Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 11/14/14
Stop me when this sentence sounds familiar, “The Angels made the big splash of the offseason.” It was like déjà vu, only this time they stole Josh Hamilton from division foe Texas Rangers. Did the Rangers do enough to compete after losing Hamilton? Nah. Did last year’s division winning Oakland Athletics do enough to repeat? Probably not, but let’s not under estimate Billy Beane. Division Winner: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Even though I absolutely hate the contracts the Angels signed in the long term, I think that it will most definitely pay off this year. I think the addition of Josh Hamilton will push them past the Rangers and the A’s. Also, I think the subtractions from the Rangers will make it easier for the Angels to win the division this year. This might sounds scary, but Mike Trout might get even better this year after a year in the bigs. But the Angels will need to do all they can to keep Trout from having the typical “Sophomore Slump.” The Angels pitching worries me a little because they traded Ervin Santana and released Dan Haren. Those two were replaced by Joe Blanton, Jason Vargas and Tommy Hanson. I am worried about the Angels because of their age and pitching, but I don’t have much confidence in the Rangers after losing Hamilton and Mike Napoli. Also, I do not think that the A’s will be able to repeat the run they made at the end of the last season to lead them to the playoffs. Other Possible Playoff Teams: Texas Rangers- Hey, you never know. Nobody would have thought the Angels would miss the playoffs and the A’s would make it last year. So maybe the Rangers can fill in the losses of Hamilton, Napoli and Michael Young by using some young prospects like Jurickson Profar, Mike Olt, and Leonys Martin. The only question will be whether the pitching can hold up over the course of the season. Oakland A’s- They did win the division last season, and were surprisingly a fan team to watch. I thought the A’s made a great addition when they added Jed Lowrie to man third base, and adding John Jaso and Chris Young can’t hurt (although Young will be just a 4th or maybe even 5th outfielder). The A’s have a very young  and promising pitching staff but once again there unpredictable, and on paper the AL West crown seems unlikely. The Rest: Seattle Mariners- Fans in Seattle rejoice, the Mariners will most likely move out of the AL West basement this year! No it’s not because of anything special they have done, but really because the division added the Houston Astros. They have Felix Hernandez, but the offense still lacks even with the additions of Michael Morse and Kendrys Morales. Houston Astros- The change of divisions is not going to do them any favors. For a team that lacked depth in the lineup, the new DH spot almost seemed scary at first, but the team adjusted and grabbed at least a little power in Carlos Pena and Chris Carter. Having said that, it doesn’t really change anything.  Not only do I expect them to finish last, I will forever hold a grudge against the Astros because I absolutely hate the idea of having Interleague Play all throughout the year. MVP: Mike Trout If Trout can produce even close to how he produced last season, he will probably win the AL MVP. Trout put up historic numbers last year as a rookie and needs to get over the typical “Sophomore Slump.” Trout should still hit over .300 and play great defense even with learning a new position. Trout  has the scary capability to be a 40-40 player in the future, but for this year he could be 30-30 and win the MVP. Cy Young: Yu Darvish If not for Mike Trout, Yu Darvish could have been the AL Rookie of the Year. Darvish put up great numbers in his first year in the States and should just get better after spending a year in the Majors and learning the ropes. Darvish won 16 games with an era just under 4. Darvish should be able to improve on his era this year and pick up a few extra wins. If Darvish can lower his era to about a 3.40-3.55, and win 18-19 games, he will be the best pitcher in this division. -Goldberg
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dodgers not happy with Padres GM over Matt Kemp trade

Mario Balotelli banned match for offensive Instagram post

Marc Trestman: Benching Jay Cutler could revive QB's career

Rob Gronkowski jokes about Tom Brady saying he's grown up

Rajon Rondo reportedly traded to Mavericks

Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Urban Meyer on Tim Tebow: 'He wants another shot at playing'

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Harbaugh turned down Michigan money in 2011

Extremely rare set of Air Jordan 7s selling for $45,000

Five reasons why Alabama will win College Football Playoff

Hugh Freeze proud of Ole Miss’ record 2.57 team GPA

Youngstown St. addresses Bo Pelini's profanity-laced rant

It's been almost 40 years since NFL's last untelevised game

The NHL has finally fined a player for diving

Ben Roethlisberger: Le’Veon Bell is having an MVP season

Jim Harbaugh comments on the reported offer from Michigan

Michael Jordan's college Converse shoes sell for $33,387

Week 16 NFL game watchability rankings

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins, other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.