Oakland A's, LA Angels: The Fight For The West

Joseph LopezCorrespondent IJanuary 17, 2009

The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox may own baseball's best rivalry, but there's something developing between two California baseball teams.

The Oakland Athletics, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are quietly duking it out year in and year out—yet no one seems to notice. Although the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry is great, the A's-Angels rivalry seems to be heating up.

Over the past couple of years, both teams have been fighting for the AL West crown, and whenever the two teams go head-to-head, the game is usually close and exciting.

This year should be no different, except the fact that the A's will give the Angels all they've got. The A's bolstered their lineup this season by adding Matt Holliday and Jason Giambi. The Angels, however, have yet to upgrade and seem content with their team as it is.

A's GM, Billy Beane, seems to think the A's can contend in 2009—the additions of Holliday and Giambi back up this theory. The A's had a horrible offense in 2008, but Beane seemed to address most of the teams' offensive needs. With Holliday and Giambi the A's have a much better offense compared to last year's bunch. The Angels lost K-Rod, Mark Teixeira and Garret Anderson—all of course, contributed in some capacity to the the team's success in 2008.

Although the Angels are favored to win the division due in part to their strong pitching, the A's are acting as though they are ready for a playoff run. Can the A's contend? Yes. Of course they can. Will they win the West? Maybe. Maybe not.

The A's will be able to get their payback against the defending AL West Champs in April at Angel Stadium for Opening Day. The game should be low scoring, but very exciting to watch.