2. The Mariners will beat the LA Angels of Anaheim in a one game playoff for the AL West division title.
Since Trader Jack signed the big right-handed bat the Mariners so desperately needed to compliment Cano and Kyle Seager in Nelson Cruz, the Mariners are the surprise hype pick to win their division. Both Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine have the Mariners winning the AL West.
ESPN has the M’s winning with an 86-76 record, one win worse than last year, incidentally, by one, measely…stinkin’ game over the Oakland A’s. Sports Illustrated blows all that nonsense out of the water with a projected record of 95-67 – Holy Smokes, Batman! – beating out the Angels by 3 games. I buy the record ESPN projects more than SI, but the order of finish more in ESPN’s favor.
Maybe it’s because I have too many friends who are Oakland fans, all who have been on suicide watch since Billy Beane blew the team up over the offseason, but I just don’t see the A’s competing. I think the Angels are still too good to discount; their offense is premium quality and that rotation, once Garrett Richards is healthy is pretty tough. So, it will come down to a one game playoff, in which King Felix will make Mike Trout look silly and the M’s will win 3-1. On to the “real” playoffs!