A lot of people may consider the NL and AL West the best divisions in their respective league, and although I may disagree, these people are right on target. Over the course of the 162-game, six-month regular season, the nine clubs composing those two divisions were an astounding 70 games better than the other four divisions.
The Angels, the big dogs of the west, have lost key fantasy starters such as Vladimir Guerrero, John Lackey, Chone Figgins, Darren Oliver, Gary Matthews Jr., and Kelvim Escobar. Replacing them are Hideki Matsui, Joel Pineiro, Fernando Rodney and Brian Stokes, along with Brandon Wood, Maicer Izturis and Reggie Willits.
I would stay away from Hideki in most standard fantasy baseball leagues, but would definitely take a look at him in a weekly fantasy baseball league because he still has some power left in the tank as you can tell by the Bronx Bombers World Series run last season.
The NL West has added some serious fantasy baseball pitching power when the Rangers, Mariners, and Athetics picked up Rich Harden, Cliff Lee and Ben Sheets, respectively. These are all pitchers who can potentially dominate your fantasy baseball team, including Sheets if he can actually play a healthy season.
Of course I have to mention two fantasy baseball gems in Tim Lincecum and Felix Hernandez. The east coasters may not see it until the next day, but these first round talents can secure your fantasy pitching staff and take your team to a new level.
The Rangers, who already had power, signed Vlad Guerrero to nail homers in that very batter friendly stadium out there in Texas. I wouldn’t rule out Seattle though. They have added some talent to their already good defense by adding Chone Figgins, who I believe will have another awesome fantasy year.
The Oakland Athletics went a different way this offseason to help their ball club. Adding Coco Crisp to center, Kevin Kouzmanoff to third base, the young talent on this team gives hope to all fantasy players who like to stay cheap in those salary cap leagues.
I will not go out on a limb to say the Angels and the Dodgers will win their divisions yet again. Even with all of the overturn with the Angels’ club, I still think their superb managing from Coach Mike Scioscia will help them prevail yet again.