The American League West Division is one of the hardest divisions in all of baseball to predict. It doesn’t look like a division that has one superteam poised to win 100 games but it does have a few teams that could be in the mix for the division title. It is also one that could present a challenege to the Chicago White Sox throughout the season. Based on talent, the White Sox should be able to take care of their business against them on most nights but it will take work.
The Chicago White Sox will be back to playing the American League West again this season.
The best way to start is with the Oakland Athletics. They won the division title in 2020 with a record of 36-24 which is one more win than the White Sox had. They also matched up with the White Sox in the three-game Wild Card Series and won it in three games. They split the first two and then the A’s won the winner take all game three. One positive that came out of it was Liam Hendriks deciding to leave them and come to the White Sox in the offseason.
After them in 2020 was the Houston Astros. They made the playoffs with a losing record which was something we are not used to seeing in the game of baseball. It was the year after the cheating scandal took place and they looked rough. They snuck in because the rest of the division wasn’t good but things aren’t looking great for them going forward.
Now that Gerrit Cole and George Springer have both moved on, it is hard to see the Astros as World Series contenders anymore. However, their experience and a full season could allow them to have somewhat of a comeback season. There is no doubt that they will be good but the question is how good?
The Los Angeles Angels are one of the most dissapointing teams of the 2010s as a whole and it has carried into the 2020s. They have an all-time great player in Mike Trout but have been horrible at putting a good team around him. With Shohei Ohtani healthy and ready to go, they might be a team to worry about but they have some proving to do. They will be the first opponent the White Sox see in 2021.
Don’t expect much from the Seattle Mariners or Texas Rangers this year. Texas traded Lance Lynn to the White Sox which might be nice for the future but there is a long way to go for them. As for the Seattle Mariners, they seem to just always be one of the worst teams in the league. There is no real reason to be excited about them right now.
2021 Standings Prediction:
1. Los Angeles Angels
2. Houston Astros
3. Oakland Athletics
4. Texas Rangers
5. Seattle Mariners
It is probably, as of right now, the worst division in the entire American League and you can make a case that it is the worst in all of baseball. That doesn’t mean that the White Sox won’t need their best when they play these teams because they will. It should be fun to see them back on the west coast once again.