AL West preview: Astros still reign supreme, even with defending champion Rangers

The Texas Rangers and Houston Astros staged a dramatic intrastate American League Championship Series last October, with the Corey Seager-led Rangers winning a seven-game classic, in which the home team lost every game, en route to their first World Series title.

A repeat engagement is entirely possible, as the Rangers and Astros, who boast two of the deepest lineups in the league and highly capable rotations, join the pitching-rich Baltimore Orioles, a burgeoning power in the AL East, at the top of the class.

The Seattle Mariners, who sport one of the best rotations in the league and a dynamic young star in center fielder Julio Rodríguez, should contend for a playoff spot, while the Shohei Ohtani-less Angels will be hard-pressed to end their nine-year playoff drought and string of eight consecutive losing seasons.

The Oakland Athletics? Don’t ask.

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