Sunday, April 01, 2007

Bringing The Rock With MLB Previews: AL West.

1) Social Distortion (Los Angeles Angels) - Does this team have enough to make it 2002 all over again? Possibly. It depends on how 2B Howie Kendrick and 1B Casey Kotchmann hit, whether Gary Matthews, Jr. has a year like his contract year with the Rangers, and whether Garret Anderson has enough left in the tank, especially with backup OF Juan Rivera on the sideline for a bit. The pitching is still there: John Lackey, Ervin Santana, and Jered Weaver are 3/5 of a damn good rotation, and Scot Shields and Francisco Rodriguez are still there to lock it down from the seventh inning on.

2) Green Day (Oakland A's) - Helmed by supposedly bratty insurgent Billy Beane (as far as stats and measurement go) whose approach is now clearly Establishment, as it has disciples in other front offices. Good one-two in rotation with Harden and Haren, so losing Zito isn't so tough. The problem is where the offense will come from, as Eric Chavez doesn't hit like he used to. Mike Piazza will be a solid replacement for Frank Thomas, but it won't be enough.

3) Butthole Surfers (Texas Rangers) - Much like the perverse post-punkers, this Ranger team isn't one you'd consider to hit the top at first look (especially digging back in the past for Sammy Sosa as a DH). However, the talent is there in that roster (Michael Young, Mark Teixera) and in the starting rotation (Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Brandon McCarthy) to make a run at the Angels and the A's.

4) Mudhoney (Seattle Mariners) - Except for Ichiro, the Mariners are a footnote, often like some of their city's grunge bands save a great single or EP. There's a lot of potential in Felix Hernandez and a great closer in J.J. Putz, but Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson will continue to disappoint, and if Jose Vidro is your DH, you've got issues.

Previously: AL Central, AL East, NL East, NL Central, NL West.

Useless Playoff Predictions:

AL: Tigers over Red Sox, Angels over Twins (WC), Angels over Tigers.
NL: Mets over Dodgers, Phillies (WC) over Cardinals, Mets beat Phillies.
World Series: Mets over Angels in 6.

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