Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Josh Hamilton looks to return Texas to the World Series in 2012
(Note: This is assuming that there will only be one wildcard team in 2012)
It's hard to pick against Texas. This is a team that's been to the last two World Series, though they failed to win either one. Still, it seems as though L.A. has moved itself forward, while Texas stayed dormant.
However, a dormant Texas team is still a very good one.
With Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz in the lineup, Texas is still potent offensively going into the 2012 season. Furthermore, the Rangers have one of the best bullpens in all of baseball, an extremely underrated commodity.
The loss of CJ Wilson has to leave a gaping hole in Texas' rotation going forward. Without an ace, it seems as though the Rangers could struggle from a pitching standpoint this season. However, as we saw last year when the Rangers lost Cliff Lee to free agency, an ace may not be all that necessary when you have the depth that Texas does.
As mentioned earlier, L.A. has taken huge strides this offseason. While offseason moves in no way guarantee a successful season, one would have to think that the Angels have the best chance of winning the AL West.
Meanwhile, Texas will have to worry about Boston—a team that was the best in baseball prior to its September collapse—as well as Tampa.
The Rangers are a team that could win the AL West, although it probably won't. The wildcard, however, isn't much of a reach for the defending American League Champions.