Fantasy Baseball: AL West Burning Questions

Ryan Lester@LestersLegendsSenior Writer IJanuary 7, 2010

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 18:  Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners is mobbed by teammates after hitting a game winning two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the New York Yankees 3-2 on September 18, 2009 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

1. Will Hideki Matsui continue to produce? 
He will turn 36 years old this summer so expectations should be tempered. He’s also leaving the home run haven that is Yankee Stadium. Plus, the Angels’ lineup is not as formidable as the Yankees was. Given his injury risk and new home, he’s a player I would avoid in 2010.

2. Will Scott Kazmir continue to pitch well for the Angels?
After a miserable 2009 with Tampa Bay, Kazmir pitched well for the Halos posting a 1.73 ERA in six starts. He is always an injury risk, but should post a low ERA. Getting away from the Yankees and Red Sox should help. Don’t expect a ton of strikeouts from Kazmir though, as 2007 was more the exception than the rule.

3. Outside of Kurt Suzuki, will the A’s have any decent fantasy players on offense?
Rajai Davis will get you a bunch of stolen bases. Other than that it’s a crapshoot. The only dark horse is Jake Fox, who could possibly put up a bunch of home runs for Oakland.

4. Will Jose Lopez have a monster year?
With Ichiro and Chone Figgins setting the table, Lopez should have plenty of RBI opportunities. He averaged 92.5 RBI the past two years, and should go over the 100 mark this year.

5. Will Ichiro win the batting title?
With Chone Figgins hitting behind him and Joe Mauer playing in a new ballpark, I think Ichiro is the favorite to take home the batting crown.

6. Will Chris Davis bounce back?
Davis was everyone’s darling last year and he fell short of expectations thanks to his .238 average.

He still managed to hit 21 home runs though and was a force in September and October hitting .318 with 5 home runs and 21 RBI in 110 at-bats. Look for him to be better in 2010.

7. How will the move to Texas affect Rich Harden?
He’s pitched in the AL West before so he has a brief track record at Ranger Ballpark. It’s not pretty though. In five starts he has a 7.66 ERA, a 2.01 WHIP, and a .330 BAA.

Couple that with his injury history and he’s a player I’d avoid on draft day unless he came at an absolute bargain.

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