Odds to win AL West Division
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - The Oakland A's won the AL West in 2013 but they have company among the favorites heading into the 2014 MLB season.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the A's are 2/1 favorites to win the AL West this season but the Angels and Rangers both have the same 2/1 odds, respectively. The Mariners are 7/1 to win the West, while the Astros have the longest odds at 50/1.
Perhaps the biggest move the A's made this offseason was signing Coco Crisp to a $7.5 million club option. Kurt Suzuki signed with the Twins, while Chris Young inked a one-year deal with the Mets. Oakland usually has quiet offseasons under GM Billy Beane and this year wasn't any different.
As for the Angels, they traded centerfielder Peter Bourjos to the Cardinals in exchange for David Freese, who will play third base for L.A. this season. Their lineup is once again stout thanks to Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, but injuries and pitching will once again decide the Halos' fate in 2014.
The Rangers lost outfielder Nelson Cruz (Orioles) and catcher A.J. Pierzynski (Red Sox) this offseason but they landed slugger Prince Fielder in a deal that sent second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Tigers. Texas also signed former Cincinnati outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, which provides a much-needed boost at the top of the lineup with Kinsler gone.
The Mariners perhaps made the biggest move this offseason when they signed Robinson Cano to a massive contract to be their new face of the organization. But whether or not this team has enough overall talent to challenge the Rangers, Angels and A's in the division remains to be scene. It'll take more than Cano and Felix Hernandez for the M's to make their first postseason appearance since 2001.
As for the Astros, they're still in rebuilding mode and continue to build through the draft. They're not in position to surprise this season but they could be a consistent contender if their draft picks hit down the road. Houston simply doesn't have enough talent or depth at the big league club to contend this season.