AL West prediction: Houston Astros
The Rangers may have gotten the last laugh in 2023, but top-to-bottom, the Houston Astros are still the team to beat in the West.
A rotation that features Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers Jr, and Jose Urquidy should keep them at the top of the division. They also have a strong bullpen that now features Josh Hader along with Ryan Pressly, Rafael Montero, and Bryan Abreu.
On the offensive side, it's the usual cast of characters. They may have lost Martin Maldonado in free agency, but they added a solid catcher in Victor Caratini. Jose Abreu, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Mauricio Dubon, Jeremy Pena, Yordan Alvarez, Chas McCormick, and Kyle Tucker make for a strong offensive core.
The AL West is another division in which nobody did much to usurp the defending champions from the top spot. You can't sleep on the Astros, especially after seven consecutive ALCS appearances.
We can probably expect to see the 'Stros make another deep run into the postseason and contend for their third World Series title since 2017.
They'll have competition in their division, but they can't be counted out as the 2024 season draws near and spring training approaches.