AL West Preview: Forecast for Angels, Rangers, Athletics, Astros and Mariners

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AL West Preview: Forecast for Angels, Rangers, Athletics, Astros and Mariners
Rick Yeatts/Getty Images
Yu Darvish holds the key for the Texas Rangers in 2013.

One of the most exciting divisions in baseball heading into 2013 is the American League West. There is a clear separation between the three teams at the top, with Texas, Oakland and Los Angeles the cream of the crop, and Seattle and Houston bringing up the rear. 

Despite losing Josh Hamilton and Michael Young—though some would argue that the latter was more of a detriment to the team on the field the last few years—the Rangers are still very much in the thick of the division race. 

Some are underestimating the depth the Rangers have in the big leagues and at the high levels of the minors, including baseball's top prospect, Jurickson Profar, when looking at them heading into this season. 

Oakland got a lot of great performances from its young pitching staff last season, as well as some surprise seasons from the likes of Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss, en route to winning the division last season. 

The Angels made a lot of big moves the last two seasons, signing Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton and trading for Zack Greinke (who signed with the other Los Angeles team this offseason), and have grand designs on making it back to the postseason for the first time since 2009. 

Seattle is trying to improve its offense by bringing in old players who don't command a lot of money, like Raul Ibanez and Jason Bay, hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. Houston is just trying to avoid being the worst team in baseball history this season. 

Here is a full look ahead at what to expect from the American League West in 2013, including what each team needs to happen, what could go wrong and final predicted standings for this season. 

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