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AL West Betting Win Totals for 2020

AL West Betting Win Totals for 2020As we continue to look at each division heading into the 2020 season, next up is the AL West. Like several others, this division on the surface seems to have at least four teams who will all legitimately compete for a spot in the postseason. We’ll look at all five clubs, the notable players for each, and where they’ll land according to their over/under win totals.

Houston Astros - O/U: 35 wins

Much of the talk around the Astros this offseason has been less about winning 107 games and coming one win short of a World Series title, but rather the sign-stealing scandal that rocked the baseball world. But Houston still has tons of talent to make them a championship-caliber team.

The lineup core of 3B Alex Bregman, 2B Jose Altuve, CF George Springer, and SS Carlos Correa is still in place, along with All-Star-caliber bats like Rookie of the Year Yordan Alvarez, 1B Yuli Gurriel, and LF Michael Brantley. Former Cy Young winners Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke anchor the pitching rotation as well.

As far as additions go, there weren’t many thanks to the sign-stealing controversy that dominated the offseason. Athletics catcher Dustin Garnaeu was signed as a backup, while they also added RP Austin Pruitt from Tampa. But the biggest additions are in leadership, where new GM James Click and veteran manager Dusty Baker will oversee the Astros going forward.

Click and Baker were brought in to replace longtime GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch, both of whom were fired due to the scandal. From the roster, the biggest loss was star pitcher Gerrit Cole, who after a career year signed a mega-deal with the Yankees. The bullpen suffered the most losses, with Will Harris signing with the Nationals, Hector Rondón joining the Diamondbacks, and Collin McHugh leaving for the Red Sox. SP Wade Miley and C Robinson Chirinos, along with SP Aaron Sanchez and OF Jake Marisnick, are also gone.

Overall, there were certainly more losses than additions, especially with Cole, Luhnow and Hinch. But Baker is a capable manager who is inheriting a tremendously talented team that should once again be favored to win the division. The Astros should benefit from a season without fans to heckle and boo them, and should still be a force to reckon with.

Pick: OVER 35

Los Angeles Angels  O/U: 31.5 wins

The Angels struggled with injuries and a poor pitching staff in 2019, winning just 72 games. But 2020 shows promise for a team that still has the game’s best player in CF Mike Trout. Along with Trout, DH/SP Shohei Ohtani is back and planning a return to the mound as well. 1B Albert Pujols, LF Justin Upton, and SS Andrelton Simmons are some of the other hitters back for L.A., while Andrew Heaney and Griffin Canning return to the starting rotation.

Los Angeles made two very significant additions this offseason. The first was the hiring of the old Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who started his coaching career with the Angels. The other was the signing of Star 3B Anthony Rendon, who inked a seven-year contract after winning a World Series with the Nationals. The Angels made other moves, including signing Twins C Jason Castro and Braves SP Julio Teheran, while trading for Orioles SP Dylan Bundy. D-Backs RP Matt Andriese and Cardinals RP Mike Mayers were also some depth moves made by the club.

There were some departures, headlined by the firing of manager Brad Ausmus. Longtime RF Kole Calhoun signed with Arizona, and 3B Zack Cozart was traded to the Giants. SP Trevor Cahill also inked a deal with San Francisco, while RP Luis García signed with the Rangers. C Kevan Smith, 1B Justin Bour, and SP Nick Tropeano represent just a few of the other players that left the Angels organization this offseason.

Although L.A. failed to get a big-time starting pitcher, the rotation should be better than last year, especially with the return of Ohtani. The lineup with Trout and Rendon has the potential to be very good, and Maddon is one of the game’s best managers. The Angels are a team that could benefit from having a shorter season, and on paper they have the look of a definite playoff contender.

Pick: OVER 31.5

Oakland Athletics - O/U: 33.5 wins

The Athletics found themselves back in the playoffs after a 97-win season. Their lineup is almost identical to last season, headlined by 3B Matt Chapman and 1B Matt Olson. SS Marcus Semien and CF Ramón Laureano are also back in Oakland, along with DH Khris Davis and LF Mark Canha. SP Sean Manaea is healthy and ready to lead the rotation, while Frankie Montas and Jesús Luzardo are solid options afterward.

Oakland has never been one to spend in free agency, and their only new signings were minor league deals. In the trade market, they acquired Cubs utility man Tony Kemp, who could compete for the starting job at second base. They also landed backup C Austin Allen from the Padres and claimed D-Backs RP T.J. McFarland off of waivers.

The departures were more significant for the A’s. They traded away 2B Jurickson Profar to San Diego and dealt RP Jharel Cotton to the Cubs. Their starting rotation lost Homer Bailey (Twins), Brett Anderson (Brewers), and Tanner Roark (Blue Jays), as well as Marco Estrada. Former All-Star RP Blake Treinen signed with the Dodgers, while C Josh Phegley also left to join the Cubs.

It seems like every year, the A’s find a way to contend. Their lineup is still very good, with a chance to have some serious pop. The starting rotation does have some injury question marks, but a shortened season may help with that. Oakland should have enough production to be able to compete for a playoff spot again, but 33.5 available at Realbookies.com may be a tad high based on what all they lost pitching-wise and how much the rest of the division improved.

Pick: UNDER 33.5

 

Seattle Mariners - O/U: 24 wins

The Mariners are a team who after 68 wins in 2019 seems to be in the midst of a definite rebuild. While their top prospects are maybe a year or two away, Seattle will go into the year with longtime 3B Kyle Seager leading the charge in the lineup. SS J.P. Crawford and DH Daniel Vogelbach are some other bats in the lineup that have some pop, while 2B Shed Long Jr. and RF Kyle Lewis give them some speed. The pitching rotation has a little more experience, headlined by lefties Marco Gonzales and Yusei Kikuchi.

Seattle welcomed back a familiar face, signing Diamondbacks SP Taijuan Walker to a one-year deal. The rest of their additions came in the bullpen, when they also added Arizona RP Yoshihisa Hirano and Padres RP Carl Edwards Jr. They finished off their offseason with a couple waiver claims and minor league signings.

As far as losses go, longtime ace Felix Hernandez parted ways with Seattle to sign with the Braves. Veterans OF Domingo Santana and 1B Ryon Healy also left, signing with the Indians and Brewers respectively. Pitchers Wade LeBlanc and Tommy Milone also left, as did IF Tim Beckham. C Omar Narvaez was also traded to Milwaukee.

It has the potential to be a long 60 games for the Mariners unless some of the young players break out. But it seems unlikely that they get enough breakouts to really contend in 2020. Seattle might be able to steal some games with good pitching performances, but I think they’ll struggle for the most part.

Pick: UNDER 24 By Game Advisers

Texas Rangers - O/U: 28.5 wins

The Rangers were one of the surprise teams in baseball last year, putting themselves in playoff contention before falling out of the race with 78 wins. Now in 2020, Texas brings back the bulk of their lineup, led by slugging RF Joey Gallo and 2B Rougned Odor, plus other veterans like DH Shin-Soo Choo, SS Elvis Andrus, and LF Willie Calhoun. Lance Lynn and Mike Minor each had great seasons in 2019 and will aim to keep it going on the mound.

Texas’ big acquisition came on the pitching side, when they added former Cy Young winner Corey Kluber in a trade with the Indians. The additions to the rotation didn’t stop there, as they also added Twins SP Kyle Gibson and Brewers SP Jordan Lyles. In the lineup, Astros C Robinson Chirinos should start behind the dish, while Mets 3B Todd Frazier will take over the hot corner.

The trade for Kluber cost the Rangers a prospect as well as OF Delino DeShields Jr., while they also traded away RF Nomar Mazara to the White Sox. Much of the other departures were role players, such as new Giants OF Hunter Pence and Phillies IF Logan Forsythe. RPs Nate Jones and Shawn Kelley also left in free agency.

As a whole, this is a Rangers team who could have enough veteran pitching to secure a playoff spot. The lineup has a lot of boom-or-bust in it and the bullpen is below-average, but perhaps there could be more boom and this team is around the .500 mark. I think 28.5 may be selling this potential surprise team in Texas a little short.

Pick: OVER 28.5

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