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AL West Betting Preview

Even though it might only come down to be a two-horse race, the battle for the AL West crown this year should be a dandy.

The Texas Rangers have won the West (and the American League pennant) the last two seasons, but their main competition, the Los Angeles Angels, opened their fat wallet this off-season and brought in a big bopper from the National League and stole away one of the Rangers' starting pitchers.

Let the fun begin.

Here's a quick look at the 2012 AL West betting board as posted at Bovada.

ADVERTISEMENT: Bet the Texas Rangers to upset the Angels in AL West odds action - check out the latest at Bovada.

Los Angeles leads the betting at Bovada to win the West this season at a price of -125. LA has actually missed the playoffs the last two seasons, mainly because of a middle-of-the-road offensive attack.

With that in mind, the Angles stepped up and made the big free-agent signing of this off-season, luring Albert Pujols away from St. Louis. And as if that wasn't enough, LA also signed former Rangers starter CJ Wilson, who will join a rotation that already includes Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.

And after a year and a half on the DL the Angels finally get back OF Kendry Morales. No wonder expectations are sky-high in Anaheim.

Texas is the second favorite on the Bovada AL West board at +100. The Rangers have won 90 and 96 games the last two years, and last fall got within a strike a couple of times of winning the World Series.

This off-season Texas lost Wilson, but tossed out over $100 million to sign Japanese star Yu Darvish. And they're hoping to squeeze another good year (or more) out of former Twin closer Joe Nathan. The Rangers will continue to score runs, but they'll only go as far as their pitching takes them.

Next up, Bovada is offering the Oakland A's at +3,000 on its AL West betting board. Moneyball looks as if it might have run its course. Oakland hasn't had a winning season since 2006, and while they had been stockpiling some young talent, they didn't (or couldn't) wait for it to mature, and traded a bunch away this off-season.

The A's did sign Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes, who should be their big bat the next few years, but they're still going to have trouble scoring runs, again.

And finally we have the Seattle Mariners, who are getting +4,000 to win the AL West this season at Bovada. Talk about having trouble scoring runs; Seattle posted a team batting average of .233 last year, and there's no guarantee that will be any better this year. Poor Felix Hernandez.