected by the sign-stealing scandal? This AL West futures pick notes that the odds makers certainly like the Houston Astros above all other teams. They’re at 4/11 odds to win the West. But, you never know how this team will be affected by all of the bad press and bad vibes it has generated. If you’re looking for other contenders in the AL West, then consider the Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Angels. The Athletics are at 9/2 and the Angels come in at 6/1. After that, it’s the Texas Rangers at 20/1. They are definitely a longshot. However, at 300/1, the Seattle Mariners are the biggest underdog in the division.
AL West Futures Pick – Teams
Like the AL East the West could very easily be dominated by one very strong team. That team is the Houston Astros. But, in order to win the division, you have to plays 162 games, or fewer in a shortened season. Still when it comes down to our AL West futures pick for first in the division, we have to consider the long road that defines MLB’s season.
The Astros do have some issues. It starts with the loss of Gerit Cole, With Cole, the starting rotation loses some of its punch. And although Justin Verlander and Zack Greinike both seem to have discovered the Fountain of Youth, you have to wonder if this is the season that age catches up to them? Also, the bullpen has various question marks and lacks depth. The team brings some fine hitters to the plate including 2019 AL Rookie of the Year Yordan Alvarez. Still, this team is more vulnerable than they’ve been in years.
Los Angeles Angels
With their offense, the Angels certainly could be contenders in 2020. Los Angeles sends Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Shohei Ohtani to bat one right after the other. Although manager Joe Maddon has few worries when it comes to offense, he does have big challenges when it comes to his starting rotation. There are major question marks concerning the health of this group and their durability. Time will tell. However, if they can perform well, the Angels will be in the mix
The A’s also have a shot at the top or second spot in the division. You’ve got to love this team’s infield when it comes to defense and offense. Matt Olson is at the right corner and Matt Chapman in the left, while Franklin Barreto holds second and Marcus Semien short, Lefty Jesus Luzardo joins the rotation. The highly touted rookie could be a major difference-maker. However, durability is an issue.
Seattle comes into this season in rebuilding mode. Still, they have a load of guys with potential, including shortstop J.P. Crawford, first baseman Evan White, left fielder and Kyle Lewis. The starting rotation, which includes three lefties, is headed by Marco Gonzales. After Gonzales, the rotation gets sketchy. They should be a bit better than they were last season, but the Mariners lack the experience and depth to go deep into the season.
The Rangers are hoping that ace Corey Kluber can bring it this season. After Kluber, there’s some promising talent amongst the starters and a potentially dominant closer in Jose Leclerc. Still, the Rangers need at least one more dominant starter and some new talent in the batting order. They look better than the Mariners but not better than any other team in the AL West.
AL West Futures Pick – Intangibles, Variables & Other Factors
As we noted, Houston has some weakness on the mounds, and they may also possess some bad karma associated with various misdeeds over the past few seasons. Plus, there are two good teams with which the ‘Stros will have to deal. The big challenge for the Angels and Athletics concerns their pitching. If either can weave together a sound and healthy group of starters, they could steal the AL West. We expect both team to bring top-notch hitters to the plate.
Final Word – AL West Futures Pick
It’s just about impossible in our AL West futures pick to go with anyone else but the Houston Astros. They’ve dominated the division for years and could do so again in 2020. However, as noted above, the Astros starting rotation is not what it used to be. Plus, two teams have a decent shot at staying close enough to Houston to contend for first place throughout the season. Still, we’re picking the Astros to win the AL West.
Check out our AL West Futures Betting outline, designed to give you the best chance of making cash. Here you’ll find our AL East Futures article and here is out AL East Futures Betting blog. Also, don’t forget out AL Central Futures outlook and AL Central Futures Betting scheme.