AL West preview 2013: Angels' turn

Mike Trout slides in safely after tagging up

Mike Trout slides in safely after tagging up on Albert Pujols' fly ball to left during a game against the Yankees. (July 14, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

Mike Trout is doing Subway ads now, and for Angels fans, they better hope the MVP runner-up is not looking bulkier this year as a result of eating too many fast-food sandwiches.

Trout may be the golden boy of the Sabermetric crowd, but he's far from the only weapon on a stacked Angels roster that added Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton in consecutive winters. Don't forget Mark Trumbo or Erick Aybar or Howie Kendrick either. Manager Mike Scioscia actually has too many choices when it comes to filling out a lineup card, with lethal and versatile options.

The pitching side could be a bit more problematic rotation-wise after Jered Weaver, with questions surrounding C.J Wilson, Joe Blanton, Tommy Hanson and Jason Vargas. It's a vulnerability Angels GM Jerry DiPoto evidently can live with after spending $125 million to get Hamilton, who they signed right after the Dodgers took Zack Greinke off the market.

The beauty of signing Hamilton, obviously, is the added bonus of weakening division rival Texas in the process. And the Rangers didn't come up with much of a counterpunch, unless you consider grabbing the fragile Lance Berkman to be the everyday DH.

Even though the A's nudged their way into what has been a two-team battle in the AL West, the Angels won't leave such an opening this time, and the Rangers have something to prove after losing the one-game playoff to the Orioles last season.

The A's remain an entertaining story, with the beard-offs between Josh Reddick and Travis Blackley and all, but those tend to be one-year wonders. Other than King Felix, there's not much to see on the Mariners. Oh yeah, we almost forgot the Astros are in the division this year. Houston will no doubt wish it were somewhere else by July.

Best of the AL West

BEST MANAGER: Bob Melvin, A's

GENERAL MANAGER: Jon Daniels, Rangers

STADIUM: Safeco Field, Seattle

EVERYDAY LINEUP: Angels

OVERALL HITTING: Angels

OVERALL POWER: Angels

TEAM SPEED: Angels

TEAM DEFENSE: Rangers

STRENGTH OF BENCH: Rangers

STARTING ROTATION: Rangers

BULLPEN: Athletics

PLAYERS

1. Mike Trout, Angels

2. Felix Hernandez, Mariners

3. Josh Hamilton, Angels

HITTERS

1. Mike Trout, Angels

2. Adrian Beltre, Rangers

3. David Murphy, Rangers

POWER

1. Josh Hamilton, Angels

2. Mike Trout, Angels

3. Adrian Beltre, Rangers

STARTERS

1. Felix Hernandez, Mariners

2. Yu Darvish, Rangers

3. Jered Weaver, Angels

RELIEVERS

1. Joe Nathan, Rangers

2. Tom Wilhelmsen, Mariners

3. Grant Balfour, A's

NEW FACES

1. Hiroyuki Nakajima, A's

2. Jurickson Profar, Rangers

3. Lance Berkman, Rangers

FIVE-YEAR TREND

2012: Oakland (94-68)

2011: Texas (96-66)

2010: Texas (90-72)

2009: Los Angeles (97-65)

2008: Los Angeles (100-62)

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

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