Well here we are, another MLB season is underway. Its bound to be another great year, and I'm here to give you the most indepth preview on FanNation. Here's today's preview, the American League:
1. Boston Red Sox The World Series champs are back at it. The pitchings still there, even if Schilling won't, but the lineup should be great. Last season, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz had off seasons. Well, Ortiz's average should go back to normal, and Manny's in the last year of his contract, so be primed for an absolutely monstrous season. Add in the rookies developing more, and this years Sox should be better than ever. PREDICTION: 99-63.
2. New York Yankees Yes, another year of second place to the Yankees. Boy, how things change. Sure, they were the Wild card last year, but they made no improvements at all in the offseason. And this team will get a year worse when they get a year older. Sheffield, Jeter, Damon, Matsui, and the pitchers are all getting way up there. And the pitching sucks. But every year, the Yanks win way more games than you ever think they will. So I'm going with the intangibles. PREDICTION: 93-69.
3.Toronto Blue Jays This team is always curseed by a hard division. But quietly, the JAys are building a great team. Rolen and Eckstein have joined the lineup, and they added some great bench depth. They now have quite a few good hitters, and the pitching is incredibly deep. But they never can wuite make it, and the team usually under performs. But this team is going to be in it all year, but I just don't see them pulling through. 88-74.
4.Tampa Bay Rays Could this be the year? Remember when the Rays were in it for most of a season? Well, it'll be kinda like that this year. This team is gaining steam, and they have so many good young players. upton, Pena, Iwamura, Gomes, Kazmir, and Shields will all be pretty good. But they still have some very iffy parts of their lineup, and this team really has no playing experience. So they'll get hot during part of the summer, but will probably fall back. Still, a good year for the Deviless Rays. 77-85.
5.Baltimore Orioles UUUGGHH. this team has a lot of bad players. Kevin Millar? Adam Jones? Luke Scott? Brian Burres? Who are these people? TEjada's gone, and they were bad even with their stars. Markakis is a budding star, but other than that, this team is pretty barren. They lost 93 last year, and this team is even worse.And no bullpen, either? Wow, this is not good. This won't be the '96 team, not by a long shot. 66-96.
1. Cleveland Indians This team will be great. They won 96 games last year, and its only going to get better. Hafner, Jake Westbrook, and Cliff Lee had an off year last year, and Asdrubal Cabrera, Franky Gutierezz, and Ryan Garko are all on the upswing of their carreers. The pitching is phenomanal, the hitting will be great, and the bullpen is one of the best in baseball. They aren't very injury prone, either, and if Hafner has a huge year like I expect, this team will take off. 98-64.
2. Detroit Tigers Boy, this team can HIT! I've never seen a team better 1-9 than this years Tigers. Adding Cabrara to an all ready stacked lineup has produced a team than can hit for average, power, and can steal some big bases too. But there is the pitching. Past Verlander, the starters are very sketchy, I really can't trust any of them. An the bullpen is chock full of injuries, and even at their best, it still isn't better than the Tribe's. Sorry, pitching wins championships, but the offense will carry this team to the playoffs. 95-67, Wild Card.
3. Kansas City Royals Third place isn't that great in bad bottom of the division. They have some good young players, like Gordon and Butler, and the hitting shouldn't be that bad. The pitching isn't that bad, either, and they added Jose Guillen to hit some homers for them. So sure, they'll be better, but they won't break .500 likek some think. But 75 wins and 3rd place? Ya, that could work. 75-87.
4.Chicago White Sox Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Just three years ago, this team won the World Series. Now, they have some good hitters, like Thome and Konerko, but they have some AWFUL postition players. Jerry owens Joe Crede? Uggh, not good. And the pitching is a wreck, and could be even worse than we think. Sure, if these players would really good, they could overcome it. But I can't think of this team contending, not this year. It may be time for a rebuilding. 74-88
5.Minnesota Twins The Twins must have decided the time is now to rebuild. No more Torii hunter, Jacque Jones, Johan Santana, and others are now gone. And they are replaced by a slew of young, below average players. I love Delmon Young, but the others are basically nothing. Sure, Liriano is back, but we have no idea how he'll recover from the surgery. Basically, this team is all below average players who could be a nice 7 hitter or 4th starter but not much else. This team is so different from the great Twins teams of the early 00s. 72-90.
1.Anaheim Angels (Yes, not LA) Another pretty good Angels team. They added Torii hunter and John Garland, which should help, but injuries will be a bigger problem. Lackey and Escobar won't be ready to start the season, and Garret Anderson and Vlad have had some problems too. But you just can't argue against this teams talent. They have a very good mix of grizzled vets and young rising players. They have avery good mix of hitting and pitching, and if they aren;t bitten too hard by the injury bug, they should win another division title. 95-67.
2.Seattle Mariners Can they pull of their magic again? They added Berard to an already solid pitching staff, and they have a lot of above average players in their lineup. A year with the same manager should definitly help this team. I like a lot of these players, like Sexso, Beltre, and Jojima. Berdard's poised for a great year, too. But this team just doesn't quite measure up to the Tigers and Angels. But maybe they could pull it off. 91-71.
3.Texas Rangers Some people are counting out this team, but I just don't see it. they have Blalock, micheal Young, and budding star Josh hamilton. This team will probably hit, and has some solid depth too. But people say the pitching is too bad. Well, Kevin Millwood, Padilla, and Jason Jennings are all solid pitchers who will have solid seasons. They might not have that much depth, but it won't kill them. Their okay. Mediocre. That's it. 79-83.
4.Oakland A's U-G-L-Y. This team will not be good. This lineup will be starting Daric Barton, Chris Denorforia, Kurt Suzuki, and Travis Buck at the same time! Who? And the ace of the staff may be joe Blanton? This team is pathetic. Sure, they have Chavez, Cust, and Ellis, but they aren't really that good, and surrounded by these clowns, they won't help. I'd pick them to be worse, but I have to trust money ball a little bit. 68-94.
So the playoffs will pit Cleveland against Anaheim and Detroit vs. Boston. Next up, I'll break down the NL, the playoffs, and pick a World Series champion.