Three members of Covers’ editorial team – namely Andrew Avery, Andrew Caley and Justin Hartling – continue their tour around the bigs to take a stab at where oddsmakers will open win totals for each club.
The next stop is the American League Central.
Click here to view their projections of the AL East.
Click here to view their projections of the AL Central.
American League West
Los Angeles Angels
2014 record: 98-64
2014 win total: 87.5
Andrew Avery: The Halos, Nats and Dodgers will have the highest projections. This is truth. The Angels had 98 wins last season and I don’t see any reason they can’t repeat that mark. Having the best player on Earth helps. I’m gonna say they get tabbed with 92.5.
Andrew Caley: I think only the Dodgers and Nats will be the only team with a higher total. Yes, Mike Trout is the best player in the world, what matters though is what kind of support he will get from Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. They boast a solid rotation, but nothing fancy. Prediction: 95.5.
Justin Hartling: The Halos ranked first in runs per game and second in run differential so there is no doubt that they have the bats. One thing that will need to get cleaned up is their fielding, as they were tied for the second-most errors in the league last season. That is really the only spot this team can really improve on this season. Any total less than 94.5 is a steal.
2014 record: 88-74
2014 win total: 87.5
Andrew Avery: I don’t really know what to make of this team to be honest. They add Lawrie, Zobrist, Butler and Ike Davis, but lost the great Josh Donaldson, so they can’t be as good as last season, right?
Justin Hartling: There is no way the A’s are as good as they were last season. They’ve lost 10 players from their closing day roster last year, including three starting pitchers. The thing that baffles me the most is the lack of depth in this team right now. There is really only one bench player who can man the middle infield and the outfield depth is a concern. There will be a dip in play, so I can see books set this team around 84.5.
Andrew Avery: I’ve got to go lower. Like 82.5 is the right number here I feel.
Andrew Caley: I feel like this is the case every year with the A’s. We always sit here and wonder whether or not Billy Beane can do it again. Until it fails, don’t bet against him. I really like the re-worked infield if Lawrie can stay on the field and despite losing Lester and Samardjiza, they still have Gray and Kazmir on top of whatever else Beane pulls out of his hat. Prediction: 85.5.
2014 record: 87-75
2014 win total: 80.5
Justin Hartling: This is the team that interests me the most in the division. We all know King Felix, but the rest of the rotation is above average too with the M’s coming in first in runs allowed last season and second in team ERA. The bats are what really needs to get going, but is Nelson Cruz going to be enough to spark the offense?
Andrew Avery: Yeah the M’s could be a real sleeper. Nelson Cruz was a great addition to the lineup. Let’s see the development of some of their players like Seager and Ackley though. We know what we’ll get with King Felix and Iwakuma, but what can we expect from Taijuan Walker in 2015? I’m thinking 83.5 wins.
Justin Hartling: That number sounds right to me, but I think this is the team that could easily exceed that number in this division.
Andrew Caley: I really like this team to take the next step this season. Nelson Cruz’s numbers will go down at pitcher-friendly Safeco, but he provides good protection for Cano. They could be a sleeper when it comes to having the best rotation in baseball. Prediction: 87.5.
2014 record: 70-92
2014 win total: 64
Andrew Caley: This team is full of young potential including George Springer and Jon Singleton, and have AL hitting champ Jose Altuve. But they do two things well: hit dingers and strikeout, so they may still be a season or two away. Prediction: 72.5.
Justin Hartling: Like you said, it’s all or nothing for the Astros at the plate. Yes they ranked fourth in home runs per game last season, but they also whiffed 8.9 times a game. There is no discipline in this lineup and their rotation, outside of Dallas Keuchel, is average on a good day. This team is moving in the right direction and now is the time to get on the bandwagon, but don’t expect for that to payoff soon. The total should float around 73.5.
Andrew Avery: No discipline? They have Jose Altuve! This team is on the up and up and has some great pieces. I mean, again, how great is Altuve? I’m basically talking myself into dropping cash on an old-school ‘Stros Altuve jersey at this point. 70 wins last season so I think you guys are in the right ball park here. I’ll go with Caley and say 72.5 will be their number.
2014 record: 67-95
2014 win total: 86
Justin Hartling: This team needs to solve some serious directional hitting problems this season. They ranked eighth in batting averaging last season, but also hit into the most double plays in the entire MLB. There is not really much of an excuse this season, as this team is loaded with a ton of talent. People are aware at what this team can be, so I see a slightly inflated number of 81.5.
Andrew Caley: This team might be the hardest to peg in the division. I feel like they will fall somewhere in between their predicted total from last year and where they ended up. Picking up Yovani Gallardo from the Brewers helps bolster the rotation. There is no way they suffer as many injuries as last year… right? I like the No. 81.5 as well.
What do you think? Leave your thoughts on win totals for the AL West clubs in the comments section.