Today, we look at the AL West, and what could go right… and what could go wrong. Complete with Getty Images that may or may not have anything to do with the actual team.
Here we go:
Oakland AthleticsEmbed from Getty Images
Best-Case Scenario: Billy Beane‘s @#$% finally works in October, the Athletics win the World Series, and their long-term stadium situation is finally solved.
Worst-Case Scenario: Billy Beane’s @#$% doesn’t work very well during the Regular season this year, the Athletics finish third, and finish the season as a barnstorming team when their stadium in Oakland disappears in a sinkhole of bad plumbing and a dark spell cast by Al Davis in the late 1990s.
Worst-Case Scenario That Could Actually Happen: See above, but remove the barnstorming, the sinkhole and Al Davis’ dark spell.
Embed from Getty Images
Best-Case Scenario: It finally happens, and the Rangers win the World Series with the help of a resurgent Prince Fielder, the ever-underrated Shin-Soo Choo, a breakout year from Jurickson Profar and a Cy Young year from Yu Darvish.
Worst-Case Scenario: Ian Kinsler is a wizard, and his wish for the Rangers to go 0-162 comes true.
Worst-Case Scenario That Could Actually Happen: It all falls apart: Fielder continues to decline, Choo has an off-year, Adrian Beltre shows his age, Darvish gets hurt, Profar muddles and the Rangers have their worst year in years. Ron Washington is fired despite his recent extension.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Orange County, California, West Coast, United States of America, North America, Western Hemisphere, Planet Earth, Sol System, Milky WayEmbed from Getty Images
Best-Case Scenario: Mike Trout wins Triple Crown, MVP, All-Star Game MVP, the Home Run Derby title, Sports Illustrated‘s Sportsman of the Year, the AP Male Athlete of the Year, an EGOT, the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom as he single-handedly straps the team on his back and brings them to the World Series. Or something like that. In reality, the Angels probably need Trout to keep on Trouting while having both Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton show their old selves and the pitching staff stepping up.
Worst-Case Scenario: Mike Trout gets hurt. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!
Worst-Case Scenario That Could Actually Happen: To be honest, Trout getting hurt is arguably the worst-case scenario, as I find it highly unlikely that both the rest of the lineup can take up the slack AND the pitching takes a step forward.
Best-Case Scenario: Felix Hernandez is still awesome, Hisashi Iwakuma gets better (health-wise), Taijuan Walker gets better physically and on the field, and Robinson Cano… just keeps doing what’s he’s doing.
Worst-Case Scenario: Robinson Cano gets hurt in a money-counting incident, misses rest of the season.
Worst-Case Scenario that could actually happen: Felix actually starts to show that he may be human, Iwakuma and Walker struggle with health problems all year, and Cano has problems playing in Safeco Field all year around.
Houston AstrosEmbed from Getty Images
Best-Case Scenario: Ha. Hahahaha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Are you kidding me? Even their best-case scenario sees them, at the absolute very best, in fourth place. In some ways, their best case scenario may actually be for them to have one of the worst records in league, as it’ll let them get better draft picks.
Worst-Case Scenario: 1898 Cleveland Spiders.
Worst-Case Scenario That Could Actually Happen: 1962 New York Mets.