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Prediction: 89-73 (second place, AL West)
The Angels won 89 games in 2012. With the additions of Josh Hamilton, Jason Vargas, Tommy Hanson, Joe Blanton and Ryan Madson over the winter many are expecting them to win more in 2013. I don't.
The star power they have in their lineup is undeniable. Hamilton, Albert Pujols and Mike Trout represent perhaps the best trio of hitters in the league, and the rest of their offense is solid. But I have major concerns about their pitching.
Consider their rotation: Jered Weaver is a legitimate ace but missed time in 2012 with injury and has seen a decrease in the velocity of his fastball the last couple of years, which makes me wonder if he'll be the same pitcher in 2013.
Jason Vargas, acquired from the Mariners, has been an average starter in one of the best stadiums for starting pitchers. In fact, Vargas has a career 3.49 ERA at Safeco Field and 5.23 at all other parks. What will his numbers look like when he's not pitching half of his games in Seattle?
At age 26, Tommy Hanson has great potential but has only made more than 30 starts once in his four seasons in the majors. Joe Blanton is an average starter at best and will be the Angels' fifth starter.
If anyone gets hurt, which is probable over the course of 162 games with a couple of injury-prone starters, the team's starting pitching depth is poor and a subpar option would have to start games against good offenses like the Rangers and Athletics.
The Angels are going to score runs, but I don't think they have the pitching talent or depth to stay in the race with the Rangers. I still think they'll finish ahead of the Athletics and with a chance to play in the AL Wild Card playoff, but I don't believe the addition of Josh Hamilton puts them over the top in a strong division.