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Friday, September 25, 2009

AL WEST: Season 6 Preview

Last Season: 85-77 (1st)
Season 6 Prediction: 92-70
FA Losses: Tom Barkley RP, Buddy Shelley SP, Luis Pascual 3B
FA Additions: Ralph Bunning SP, Alex Martin SS, Willis Wasdin RP

After two years of thrifty spending, the Seals finally opened their wallet this off-season to acquire the talented (yet fragile) Ralph Bunning. The addition of Bunning finally gives the Seals a top of the line starting pitcher, if he can stay healthy. That's a major if, as Bunning didn't even get through his first start without tweaking his shoulder and landing on the 15 Day DL. The team overachieved last season, so lets see how they do with bigger expectations.

Last Season: 80-82 (2nd)
Prediction: 89-73
FA Losses: Pete Reid SP, Pascual Astacio RF
FA Additions: Cory Glynn SP, Craig Priest SP, Benny Truman SP, Howard McFeely SS

Coming off a World Series appearance, the Dukes (now known as the Solons, which I'm told is a Greek word for something and not a fish), threw their fans a curve ball by trading away most of their best players in exchange for prospects. Despite the purge, they still managed to be in contention for the Division Title until the final weeks of the season. This year they should improve upon their 80-82 record thanks to some nice free agent pickups. While everyone else was busy offering huge contracts to a select few stud pitchers, the Solons signed three solid pitchers who should help them regain their old form.

Last Season: 75-87 (3rd)
Prediction: 73-89
FA Losses: George Weaver SP
FA Additions: Pete Reid SP, Rex Scott CF, Oswaldo Andujar RP

Colorado rebounded from a down year by improving their record by 19 wins last season. Their lineup should be powerful as usual and the addition of Pete Reid gives them a proven starter at the top of the rotation. The roster will be better this season, but they will face tougher competition from San Francisco and Sacramento in the AL West.

Last Season: 52-110 (4th)
Prediction: 59-103
FA Losses: Nothing of note
FA Additions: Shooter Johnson RP

Following another dismal year in Anaheim, new owner Jack Badoou decided a change of venue was in order and moved the team to Las Vegas. As someone who has been to both places, I can tell you this was a great idea. Anaheim is best known for their Disney attractions, while Vegas sports the best strip clubs on the planet. As far as the team goes, they are young and need time to develop. This season will be more about gaining experience than winning games.