AL West 2023 Preview: Astros, Mariners, Angels, Rangers, Athletics

While the Mariners will be the toughest challenge for the Houston Astros in the AL West, the Rangers and Angles look to contend this year too.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 15: Julio Rodriguez #44 of the Seattle Mariners steals second base during the thirteenth inning against the Houston Astros in game three of the American League Division Series at T-Mobile Park on October 15, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Since 2017, it is no secret that the American League West has run through the Houston Astros.

Across the past six seasons, the Astros have only failed to win the division one time, in 2020 when it was abbreviated to 60 games. They have won over 100 games in four of the past five full 162-game seasons and won 95 in the other year.

Coming off a World Series victory, no team is more confident and well-rounded to win the championship again this year. Still, that does not guarantee that they will win this division.

The Astros will begin the season without Jose Altuve, who broke his thumb in the WBC and could miss a good chunk of the season. With Lance McCullers on the IL, Houston will be reliant on rookie starter Hunter Browne and are also without last year’s Cy Young, Justin Verlander. If they got off to a slow start, the Seattle Mariners could capitalize and become real contenders to win the AL West.

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With a starting rotation of Luis Castillo, Robbie Ray, George Kirby and Logan Gilbert, and a great bullpen behind them, the Mariners have all the pitching they need to make a run in 2023. Factor in a lineup with a future face of the league in Julio Rodriguez, and Seattle is looking very dangerous, as a team that could make noise in October.

The Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers each present their own compelling cases for why they could be a playoff team in 2023. For the Angels, its the same story, different year, with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani playing on the same roster. In what could be the last season with that incredible duo, the Angels made a lot of moves to round out their roster.

Meanwhile the Rangers are coming off nearly losing 95 games, yet have so much optimism thanks to last offseason’s signings of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien and this year’s addition of two-time Cy Young Jacob deGrom. Clay Snowden would like me to remind you that the Oakland Athletics are still in this division, working on a rebuild that has hit a few snags in recent memory.

Below you will find complete season previews linked for each of the team’s in the AL West. If you want a further preview of everything this division race will hold in 2023, listen to last Friday’s episode of the Just Baseball Show.

Houston Astros – 2022 Record (106-56)

Written By: Tomas Romo

The reigning World Series champs will be without Jose Altuve to start the season, but still open 2023 as the clear favorites to win it all.

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Seattle Mariners – 2022 Record (90-72)

Written By: Lyle Goldstein

Featuring both one of the game’s best rotations and top young players in Julio Rodriguez, the Mariners are primed to make a run in 2023.

Los Angeles Angles – 2022 Record (73-89)

Written By: Clay Snowden

The Los Angeles Angels made plenty of moves this winter, but did they do enough to compete in the AL West and end their playoff drought?

Texas Rangers – 2022 Record (68-94)

Written By: Lyle Goldstein

With a brand-new rotation headlined by two-time Cy Young Jacob deGrom, the Texas Rangers hope to take the leap into contention in 2023.

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Oakland Athletics – 2022 Record (60-102)

Written By: Clay Snowden

A team squarely entrenched in a rebuild, the 2023 season is another chance to find a few future building blocks for the Oakland Athletics.