2 AL West teams the Angels should fear, 1 team that is a fraud

Jun 19, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) and right
Jun 19, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) and right / Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
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The AL West is an incredibly tough division that the Los Angeles Angels are stuck playing in. Outside of Oakland, there are four teams trying to win right now. That's something most divisions really can't say.

The AL West has the defending champion Astros, a team that despite getting swept, gave them a run at their money in the Mariners, a team with two of the top five players in the game in the Angels, and a team with arguably the best pitcher on the planet in the Rangers.

The Angels are lucky there are three Wild Card spots and they're also lucky division games are down starting this season. Two of the teams in this division the Angels should fear, while one I think they have the upper hand against.

The Houston Astros are still the class of MLB

The Astros are the defending champions and they're not going anywhere. Their core players are young, and they'll continue to be the Angels biggest threat for many years to come.

Houston did lose Justin Verlander, but still have arguably one of the best rotations in baseball. They're one of only a handful of teams that can afford to lose a pitcher of Verlander's caliber. Their starting staff is obviously weaker without him, but is still elite.

The weakest spot on the Astros last season was first base. They rectified that by adding Jose Abreu to an already loaded lineup. Abreu won the AL MVP in the shortened 2020 season and despite a down power year had an .824 OPS and a 133 OPS+. Abreu is going to hit sixth most likely for Houston, which is terrifying.

This is a team without many flaws and is one that should be considered the heavy favorite in the AL West. They're also a team the Angels must play better against.