Some might say the AL West has parity. Others might call it ugly. Whatever your preference, this division features three good-but-flawed teams that will battle to the bitter end. The Rangers have fearsome sluggers Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz, but their rotation rests on the shoulders of Colby Lewis and C.J. Wilson, two vets coming off out-of-nowhere career years. The A's (Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson) and Angels (Dan Haren and Jered Weaver) each have stellar starting pitching, but both feature lineups that could produce dead-ball-era numbers. The result: a knock-down, drag-out, three-team race whose winner might not crack 85 victories. The Mariners will again be the odd team out, but their fans will have the pleasure of watching Ichiro attempt to extend his major league record with an 11th straight 200-hit season and Felix Hernandez go for his second straight Cy Young. King Felix did it last year with just 13 wins, and he isn't likely to get much more run support in 2011.
2hEthan Sherwood Strauss