The best teams for MLB by far will be found in the American League in 2007. With that said, due to the abundance of talent, we are going to be breaking down the AL a little different than the NL, in that it is going to be in 3 installments.
The Mariners have put together a team that have some thinking they could be the next to go from worst to first. The pick up of Jeff Weaver will be seamless and fits right into the grunge scene. Closer J.J Putz is more than solid, and with names like Beltre, Sexson, Suzuki (a Yankee in 2008), Ibanez, and Guillen will definitely make some noise - but its not going to be enough to take home the division.
Anytime your line up has a consummate pro like Garrett Anderson, and a monster in Vlad Guerrero, you're going to get respect. However, that's all the L.A. Angels are going to get, as they will not be piling up many wins for the 2007 campaign. First the good - the younger Weaver may be one of the more exciting young pitchers and am eager to see what he can do for his Soph season. The bottom line is that Colon is injured and won't be full strength until the middle of season, and at the end of the day, their image made closer, Frankie Rodriguez, I'm not sold on. Yes he puts up numbers, it just seems as though, he doesn't put them up when you need him the most. They may make a late season push, but the Angels will very likely finish at the bottom of the division.
Who if anyone ever picks the Oakland A's to do anything? Yet, more times than not, they seem to find a way to be relevant and be playing in October. I'm not going to be different. I look at their depth chart and see respectable players, but nothing great. Rich Harden is no Zito, Mulder, or Hudson. Swisher, Kotsay, and Bradley are above average. Street is a real deal closer. And Mike Piazza is, well Mike Piazza. I see nothing here that says divisional champ.
The Texas Rangers will be the most interesting team to watch in the AL West in 2007. The offensive lineup is impressive. The three punch combo of Blalock, Young, and Teixeira is enough to get any pitcher in trouble and knocked out. Throw in the wisdom of aged leadership that knows how to get on base in Kenny Loften and you have something that can do some real damage. If, they just had some damn pitching though. The first two starters in Millwood and Padilla is respectable with both producing 15 plus win seasons for the Rangers while making all their starts last year. The remaining projected starters are sub .500 with ERAs above 5 - not good. The Rangers did take a chance on Eric Gagne. Obviously a gamble, but if it pays off it will do so in a big way and if it does, then they have a reliable closer that is second to one (in NY of course). They have Sosa in the system somewhere, but remains to be seen what, if anything he can do without the Clear and the Cream.
Final Prediction: Two quality starters, an awesome closer with something to prove, and a top 3 offensive lineup, will be enough for the Texas Rangers to earn the AL West crown.