National Analyst Picks Rangers in Tight West

With a month to go before Opening Day, when the games finally count, you're starting to see some 2016 predictions rolling out, and one of the game's most respected analysts, Buster Olney, is going against what seems to be the "hot" opinion on who will win the highly competitive AL West.

Olney was talking about the Rangers on ESPN Radio this week, and among other things, picked the Rangers to repeat at AL West champions after their surprising run to the title in 2015 thanks to a great closing stretch to catch the Astros.

"I'm less bullish on the Astros and much more bullish on the Rangers," Olney said. "With Fielder coming back, with Beltre still playing an important role on that team. They had such a great thing going in that clubhouse. The underrated part of the team, to me, is the bullpen. They got a lot of weapons out there. I think they're gonna win the division."

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Olney brings up a key point about the ridiculously deep bullpen, at least on paper. Even though the Astros brought in a new closer in Ken Giles, the Rangers' pen is still deeper and appears to be better. If we've learned one thing in recent years, it's that bullpens are almost as important as starting rotations nowadays, and possibly even moreso, and the Rangers have a great one.

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