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AL West Spring Training Report: Will Anyone Test Astros?

Things could be interesting in the AL West with the defending World Series champion Texas Rangers trailing the Houston Astros in the division title odds.

When looking at the MLB odds, Seattle has a chance to make things challenging for the Astros and the Rangers but the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics still have work to do.

AL West Spring Training Report: Will Anyone Test Astros?
Chas McCormick #20 of the Houston Astros | Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/AFP

When looking at the MLB futures odds, the Rangers and Astros are among the teams with the best odds of winning the World Series.

With players reporting for spring training, here’s an early look at the American League West.

1. Houston Astros

With the retirement of manager Dusty Baker, Joe Espada has taken over as the manager for one of the top title contenders. Espada has been with the Astros since 2018.

Houston made a big move to improve its bullpen with the signing of Josh Hader. Another new pitcher is Dylan Coleman, who was acquired from the Kansas City Royals.

Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, Jose Abreu, Jeremy Pena, Kyle Tucker, and Chas McCormick are the top hitters returning with the Astros signing veteran catcher Victor Caratini.

Framber Valdez, Justin Verlander, Cristian Javier, Hunter Brown, and J.P France join relievers Ryan Pressly, Bryan Abreu, and Hector Neris as part of an experienced pitching staff.

  • Odds to win Division: +115
  • Odds to win the American League: +450
  • Odds to win World Series: +900


2. Texas Rangers

While Martin Perez left to join the Pittsburgh Pirates, the other starting pitchers (Nathan Eovaldi, Dane Dunning, Jon Gray, and Andrew Heaney) are all back. Then there is the oft-injured Jacob deGrom. After signing with the Rangers, deGrom pitched in six games before a season-ending injury. Max Scherzer is another veteran pitcher coming off an injury. With Will Smith in Kansas City, the Rangers added Kirby Yates to the bullpen.

Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Josh Jung, Nathaniel Lowe, Jonah Heim, and Adolis Garcia all return to one of the best batting lineups in the majors. Rookie of the Year co-favorite Evan Carter was a postseason hero. 

There are enough pieces back for the Rangers to make a run to a second-straight World Series title after the Rangers led by majors by covering in 100 games against the run-line total a season ago.

  • Odds to win Division: +185
  • Odds to win the American League: +550
  • Odds to win World Series: +1100


3. Seattle Mariners

While Julio Rodriguez, listed by our sportsbook as one of the top MVP candidates, returns for the Mariners, the lineup needs to replace Teoscar Hernandez and Eugenio Suarez who both had more than 20 home runs and 90 RBIs last season. Outfielder Jarred Kelenic is now with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The cupboard isn’t empty with the return of Ty France, J.P. Crawford, and Cal Raleigh. Catcher Mitch Garver comes over from the rival Rangers. The Mariners traded for infielder Jorge Polanco as well as outfielder Mitch Hanigan.

The starting rotation is led by Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert, and George Kirby with Bryan Woo and Bryce Miller completing a strong group of starting pitchers.

Fireballer Matt Brash and Andres Munoz lead the bullpen for a Seattle team that missed the playoffs by one game in 2023.

  • Odds to win Division: +275
  • Odds to win the American League: +900
  • Odds to win World Series: +2200


4. Los Angeles Angels

Things will look much different with former American Most Valuable Player Shohei Ohtani off to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hunter Renfroe is also gone.

Mike Trout, listed by the baseball odds as a top MVP candidate, is joined by Brandon Drury, Luis Rengifo, Taylor Ward, Mickey Moniak, and Zach Neto. Aaron Hicks is among the additions while Nolan Schaunel is a Rookie of the Year candidate according to the BetUS sportsbook.

With the departure of Ohtani, there are no pitchers who had at least 10 wins last season for the Angels.

Patrick Sandoval, Reid Detmers, Griffin Canning, and Tyler Anderson will lead the rotation. Adam Cimber, who was 10 games in relief in 2022, was added to the bullpen that needs plenty of help.

  • Odds to win Division: +4000
  • Odds to win the American League: +5000
  • Odds to win World Series: +12500


5. Oakland Athletics

Oakland has a top leadoff hitter in Esteury Ruiz and not much else. Despite slowing in the second half, Brent Rooker finished with 30 home runs last season. Zack Gelof (14 home runs in 69 games as a rookie) is another key hitter as is outfielder Seth Brown.

No team had a higher ERA in the American League than the Athletics. Well-traveled reliever Trevor Gott and veteran starter Alex Wood have been added to the pitching staff. Starters JP Sears, Ken Waldichuk, Luis Medina, and Kyle Muller are all in their 20s. Waldichuk is working his way back from an elbow injury.

Avoiding another 100-loss season is a realistic goal for the Athletics.

  • Odds to win Division: +15000
  • Odds to win the American League: +15000
  • Odds to win World Series: +25000



Questions Of The Day

Which team is favored to win the American League West Division?

The Houston Astros have the best MLB odds at +115 to win the division title in 2024 followed by World Series champion Texas at +185.

Who are some American League West players to watch in the individual awards races?

Evan Carter of the Texas Rangers is the co-favorite at +275 in the American League Rookie of the Year odds followed by teammate Wyatt Langford at +600. Houston’s Framber Valdez (+750) and Seattle’s duo of Luis Castillo (+1200) and George Kirby (+1600) are among the top Cy Young candidates. Houston’s Yordan Alvarez (+700), Texas’ Corey Seager (+800), and Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez are in the top five in the MVP odds.

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