Manager Ron Washington #38 of the Texas Rangers looks on from the dugout. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
Before the season began, I set myself up for laughs and finger-pointing by predicting how every division in baseball would end up come October. So now, with an entire second half of the season to go, I'm here for my medicine.
Take a little time machine back to the end of March, before Tanner Scheppers toed the rubber for the Rangers' Opening Day start (remember that?) and let's see how I had the American League West shaking out after three straight years of it being a two-horse race between the Texas Rangers and Oakland A's.
Here's how it went:
4. Los Angeles Angels
Here's how the standings look at the break:
2. Los Angeles Angels
Well, at least I got Seattle right, but you can go ahead and point and laugh now.
By the time the season wraps up, here's how I see the West shaking out, so go ahead and write it down.
1. Los Angeles Angels — The Angels have the stout lineup we've always expected to see. Their rotation is now fronted by Garrett Richards with Jered Weaver serving as nothing more than a solid No. 2. Their bullpen is improved, and will still get improved before the trade deadline. And, that schedule? It's quite a bit easier over the second half than Oakland's is. Look for the Angels to close that 1 1/2-game gap and get back atop the AL West for the first time since 2009 before Texas ended their reign.
2. Oakland — The A's will run away with the top wild card spot and host the AL Wild Card Game, and could easily make a long postseason run with their loaded starting rotation.
3. Seattle — Right now, the Mariners hold the second wild card spot, but they'll struggle to hold on that. if they do, it will solidify the fact that the West is the best division in baseball, so just imagine what it'll be next season when the Rangers aren't a Triple-A team.
4. Houston — The Astros are young and hungry and learning how to win. For that reason, even though they aren't much better than Texas, they'll beat out the veteran, deflated Rangers squad for fourth place in the division.
5. Texas — As mentioned above, the Rangers aren't the young, hungry team the Astros are. They're a deflated, disappointed contender turned worst team in baseball. Don't be shocked to see them lose 100 games.