Rob Carr/Getty Images
After facing off in the 2011 World Series, Hamilton (middle) and Pujols (right) are two of the best hitters in baseball and will produce monster numbers together.
Despite a few consecutive disappointing years, 2013 will be the year the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim get it all together.
This division is stacked, but the Angels will set themselves above the rest.
Most notably this offseason, the team signed 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton.
Hamilton and Pujols are the scariest righty-lefty power-hitting combo in the majors. The Angels also have Mark Trumbo and last year’s Rookie of the Year and MVP runner-up Mike Trout. As if that talent wasn’t daunting enough, this lineup is tough from top to bottom and very skilled on defense.
The pitching staff is solid, led by two aces, Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson.
As for the other teams in the division, they will each present a challenge. But for the newly added Houston Astros, any fewer than 100 losses will be a positive.
The reigning division champions, the Oakland Athletics, have not done much to improve. But then again, Billy Beane knows exactly what he is doing with his limited payroll, so you can never count them out.
The Seattle Mariners recently gave Felix Hernandez a seven-year $175 million contract. They've added a few respectable players in Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse, Robert Andino, Raul Ibanez and even Jason Bay.
Morales may surprise this year, but the Mariners are still just a good team in a great division.
The Texas Rangers lost Hamilton to the Angels and Michael Young to the Phillies. They have added a number of solid role players, but they do not seem as much of a contender as they have been in recent years. Age is slowly becoming a factor with them.
The Angels arguably have the top three hitters in baseball in Trout, Hamilton and Pujols. They also have a solid pitching staff and bullpen, so they should pull ahead late to win this division.