Predicted finish, records

Rangers Angels Athletics Mariners 87-7586-7678-8461-101

Pennants, wild cards since 1995: 2, 3

Average payroll: $99.3 million (third of six divisions)

Manager with World Series rings: Mike Scioscia ('02)

Players with MVP awards: Josh Hamilton ('10), Ichiro Suzuki ('01).

Pitchers with Cy Young awards: Felix Hernandez ('10)

Possible high fantasy picks: Hamilton, Hernandez, Ian Kinsler, Trevor Cahill.

2011 awards

MVP: Adrian Beltre, Rangers. Just try to get a grounder past Beltre and shortstop Elvis Andrus — and Beltre could drive in 100. His decision to join the Rangers after turning down the Angels will swing the balance of power just as surely as Vladimir Guerrero's defection from Anaheim to the Rangers did in 2010. Worth considering: Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Vernon Wells.

Cy Young: Hernandez, Mariners. When he's on, hitting is out of the question. Worth considering: Jered Weaver, Ervin Santana, C.J. Wilson, Gio Gonzalez.

Rookie of the Year:

Michael Pineda, Mariners. Won a rotation spot in spring training. Will benefit from Safeco Field. Worth considering: Mark Trumbo, Michael Kirkman, Dustin Ackley.

Manager of the Year: Scioscia, Angels. He doesn't have the horses he did through 2009, but he and his staff will find a way to stay neck and neck with the loaded Rangers.

Nine questions


Why didn't Cliff Lee (right) want to come back to Texas? That's a great question, as it seemed a good fit and the Rangers went the extra mile to try to keep him. Most think he didn't like pitching at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, where his ERA suffered.


Why didn't the Rangers replace him? They explored trades for Zack Greinke and Matt Garza but were reluctant to give up top prospects, settling for trying to improve their fielding with the acquisition of Beltre.


Are the Angels trying? No, but Arte Moreno might be the only owner in baseball trying to keep down ticket prices. He lost out on free agent bids for Carl Crawford and Beltre before reluctantly trading for Wells.


Is there really going to be a Billy Beane movie? Amazingly, yes. The "Moneyball" story will be coming to a theater near you soon, even if the punchless A's are still a small tree on the baseball landscape.


Does Suzuki matter? Not really. He's a Hall of Famer for sure and always a pleasure to watch, but his loyalty to the Mariners has kept us from seeing if he's still a competitor.


Who's the most underrated player? It's a four-way tie between the Angels' top three starters — Weaver, Santana and Dan Haren — and Joel Pineiro is a very good

No. 4. Weaver might have a Cy Young run in him this season, and the Angels' rotation could be strong enough to lift an otherwise average team into the playoffs.


Did Nolan Ryan reject Chuck Greenberg's friend request? You could say that. The Greenberg era in Rangers ownership lasted only seven months as Greenberg too often left Ryan scratching his head. But the bad marriage sure bore fruit in September and October.


Antlers or Claws? Hopefully neither. Opposing teams will start retaliating if the Rangers' players continue to act like kindergartners after clutch hits and bits of aggressive baserunning.


Can the A's be this season's Rangers? Absolutely. They have the pitching to win and could get help from newcomers David DeJesus, Josh Willingham and Hideki Matsui. They still need another lift, which could come from power-hitting prospect Chris Carter or a midseason trade.

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