With an excellent rotation and bullpen, "we're always going to be in the game," says David DeJesus. "If we as hitters do our job, we're going to be O.K." And maybe West champs.
Josh Willingham, an extreme fly ball hitter, can't clear the fences in Oakland (nor can Hideki Matsui), and his defense is a liability in spacious AL West outfields. The A's finish .500—again.
Nelson Cruz, Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton play more than last year (they averaged 115 games); the Neftali Feliz--less rotation flourishes; and the Rangers again play into October's depths.
The rotation falters: Brandon Webb can't get healthy, and Colby Lewis and C.J. Wilson can't repeat their 2010s. They look like the Rangers of the aughts: lots of hitting, no pitching.
Dan Haren performs as he did after his trade from Arizona (2.87 ERA), and the offense is sparked by the mid-season call-up of 19-year-old Mike Trout. The Angels hang around in the wild-card race.