Sunday, March 9, 2008

MLB Previews: California Angels

California Angels Last season: 94-68, .580, won AL West, lost in ALDS to Red Sox 2008 Outlook: The Angels had the best home record (54-27) in the majors and will try to build on that with solid pitching and power hitting. The additions of Jon Garland, who was acquired from the White Sox for shortstop Orlando Cabrera, and Torii Hunter (from Minnesota via free agency) add to their potent lineup. The Angels are the choice to win the AL West title again. Biggest Changes: Putting Hunter in center field gives the Halos plenty of options with outfielders Gary Matthews Jr., Vladimir Guerrero and Garret Anderson rotating in the other outfield positions. Vlad and Anderson will get more DH time. Garland replaces Bartolo Colon in the rotation. Rookie/Free Agent Prospects: Juan Rivera could be odd-man-out in the congested outfield, or he may edge past Matthews and get some deserved playing time. Either Erick Aybar or Maicer Izturis will end up the everyday shortstop. Best fantasy bets: Vladimir Guerrero is coming off a sub-par year in terms of home runs (27), though his 125 RBI were the third-best of his career. Expect similar production from this fantasy fixture. Torri Hunter should have a banner year in all offensive categories. John Lackey may not have the greatest stats, but he'll produce 15-21 wins. Chone Figgins batted .330, stole 41 bases and scored 81 runs in just 115 games in 2007. Three Excellent Links: Angels Fan Forum Halos Heaven Blog Nolan Ryan: the Angels Years Next: Seattle Mariners

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