The A.L. West Will be the Most Competitive Division in Baseball.

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Updated: March 24, 2017

Most people will tell you the A.L. East is the best division in baseball. Some will tell you the N.L. Central is the best division in baseball.

Some may even try to convince you the N.L. West is the best division in baseball. Sure, all of those could be answers, depending on what your definition of ‘best’ is. The best team in baseball, the Chicago Cubs, is in the N.L. Central. All five teams in the A.L. East might finish over .500.

If you’re looking for the most competitive division in baseball, though, look no further than the A.L. West. Four of the five teams could be in playoff contention all year long, and except for the Oakland Athletics, any team could walk away with the division crown.

The Texas Rangers have won it the last two years, but are coming off of a season in which they had the best record ever in one run games.

That kind of thing is wildly unsustainable, and with huge question marks in their rotation, they should drop back to the pack a bit this season. The Houston Astros could end up with the best lineup in the American League, but have some rotation questions of their own.

The Seattle Mariners could be the deepest team in the division, and new GM Jerry DiPoto has done a great job making this team more athletic and fast, but if Felix Hernandez is unable to bounce back from year of regressing, they also will have big questions in their rotation.

That brings us to the Angels, who have also done an admirable job of rebuilding depth, both in their bench and rotation, and should be faster and much better defensively.

Their chances of contending rely on their, yep, you guessed it, rotation. If their best pitchers can bounce back and stay healthy, they’ll have as good a chance of any other team to win the division.

There’s a reason they play the games, so predicting and guessing is mostly useless, but none of these teams should run away with the division, and it seems more likely that all four of those teams will be battling it out for the majority of the season, with the division still up for grabs all the way down to the wire. To be honest, would it really surprise anyone if the A’s ended up being the best team in the division? I mean, we’ve seen it before.

The odds are, though, that the A’s are one of the worst teams in baseball, and the other four teams are all bunched together for the majority of the season. Every team has so many question marks that it’s hard to peg a team to run away with it. Sure, you could see the Astros’ pitching coming through and that lineup is so dangerous that they could end up being one of the best teams in baseball, or the Rangers once again defy logic and statistics and continue to win every close game there is.

More likely, though, every team has their share of unexpected struggles, pleasant surprises, and injuries, and they all hang around each other. They may not be the best teams in all of baseball, but this division will be the most competitive all year long.

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