New Arena senior writers Jason Fray, Dylan Fraychineaud, and Harris Ahmadzai will offer their divisional and World Series predictions — as well as major awards predictions — for the upcoming 2023 season.
American League West
DF: Houston Astros
The Astros have won the American League West five of the last six years. In that time, Houston has reached the World Series four times. Until someone knocks them off their perch atop the division, I cannot pick another team to win the West. The Astros are a machine.
HA: Houston Astros
While the rest of the division seems to have bolstered up, it’s going to be difficult for anybody to unseat the Astros. Losing Justin Verlander will sting, but there’s no lack of pitching depth in Houston. Replacing former Yuli Gurriel with former AL MVP Jose Abreu is a significant upgrade. Abreu should get plenty of chances to knock in runners in the middle of a stacked lineup.
JF: Houston Astros
The spine of this team remains relatively intact. Justin Verlander is gone — but he’s being replaced by the potential AL Rookie of the Year frontrunner in Hunter Brown. Also, veteran Jose Abreu was added to an already potent starting lineup. Until someone in the West (perhaps the Mariners?) kick Houston off its proverbial porch, there’s no reason to think they won’t win the division yet again.
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