MLB Division Previews: The 2020 AL West Betting Preview
By: Ryan Gilbert
Houston Astros Over/under: 96.0 wins
Houston Astros Odds to win Division: -265
Houston Astros Odds to win League: +250
Houston Astros Odds to win World Series: +600
Whoo boy, what a season it’s going to be for the Houston Astros.
After an offseason full of controversy, the Astros are going to try to put it behind them and play baseball – without the help of any illegal means.
It almost feels wrong to look at the Astros’ recent seasons genuinely, but some of their play away from Minute Maid Park may be worthwhile.
Here are the Astros’ records on the road in the past three seasons:
The Astros have actually been better on the road, at times, compared to at home. They will certainly take a hit due to the scandal, but by how much? If they can play just .500 at home with their performance on the road remaining constant, they’re still in store for a strong season. But could the negative feedback on the road hurt them? Only time will tell.
The good news for the Astros is that they’re bringing back almost all of their World Series roster. They have a very strong lineup and rotation. They’re still going to win games.
Bet on the over 96 wins if you can stomach it.
Best SportsBook 2020
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Oakland Athletics AL West Betting Preview
Oakland Athletics Over/under: 89.5 wins
Oakland Athletics Odds to win Division: +450
Oakland Athletics Odds to win League: +1300
Oakland Athletics Odds to win World Series: +2800
The Oakland Athletics are good again, folks. They have yet to take the AL West crown from the Astros, but they are coming for it.
The Athletics have won 97 games in two straight seasons, earning them an AL Wild Card berth. However, they lost both of those games and are still searching for a true playoff series.
The Athletics are a very talented team that will be in the playoff hunt yet again. They have a few sneaky good players in Marcus Semien and Matt Chapman, who don’t get enough credit. They have a deep lineup with Ramon Laureano, Matt Olson, and oh yeah, Khris Davis as well.
Their pitching is more of a question mark, but they have been able to get the job done and have a few up-and-coming young guns with bullets to spare.
The A’s will have their work cut out for them in a tough division, but they can get to 90 wins again. Bet on the over 89.5 wins and +450 to win the division if you’re anti-Astros.
Los Angeles Angels AL West Betting Preview
Los Angeles Angels Over/under: 84.5 wins
Los Angeles Angels Odds to win Division: +700
Los Angeles Angels Odds to win League: +2000
Los Angeles Angels Odds to win World Series: +4500
Speaking of good teams in the AL West, the Los Angeles Angels are sneaking up the standings.
The Angels have been struggling since winning 98 games in 2014, but they went out this offseason and made some moves. They have not cracked the .500 mark since winning 85 games in 2015.
They have the best baseball player of all-time in Mike Trout, a two-way threat in Shohei Ohtani, and added a few pieces this offseason. They signed Anthony Rendon to hit between Trout and Ohtani, and still have Justin Upton, who is due for a bounceback season.
Where the Angels are lacking is in the starting rotation. They have guys that have been around a bit in Julio Teheran, Andrew Heaney and Dylan Bundy, but not really any ace or someone that can break out.
It’s unfortunately going to be another disappointing season for Trout and Co. Bet on the under 84.5 wins.
Texas Rangers AL West Betting Preview
Texas Rangers Over/under: 76.5 wins
Texas Rangers Odds to win Division: +1500
Texas Rangers Odds to win League: +5000
Texas Rangers Odds to win World Series: +10000
The Texas Rangers could possibly do well in a worse division, but the AL West has two teams that have made the playoffs in at least the last two seasons, as well as an up-and-coming team with the best player in league history.
The Rangers have won 78, 67, and 78 games respectively since winning the AL West in back-to-back years in 2015 and 2016.
Moving into a new ballpark this year, the Rangers are looking prime to get 78 wins again, if not more. They have one of the most polarizing hitters in Joey Gallo and a deep lineup with Shin-Soo Choo leading off, Elvis Andrus in the mix, and Danny Santana breaking out.
Their biggest move of the offseason was trading for Corey Kluber. That move alone should help them stay at 78 wins, or more.
Bet on the over 76.5 wins here as the Rangers make some noise in their new ballpark.
Seattle Mariners AL West Betting Preview
Seattle Mariners Over/under: 65.5 wins
Seattle Mariners Odds to win Division: +12500
Seattle Mariners Odds to win League: +25000
Seattle Mariners Odds to win World Series: +50000
The Seattle Mariners are in for another rough year in a tough division. However, they could surprise the world as they’ve had a habit of doing recently. Since 2013, they have alternated with below-.500 and above-.500 records. Starting in 2013, they have won 71, 87, 76, 86, 78, 89, and 68 games last year.
Could they bounce back again? It seems unlikely.
With the AL West improving around them, the Mariners are stuck with a lineup anchored by Kyle Seager and Dan Vogelbach. The rest of the lineup consists of project players or prospects hoping to finally break out.
Having said that, 65 wins is very low. The Mariners have won more than 65 games in each of the last nine seasons. They’ll power their way over 65.5 wins again.