Astros, Mariners, and more: Bold predictions for every AL West team in May

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Jim Morrison always said the “West is the best” and I’m always inclined to agree. The West has fantastic beaches, gorgeous mountains and all the sun you could ask for. The West also has a rich history of baseball and there are a few things in the AL West that could just make it a historic season in the division. October is a long way off, so let’s take a peak at what May has in store out west in the American League.

May AL West bold prediction: Texas Rangers

Sure they’d be in fourth place if they were in the East, but they’re not and the Texas Rangers have taken full advantage of their AL West status. Seen as just the Cowboys’ neighbors for much of the past decade, the Rangers have quickly become Arlington’s favorite resident. After just over a month of the season Texas is first in the AL West, 2.5 games up on the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels heading into Wednesday’s play.

Texas has scored the second-most runs (184) in all of MLB, given up the fifth-fewest runs (110) and holds the second-best run differential (+74) in all the land. The only team better in all three of those categories is the Tampa Bay Rays.

My bold prediction for Texas this month is not only that the Rangers keep on rolling but who keeps them rolling this month and beyond.

The Rangers have achieved success without shortstop Corey Seager, who’s been sidelined with a hamstring injury since just after Easter. Seager was off to a solid start to the season (batting .359) and there was deep concern what his injury would do to the lineup. What it did was light a spark. Catcher Johah Heim has become a complete stud at the plate, anchoring a lineup that really caught fire at the end of April. Manager Bruce Bochy has platooned Ezequiel Duran and Josh Smith to spell Seager with the former really having an impact at the plate. Duran is batting .302 and has been tough to take out of the lineup. Outfielder/DH Robbie Grossman is shaking off a cool start and heating up as tornado season ramps up in the region. Grossman is coming off a strong week of batting .364 and looks to finally be coming into form.

Even though Texas has lost starter Jacob deGrom for what looks to be the first half of May, they appear to have the pitching staff to carry them until his return. Only one of their regular starters has an ERA over four and guys like Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Perez have been absolute studs of late on the mound. Eovaldi just pitched a complete game shutout against the Yankees and Perez has given up just two earned runs with seven strikeouts in his past two starts.

Texas plays everyone in the division except Houston in May and the rest of the schedule looks pretty favorable with series against Arizona, Colorado and Detroit. Tough tests on the road include trips to Baltimore and Pittsburgh, which should prove as good litmus tests as to how good this Ranger team really is.

I see the Rangers expanding on their divisional lead stretching it to six or eight games by the time June rolls around. Additionally, with Seager due back and Duran hitting well, it’s quite possible Grossman becomes the odd man out and on the trading block for additional help on the mound to sure up a run into the postseason.

The weather in October is fantastic in the Metroplex and this fall the temperatures could be quite epic!

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