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Previewing the AL West

Editor's note: ESPN.com has teamed with ESPN The Magazine and the SweetSpot Blog Network to produce this year's preview capsules.

Baseball has become so unpredictable
that we needed to invent an entirely
new way of guessing what will happen
next. Below you'll find ESPN Insider Dan Szymborski's projections
for the likely range of every team's wins, based on projections for every
player on every roster. Why Dan, why now?
Because since he started doing this 10
years ago, Dan's median prediction has
been accurate within 6.5 wins, on average.

We also asked Szymborski to create a
new metric, the unpredictability index,
which gauges what version of hope fans of
every team should have. The metric is an
offshoot of Szymborski's ZiPS projection system -- a
sabermetric standard-bearer that factors
in age, injury history and statistical highs
and lows going back four years, and
makes its projections based on database
comparisons across MLB history. With it,
he sums up the volatility from 0 (what you
see is what you get) to 2 (who knows).

Meanwhile, Tim Kurkjian predicts division standings,
including wild-card teams, and offers up
the breakdowns that show how Szymborski's
best- and worst-case scenarios will play out.

Click on the links below to go directly to a capsule for each American League West team:

Los Angeles Angels | Oakland A's | Texas Rangers
Seattle Mariners | Houston Astros