AL West Hot Stove MLB Betting Preview
The Texas Rangers could bring Yovani Gallardo back next year. Even though he did not impress MLB betting fans in his turn in the American League Division Series, he was a solid innings-eater and kept the Rangers in the game almost every time he pitched, leading to a number of wins. The rotation is strong in Texas, but the team could still use a fifth starter, a catcher and help in the bullpen. Yu Darvish and Jurickson Profar should return from injuries. Robinson Chirinos and Chris Gimenez both played well behind the plate, but they are both over 30. The team could consider Chris Iannetta and Alex Avila – or former Ranger A.J. Pierzynski.
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The Houston Astros are young and stocked, and they don’t have many people entering free agency that they are likely to keep. Colby Rasmus could depart, replaced by a platoon of Preston Tucker and Jake Marisnick. The Astros need a matchup lefty in their bullpen, and they could use a righty with some more menace in his game. Bringing in Darren O’Day would be a big signing, but this team may even go after Craig Kimbrel of the Padres or the Reds’ Aroldis Chapman via trades.
The Los Angeles Angels need bats. They made a valiant run at one of the wild card positions down the stretch, staving off elimination until the last day of the season when they fell to the Texas Rangers. Having some more offense in the lineup would have kept them out of that situation. The dangerous David Freese is a free agent, but he is 33 and the Angels have some third base prospects in-house whom the team thinks can replace him. The team has Albert Pujols and Mike Trout in the lineup, but Pujols is about to turn 36, and he only hit .231 after the All-Star break. Trout had MVP numbers, but the team needs another bat. Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton should be attractive options.
Seattle only has three free agents, and their rotation is basically set for next season. They need some middle relief, a new catcher and some outfielders. The team started four different players in 143 games in center field, but they are all gone now. The team could bring back Austin Jackson but plans to look outside too. The team appears to want to keep Nelson Cruz as the DH. Given that the team is already overpaying Robinson Cano at second, don’t expect them to spend to bring in another elite bat. The team also needs to upgrade at catcher, where Mike Zunino has been dismal, failing to hit even .200 over his career.
The Oakland A’s had a terrible 2015, but while they have a lot of potential needs, they also don’t have a lot of obvious holes. The team doesn’t stand to lose a lot of free agents, and the budget is small, so we don’t expect the A’s to be big free agent players. There will be the obligatory wild Billy Beane trade, but other than that, don’t expect antics from this team. Josh Reddick and Sonny Gray are the biggest trade chips that the team has right now.