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  • Writer's pictureMason Dalley

2024 MLB PREVIEW: AL WEST

PREVIEWS, PROPS, AND MORE!

AL West
MLB.com

We're so back. Let's rip these previews.



Oakland Athletics

Zach Gelof
AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásque


2023 Record: 50-112(77-85 ATS)

Batting WAR: 6.7(28th)

Pitching WAR: 1.7(30th)



Key departures: 2B Tony Kemp, RHP Trevor May, RHP James Kaprielian, 3B Jonah Bride


2024 O/U: 57.5

2024 Division Odds: +20000

2024 AL Pennant Odds: +20000

2024 World Series Odds: +50000



The Oakland Athletics are depressing for a multitude of reasons, but the biggest one of all is that they are punting on the product on the field. They have a handful of solid players worth watching that should make them better than their 50-112 record, but not much should be expected of them until they become the Vegas A's.


Zach Gelof is legitimately good player that could raise his game to All-Star levels if he continues a positive development. Fangraphs has him projected to be a 2.3 WAR player and I think he could rise above that projection. I could easily foresee the 2nd basemen producing a .250/.330/.430 slash line along with playing stellar defense.


Brent Rooker, Esteury Ruiz, Ryan Noda, and Shea Langeliers are good players that can contribute on just about any team, but that only makes 5/9 of a lineup. Tyler Soderstrom should improve in year 2 at catcher and continually provide good defense from behind the plate.


The lineup is a few years away from being a few year away but they should be better than the disaster that was last season.


The pitching staff is also going to be better. Alex Wood and Ross Stripling are pro's pros and can eat some innings up for a bad bullpen and JP Sears and Paul Blackburn are both perfectly serviceable. This staff is not good, but it will definitely be better than the 50 game disaster of 2023.


OVER OR UNDER

Over on the Win Total. It's so hard to not crack 60 wins two years in a row.


Team/Player Prop

Brent Rooker OVER 24.5 Home Runs



Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Trout
Alika Jenner/Getty Images



2023 Record: 73-89(75-87 ATS)

Batting WAR: 16.2(17th)

Pitching WAR: 11.3(24th)


Key additions: RHP Robert Stephenson, LHP Matt Moore, OF Aaron Hicks


Key departures: RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani, INF David Fletcher, C Max Stassi


2024 O/U: 72.5

2024 Division Odds: +4500

2024 AL Pennant Odds: +8000

2024 World Series Odds: +15000



The Angels are more depressing than the Oakland A's are. The A's at least have a clear idea of what they want to be by the time they make their move to Vegas and that idea is a competitive baseball team that will be rising as the Astros core is aging. The Angels are in total no man's land. They have a handful of decent players aside from Trout, but nothing that will be truly needle moving. Same goes for their pitching staff.


The best case scenario for the Angels is a full sale by the end of the year so they can completely separate from this era associated with their failures to compete. Mike Trout will fetch a king's ransom from a team looking to elevate their playoff odds. Brtandon Drury, Taylor Ward, Jake Marisnick, Aaron Hicks, and maybe even Miguel Sano can all fetch a decent return, and the Angels can truly start a rebuild around Zach Neto, Logan O'Hoppe, Nolan Schanuel, and Mickey Moniak as the prospect reinforcements arrive.


The Pitching staff should be approached in the same way. Ben Joyce has a future on the roster, but Reid Detmers, Patrick Sandoval, Griffin Canning, and Tyler Anderson should all be dealt to have the prospect pool as deep as possible before truly beginning the rebuild.


It's a dire situation, but it's time for the Angels to hit the big red button. Better to have a plan to bottom out than to languish in the middle.



OVER OR UNDER

Under. The Roster Should be Unrecognizable by the Trading Deadline


Team/Player Prop

Mike Trout OVER 30.5 Home Runs



Seattle Mariners

Julio Rodriguez
(Kevin M. Cox / The Associated Press



2023 Record: 88-74(77-85 ATS)

Batting WAR: 26.2(6th)

Pitching WAR: 20.1(3rd)





2024 O/U: 87.5

2024 Division Odds: +300

2024 AL Pennant Odds: +900

2024 World Series Odds: +2000



The Mariners embody why winning games in April and May are just as important as winning games in August and September. They absolutely were one of the 6 best teams in the American League but they just did not win enough games early on before going on a dominant run. Now what have they done to make sure they go ahead and do that this season?


They went and got some bats that do consistent damage. Julio is Julio and will sleep walk to .280/.350/.500 with stellar defense in centerfield and speed on the base paths. Cal Raleigh is one of the best catchers in all of MLB and should continue having a great bat with his good framing. JP Crawford, Jorge Polanco, Ty France, and Luis Urias is a stellar infield offensively and defensively. Luke Raley and Mitch Garver will be manning the corners in Seattle's outfield and what they lack in defense they make up for serious pop in the bat. All in all, this lineup should be better than last year's and that alone should be worth a couple of wins.


The Mariners might just have the single best starting 5 in all of MLB. Luis Castillo and George Kirby are potential Cy Young Candidates while Logan Gilbert, Bryce Miller, and Bryan Woo are the best 3rd, 4th, and 5th options in all of MLB. They have a solid bullpen with an absolute stud in Andrés Muñoz as their high leverage reliever/closer. He is supported by the solid group of Gregory Santos, Gabe Speier, Matt Brash, and Eduard Bazardo. They just have phenomenal pitching staff in an insanely pitcher friendly ballpark. If they don't finish top 3 in pitching WAR again this season I will be shocked.


All in all, the Mariners are poised to have a 90 win season and potentially win their division.


OVER OR UNDER

Over. They should have a 90 win season in 2024


Team/Player Prop

AL West Winner +300



Texas Rangers

El Bombi
Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images


2023 Record: 90-72(88-74 ATS)

Batting WAR: 33.3(3rd)

Pitching WAR: 15.2(13th)


Key additions: RHP Kirby Yates, RHP David Robertson, RHP Tyler Mahle




2024 O/U: 89.5

2024 Division Odds: +230

2024 AL Pennant Odds: +700

2024 World Series Odds: +1500


Last Year's world series champ is shockingly easy to write about heading into the 2024 season. The reason why is that while they lost key contributors in the lineup and pitching staff, everything revolves around the health of Corey Seager. If he is healthy he will be an MVP level bat in the lineup that makes everyone else better. If he misses anything more than 30 games total I think the Rangers will be worse than they are projecting at. They will always mash in their hitter friendly environment. Marcus Semien and Adolis Garcia are monsters that will always contribute to a lineup. Josh Jung and Evan Carter are primed to do some serious damage. The lineup will be alright barring health, which with Seager is a serious concern.


Pitching is a different story since their backend is very weak and they are relying on older arms. While they're experienced, Eovaldi, Gray, and Scherzer are very prone to injury and if any of them are on the injury list for an elongated period of time, it will be devastating to their pitching staff, and that's shockingly likely given their track records.


It's all about health for the Rangers. They have assembled a very talented, injury prone team and have an even thinner margin of error than last season, where they won the world series with their departures of key contributors, especially Montgomery and Smith.


OVER OR UNDER

Under. I think they are just a little too injury prone to win 90 games back to back years


Team/Player Prop

Adolis Garcia OVER 31.5 home runs. He's got so much pop in that bat that I wouldn't feel comfortable betting under until 35.



Houston Astros

Kyle Tucker
USA Today


2023 Record: 90-72(81-81 ATS)

Batting WAR: 27.2(5th)

Pitching WAR: 15.2(14th)


Key additions: LHP Josh Hader, C Victor Caratini


Key departures: OF Michael Brantley, C Martín Maldonado, RHP Hector Neris, RHP Phil Maton, RHP Ryne Stanek, RHP Kendall Graveman (injury)


2024 O/U: 92.5

2024 Division Odds: -110

2024 AL Pennant Odds: +370

2024 World Series Odds: +750



The Houston Astros will be playing playoff baseball. That's just what this core does. How well will they be playing in October? Well that depends on if their core ever shows any real signs of aging. It'd be foolish to bet against Altuve and Bregman playing poorly until we see them playing poorly. It'd be foolish to just assume Yordan will miss games until that's what he does every season. Jeremy Peña could just take a massive leap in year 3, and at worst he's a 3.0 WAR shortstop. Kyle Tucker is also a Darkhorse MVP pick since he's just an awesome all around player that doesn't miss games. I am worried that they still have Jose Abreu as their first basemen since he was quite bad last season. He might bounce back but that's hard to just count on. The rest of their lineup just needs to be average, and I think Chas McCormick and Jake Meyers can do that. As long as they are average and can't just be ignored in the opposing team's game plan, they'll be formidable.


The pitching staff is what worries me for their Pennant chances. Framber Valdez will be in the Cy Young conversation because he's a stud. Cristian Javier is solid but needs to go deeper into games. After that is where the worries begin. You can't count on innings from Verlander, Jose Urquidy, and Lance McCullers. They're too old or too injured to just count on 150 innings of high quality pitching. The Bullpen is weird. Josh Hader is great and will provide high quality high leverage innings. Same goes for Ryan Pressley and Bryan Abreu. The issue is that they lost their bullpen depth and are going to be counting on the unknown and unproven now more than ever. Neris, Maton, Stanelk, and Gravemen have been massive parts of their deep hpost season runs, it's hard to ask one guy to make up for losing so much depth.


All and all, Houston will be in the playoffs, but they are the most vulnerable they have been in almost a decade.


Over or Under

Under. I think they're a wild card team this season


Team/Player Prop

Kyle Tucker +1700 is juicy. He's ultra consistent and doesn't miss games. In an American League where great players often miss games, a .300/.400/.500 corner outfielder that plays gold glove defense can easily end up in the MVP conversation, if not outright win it.







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