MLB

Ranking MLB’s toughest divisions heading into 2017

6. American League West

Oct 6, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (29) takes batting practice before the game against theToronto Blue Jays in game one of the 2016 ALDS playoff baseball game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Everything is bigger in Texas, and that’s exactly what we need to expect in the American League with the Pacific Northwest giving them a run for their money.

The Texas Rangers have a lot of bats on their team. Too many, really. Joey Gallo has a better mentality this season, and even though he may start in Triple-A, that’s not a bad offensive player to have on the back burner. Mike Napoli returns to the team on a one-year deal. In three seasons with the Rangers, the 2012 All-Star catcher had 59 home runs, 141 RBI and has a career .277/.381/.548 slash line. Adrian Beltre is also on his way to joining the 3,000 hit club. And he will join that club.

The Houston Astros have always had the ingredients it takes to win a championship, they just can’t seem to make it happen. George Springer, Alex Bregman, and even Josh Reddick if he can get it together, along with a fraction of the 2015 Cy Young Dallas Keuchel could do it.

Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano and Mitch Haniger could carry their team to victory as well. The King needs to become what he used to be, and having a bit of a boost at Safeco Field could help. A career 3.16 ERA and hopefully a raise up in velocity could be the cherry on top to make this so.

Notables: Oakland A’s, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

About the author

Jessica Kleinschmidt

Jessica Kleinschmidt

Jessica is a sports writer with an obsession for baseball. You can catch her in the stands or in the media booth. She's the one with the big hair. In addition to Sportsnaut, Jessica has been featured on Bleacher Report, Fox Sports, and MLB Nation.