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American League West – MLB Division Guide

When betting on the MLB, it pays to know as much as possible about the teams involved. You also need to have a handle on the numbers. Stats are useful for sports gambling in general, but especially so for baseball betting.

That’s why we’ve compiled guides for each of the divisions in the MLB. They’re handy references when planning your MLB bets before and during the season.

Here, you can learn about all the teams in the AL West, including their recent records and key stats. We’ve covered some history and statistics for the division as a whole, too.

We’ll start by showing you where you can find all our latest advice for betting on the American League West division.

AL West Betting in 2021

Our resident baseball betting experts provide valuable content for bettors the whole year round. They share their insight and analysis before, during, and after each season.

For the latest American League West odds, roster and coach assessments, AL West predictions, and more, visit our MLB blog.

We break down everything you need to know to help you find the best AL West bets each year. Here are our most recent posts.

While an MLB season is active, we also provide daily betting picks for individual games.

Visit our MLB picks section or see below for our latest selections.

Houston Astros

Houston Astros Key Info

Houston Astros logo
  • Established: 1962
  • Ballpark: Minute Maid Park
  • AAA Affiliate: Sugar Land Skeeters
  • World Series Titles: 1 (2017)
  • Value: 85 Billion (Forbes, 2020)
  • Official Houston Astros Website

No matter how much this franchise achieves, the Astros’ image will be forever tarnished.

Their lone World Series title (2017) is marred, and everything they achieved in 2018 and 2019 has an asterisk attached. Houston’s elaborate sign-stealing cheating scandal won’t ever go away.

This organization dates back to before anyone called the team the “Astros.” The Houston Colt .45s were formed in 1962 and played in Colt Stadium. In 1965, the club changed its name to the Astros on the heels of opening up a new stadium, the Astrodome.

A fun fact about the Astrodome is that it was the world’s first sports stadium that was fully-enclosed. Construction took more than three years to complete. Opened as Harris County Domed Stadium, it quickly earned the nickname the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”

The ’Stros played home games here until Minute Maid Park opened at the start of the 2000 season.

Despite not a ton of team success throughout the 90s, the Astros were blessed with two stalwarts in the right side of their infield for the entirety of the decade.

Craig Biggio played 20 seasons of professional baseball (1988-2007) – all in Houston. The 7x All-Star and 5x Silver Slugger led the league in several different categories during his tenure in Space City, but one stat stands out that perfectly described Craig’s willingness.

Biggio was hit by a pitch 285 times in his career, the second-most of any player in the history of the league (Hughie Jennings was hit 287 times between 1891-1918).  

Jeff Bagwell also played his entire MLB career in Houston (1991-2005), a career highlighted by some incredibly stellar numbers across the board.

Jeff Bagwell’s Career at the Dish
Batting Avg. On-Base % Home Runs Doubles RBI Runs
.297 .408 449 388 1,529 1,517

Bagwell’s MVP season in 1994 was cut short due to the strike, limiting the Astros 1B to just 110 games and 400 at-bats. It’s a shame because Jeff was batting .368 and had already racked up 39 homers and 116 RBI.

Throw in Derek Bell and later Lance Berkman. That’s how the “Killer B’s” came to be.

Recent Records and Stats for the Houston Astros

Houston’s first winning seasons didn’t occur until 1972, and they didn’t qualify for postseason play until 1980.

Of their four seasons compiling at least 100 regular-season victories, three occurred when they were “cheating.”

Season Wins Losses AL West Finish Playoffs Batting Avg. Home Runs ERA
2020 29 31 2nd Lost in ALCS .240 69 4.31
2019 107 55 1st Lost in WS .274 288 3.66
2018 103 59 1st Lost in ALCS .255 205 3.11
2017 101 61 1st Won WS .282 238 4.12

Whether it’s fair or not, the Astros have advanced to the ALCS in each of the last four seasons.

They led the MLB in team BA in 2017 and 2019, and their 3.11 ERA in 2018 was tops in baseball. In fact, it was significantly lower than anyone else in the American League.

Once Houston was exposed in 2020 and hitters could no longer rely on being alerted what pitch was coming next, their ability to consistently get on base was significantly diminished.

Los Angeles Angels

Los Angeles Angels Key Info

Los Angeles Angels logo

One of two teams that were part of the 1961 MLB expansion, this squad was recognized as the Los Angeles Angels until the summer of 1965. From that point until 1996, they were called the California Angels. In 1997 they transitioned to the Anaheim Angels, then reverted to the Los Angeles Angels in 2005.

The Angels’ lack of success between 1961 and 2001 is glaring.

The Halos did not celebrate their first division title until 1979, and they played in a total of three American League Championship Series during their first 40 years of existence. They didn’t reach the World Series until 2002, which to this day remains as their only WS appearance.

Ironically, since Mike Trout hit the scene in 2011, the Angels haven’t won a single playoff game. Believe it or not, getting swept by the Royals in the 2014 ALDS is the only playoff experience Trout has on his resume. Which makes Mike’s list of accolades that much more impressive.

Mike Trout – Finish in AL MVP Voting
Year AL MVP Voting
2020 5th
2019 1st
2018 2nd
2017 4th
2016 1st
2015 2nd
2014 1st
2013 2nd
2012 2nd

We could go on and on raving about Trout’s proficiency as a five-tool player, but it’s summed up best by stating that he’s on his way to becoming one of the best outfielders of all time.

Now for a brief snippet regarding the Angels managers. They’ve only had three different men at the helm since 1999. That includes Brad Ausmus, who only spent one season in the Angels dugout (2019).

Joe Maddon was hired in 2020 – his third stint as the Angels skipper (1996, 1999). Mike Scioscia was running the ship for 19 years before the one-year experiment with Ausmus.

Scioscia was twice named as the league’s Manager of the Year (2002, 2009), an award Maddon has claimed three times thus far (2008, 2011, 2015).

Recent Records and Stats for the LA Angels

Baseball fans in Anaheim have gotten used to mediocrity.

Having said that, the hope is that signing Anthony Rendon and further developing Shohei Ohtani will be the key ingredients into being relevant in the AL West betting picture.

Season Wins Losses AL West Finish Playoffs Batting Avg. Home Runs ERA
2020 26 34 3rd No .248 85 5.09
2019 72 90 4th No .247 220 5.12
2018 80 82 4th No .242 214 4.15
2017 80 82 2nd No .243 186 4.20

The Angels have been consistent at the plate. The problem is, they’ve been consistently below average.

They haven’t hit a ton of home runs, relatively, and their team ERA has gotten progressively worse. From 12th in the league in 2017 to 19th in 2018, LA clocked in 25th in team ERA in 2019 and 2020.

Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics Key Info

Oakland Athletics logo
  • Established: 1901
  • Ballpark: Oakland Coliseum
  • AAA Affiliate: Las Vegas Aviators
  • World Series Titles: 9 (1910, 1911, 1913, 1929, 1930, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1989)
  • Value: 1 Billion (Forbes, 2020)
  • Official Oakland Athletics Website

If you remove the Yankees from the equation, only the Cardinals (11) have won more World Series than the Athletics (9).

Five of those titles were accumulated by 1930, and three came in succession (1972-1974).

Winning three straight Fall Classics is a rare feat that only one other franchise can claim (New York Yankees). The A’s three WS titles in the 70s were bookended with trips to the ALCS, alluding to their dominance in this era.

Speaking of the Yankees, Reggie Jackson helped carry the Athletics offense well before he started hitting dingers in the Big Apple.

“Mr. October” won both the regular-season and World Series MVP awards in 1973. The 1973 A’s team featured a trio of pitchers who won at least 20 games (Jim “Catfish” Hunter, Vida Blue, Ken Holtzman), and Rollie Fingers would later win an MVP and Cy Young award as a closer.

In other words, the A’s were LOADED in the 70s – specifically in ’73. After a bit of a lull, they got good again in the late 80s under the guidance of Tony La Russa. This coincided with the arrival of the “Bash Brothers.”

Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire immediately began ripping the cover off the baseball and won back-to-back AL ROY honors (’86 and ’87). Shortstop Walt Weiss won the AL Rookie of the Year in 1988, giving the A’s three consecutive ROTYs.

Beginning in ’88, Oakland played in three straight World Series again, only this time, they won one and lost two.

Rickey Henderson wasn’t a part of those teams, but Dennis Eckersley was. Like Rollie Fingers, “Eck” took home the MVP and CY Young award in the same season as a relief pitcher (1992).

Recent Records and Stats for the Oakland Athletics

The Athletics winning % since 2018 is among the best in baseball.

They’ve been fairly average at the plate during that stretch, but they’ve been dynamite on the bump.

Season Wins Losses AL West Finish Playoffs Batting Avg. Home Runs ERA
2020 36 24 1st Lost in ALDS .225 71 3.77
2019 97 65 2nd Lost in WC .249 257 3.97
2018 97 65 2nd Lost in WC .252 227 3.81
2017 75 87 5th No .246 234 4.67

One of five teams to register a team ERA under 4.00 in each of the last three years, Oakland has prided itself on being efficient on the mound.

This should once again be the case in 2021, it’s the hitting that remains a question mark.

Oakland dealt Khris Davis to Texas for Elvis Andrus in February in hopes of becoming more well-rounded on offense.

Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners Key Info

Seattle Mariners logo

The M’s are one of six teams still searching for their first World Series title. However, Seattle is the only MLB franchise yet to appear in a World Series.

They’ve won the AL West three times and have won their fair share of games. They’ve just never been able to get over the hump and capture an AL Pennant.

Instead of simply stating that the Mariners have won their fair share of games, though, let’s give Seattle the credit they deserve.

The Mariners won 116 games in 2001 – tying the 1931 Chicago Cubs for the most regular-season victories of all-time. Four everyday starters hit over .300 that year, three guys had at least 110 RBI, and four pitchers recorded 15 or more wins.

Edgar Martinez was rock solid, sporting a blistering .423 OBP, and Brett Boone put together one of the best offensive seasons you’ll ever see from a second baseman (.331/37 HR/242 RBI).

Nevertheless, their best player that season was, without a doubt, Ichiro Suzuki. Here are some of the numbers he racked up.

  • 242 Hits
  • 56 Stolen Bases
  • .350 Batting Average

He was the league leader for each of these stats.

Ichiro won the AL Rookie of the Year and the AL MVP, and he was just getting started. Three years later Suzuki belted out 262 hits – breaking the all-time MLB record for most hits in a season.

Even breaking a coveted record that stood for 84 years wasn’t enough to catapult Ichiro to the top of the Mariners hierarchy. The honor belongs to Ken Griffey Jr.

630 home runs and 10 Gold Gloves hints at “The Kid’s” greatness, but the easiest way to sum up Griffey’s contributions is by studying his HOF induction in 2016. Junior received 99.3% of the votes on his first ballot, leaving just one question.

What the heck were 0.7% of the voters thinking?

Recent Records and Stats for the Seattle Mariners

Other than an 89-win season in 2018, there’s not much to celebrate in terms of recent Mariner’s success.

They haven’t played a postseason game since their magical run in 2001, and they’ve logged just five winning seasons since 2003.

Season Wins Losses AL West Finish Playoffs Batting Avg. Home Runs ERA
2020 27 33 3rd No .226 60 4.98
2019 68 94 5th No .237 239 4.99
2018 89 73 3rd No .254 176 4.13
2017 78 84 3rd No .259 200 4.46

It’s been especially ugly in Seattle the last two seasons.

When your ERA is pushing 5.00, and you’re hitting well under .240 as a team, it’s hard to remain competitive.

Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers Key Info

Texas Rangers logo
  • Established: 1961
  • Ballpark: Globe Life Field
  • AAA Affiliate: Round Rock Express
  • World Series Titles: 0
  • Value: 75 Billion (Forbes, 2020)
  • Official Texas Rangers Website

Two World Series appearances in 60 years of existence suggest that this team has been bad, but that’s not necessarily the case. Texas won 51.9% of their games in the 1990s and 52.0% of their games in the 2010s. 

Originating as the Washington Senators in 1961, it was not until 1972 that the team moved from D.C. to Arlington. Up until reaching the World Series in 2010 and 2011, the Rangers had never won a playoff series in the history of their franchise.

To take that one step further, Texas had won just a single playoff game (1-9) going into the 2010 campaign. This wasn’t due to not trying hard enough, and it certainly had nothing to do with not spending enough money.

Case in point – when Alex Rodriguez signed a 10-year/$252 million contract with the Rangers in 2000, it was the richest contract in sports history.

A-Rod went on to put up video-game-like numbers for three years in Arlington before getting traded to the Yankees.

Alex Rodriguez Batting Stats with the Rangers
Year Batting Avg. Home Runs RBI Runs Slugging %
2001 .318 52 135 133 .622
2002 .300 57 142 125 .623
2003 .298 47 118 124 .600

The bad news is the Rangers never won more than 73 games with Rodriguez on the team, nor did they ever finish better than 4th in the AL West standings.

Alex was the fourth Texas player to win a league MVP, joining Jeff Burroughs (1974), Juan Gonzalez (1996, 1998), and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez (1999).

Juan hit 42 or more homers in five different seasons, and Pudge is one of the three best catchers of all time.

Texas began playing home games in Globe Life Field in 2020 – a stunning facility that cost a cool $1.1 billion to construct. Globe Life Field hosted the 2020 NLCS and the 2020 World Series.

Recent Records and Stats for the Texas Rangers

Texas hit rock-bottom in 2020.

The Rangers finished last in the American League in wins, batting average, on-base %, slugging, %, total bases, and runs scored.

Yikes.

Season Wins Losses AL West Finish Playoffs Batting Avg. Home Runs ERA
2020 22 38 5th No .217 62 5.02
2019 78 84 3rd No .248 223 5.06
2018 67 95 5th No .240 194 4.92
2017 78 84 4th No .244 247 4.66

It’s easy to pick on the Rangers hitters in recent memory, but it doesn’t take much digging to knock the dependability of their pitching. Or should we say, the lack thereof.

Texas is the only team in baseball that has posted an ERA north of 4.90 in each of the last three years.

Based on the look of their projected starting rotation, that trend is likely to continue in 2021.

Texas Rangers Projected Starting Pitching Rotation in 2021
Name Career ERA
Kyle Gibson 4.57
Jordan Lyles 5.22
Kohei Arihara N/A (Rookie)
Dane Dunning 3.97
Mike Foltynewicz 4.33

Perhaps this team should have thought twice before letting Lance Lynn and Corey Kluber walk.

AL West History

The White Sox, Royals, Twins, and Brewers were part of the original six teams in the American League West, along with the Angels and the Athletics.

Four of the six founding members are no longer incorporated into the AL West and have since been replaced by three other clubs.

  • Rangers joined in 1972
  • Mariners joined in 1977
  • Astros joined in 2013

Of the current five teams that make up the division landscape, Oakland has a substantial lead when it comes to AL West titles. 

Franchise AL West Titles Last AL West Title
Houston Astros 3 2019
Los Angeles Angels 9 2014
Oakland Athletics 17 2020
Seattle Mariners 3 2001
Texas Rangers 7 2016

We can’t reminisce about AL West history without referencing Nolan Ryan.

Forget about being inducted into one team’s Hall of Fame, “The Ryan Express” is a member of the Angels, Astros, and Rangers HOF. His jersey is retired in all three cities, and he’ll go down as one of the most dominant right-handed pitchers who has ever lived.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for his MLB record 5,714 strikeouts to be breached, and we’ll almost certainly never see another pitcher throw seven no-hitters. The only pitchers who have received more first-place votes on their way into Cooperstown are Mariano Rivera and Tom Seaver.

Nolan Ryan is a legend of the AL West Division.

AL West Division Stats and Records

There are a few different ways to bet on the AL West Division.

Preseason futures are common, which is betting on who wins the division before the season begins. Once the games get underway, you can start firing on the run line, money line, or the total for individual games.

Whatever AL West bets you plan to place, studying the stats and records from previous seasons should be part of your preparation.

AL West Stats for 2020
Team Straight-Up Winning % Run Line Cover % Over Record Over %
Astros 37-36 50.7 34-39 46.6 33-37-3 47.1
Angels 26-34 43.3 26-34 43.3 33-22-5 60.0
Athletics 39-28 58.2 33-34 49.2 31-34-2 47.7
Mariners 27-33 45.0 33-26 55.9 32-24-3 57.1
Rangers 22-38 36.7 25-35 41.7 30-25-5 54.5
AL West Stats for 2019
Team Straight-Up Winning % Run Line Cover % Over Record Over %
Astros 117-63 65.0 96-84 53.3 81-91-8 47.1
Angels 72-90 44.4 80-82 49.4 79-76-7 51.0
Athletics 97-66 59.5 91-72 55.8 71-89-3 44.4
Mariners 68-94 42.0 80-82 49.4 87-68-7 56.1
Rangers 78-84 48.1 86-76 53.1 75-83-4 47.5
AL West Stats for 2018
Team Straight-Up Winning % Run Line Cover % Over Record Over %
Astros 107-63 62.9 87-83 51.2 75-86-9 46.6
Angels 80-82 49.4 72-90 44.4 71-82-9 46.4
Athletics 97-66 59.5 86-77 52.8 80-73-10 52.3
Mariners 89-73 54.9 79-83 48.8 79-81-2 49.4
Rangers 67-95 41.4 80-82 49.4 77-76-9 50.3

The online betting sites have made a killing on the Astros totals since 2018. Generally speaking, the public keeps betting the overs and the unders keep hitting.

And before you pull the trigger on Los Angeles covering the run line, know that the Halos have been a disaster ATS over the last three years (178-206).

More AL West betting data to account for is the fact that the Angels and Mariners finished “1-2” in the league in terms of games going over in 2020.

Anyone who was parlaying the overs in Seattle with the Mariners on the run line would have walked away with a pretty penny. 

Recent AL West Winners
Team Winner Regular-Season Record
2020 Oakland Athletics 36-24
2019 Houston Astros 107-55
2018 Houston Astros 103-59
2017 Houston Astros 101-61
2016 Texas Rangers 95-67
2015 Texas Rangers 88-74
2014 Los Angeles Angels 98-64
2013 Oakland Athletics 96-66
2012 Oakland Athletics 94-68
2011 Texas Rangers 96-66
2010 Texas Rangers 90-72

The Angels are the odd man out with just one division title since 2010.

LA won the AL West in 2004 and 2005 before reeling off three division titles in a row between 2007-2009.

It’s difficult to imagine, but it’s almost as if Mike Trout has hexed this team’s chances of making any noise.

More MLB Division Guides

Odds, predictions, insight, stats, records, accomplishments, ATS data, and more. There is a lot of information to digest on this page, and our top baseball writers keep each segment updated

They also do the exact same thing for the other five divisions in Major League Baseball.

Check out our other MLB division guides if you want to expand your pro baseball knowledge even further.