LA Angels: Which team is the favorite to win the AL West?

David Fletcher, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
David Fletcher, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Angels
Shohei Ohtani (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Texas Rangers

Last season the Rangers finished at the bottom of the division with a 22-38 record, the second-worst in the league. I think we can expect more of the same in 2021.

Texas is currently in full-rebuild mode, which isn’t the worst thing. Sure it might be a long season, but at least their fans know there is a clear direction of where the team plans to head, rather than being stuck in the unknown.

A rebuilding Rangers team should provide easy division wins for the Angels.

Former MLB pitcher and new general manager Chris Young has considerably shrunk the team’s payroll to the bottom-10 in the league. Khris Davis ($16.75MM) and Rougned Odor ($12.33MM) are the team’s highest paid players and will likely be moved at the deadline for prospects. Joining them could be former-top prospect Joey Gallo who has one final year of arbitration eligibility before becoming a free agent in 2023.

Last season the Rangers had the league’s second-worst team batting average (.217) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.648).

Their team pitching statistics weren’t as bad, but the Rangers recently traded their best arm from 2020, Lance Lynn, in exchange for Dane Dunning of the White Sox. The top of the projected 2021 rotation consists of Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles.

The Rangers will begin the season at full capacity for fans, but it’s not going to give them an advantage. The transition Texas is in should be favorable for the Angels when they match up this season. If not, it will be wasted opportunities at easy wins.