AL WEST WINNER Oakland-The athletics have a nice mix of young hitting and pitching to win this division. They always seem to do more than expected with their pitching prospects.The addition of Holliday should make this a much tougher lineup, Eric Chavez health is always a concern. Billy Beane is a proven GM and has a good young core in place. This team might be a stretch but look at Tampa Bay last year.
CONTENDER-I like the Angels to contend, but I think they are due for a let down after last years choke job. Their lack of a closer and another year from an older core of players makes me cautious about anointing them this division. Although they do have the most talent in the division and some young talent in the mix, their lack of finishing last year left a bad taste in my mouth. Had arguably the most talented team in MLB last year and failed to advance in the playoffs. If not for the Cubs this team would have had the worst playoff run.
AL CENTRAL WINNER Cleveland-Due for a comeback season. The addition of a legit closer and a clutch hitter like DeRosa will add immediate impact to this ball club. Strong rotation and strong bullpen. They finished the year extremely strong even with little to no production out of key players due to injuries in their middle of their line up. Only issues involve the health of their roster. If healthy should win division.
CONTENTER-(Everyone else) Maximized their talent last season. Ozzie Guillen has won 90 or more games in 4 out of 5 years. However, The White Sox have too many question marks in their rotation. Also, have too much mileage out of their core (Thome, Konerko, and Dye). Although have found quality young players in Quentin and Ramirez. Will need solid years from unproven players (Viciedo, Fields, Anderson & Jerry Owens) to win the division for a consecutive season.
Twins-well managed ball club. Solid in their rotation and in the middle of the lineup. Although Mauer's health might be a concern. Good team speed and team IQ. Good young player development to fill any holes in their lineup. They always seem to do more with less.
Tigers and Kansas City, no where to go but up in a very average division.
AL EAST WINNER Yankee's it hard to argue with a team who has committed this kind of money this off-season. Added best hitter available this off season. Solid veteran ball club, with proven superstars in all key positions. Missed the playoffs last season, so will have a lot to play for going into this year. Solid rotation and solid bullpen, added best pitcher available in off season. Although not managed by a proven winner. Will have unlimited resources available to throw and any issues that might arise throughout the season
WILDCARD Tampa Bay-Best young core of players in MLB baseball. Tampa Bay has an unlimited ceiling with this young group. Added proven veteran hitter in Burrell. Will need to bring their A game all season as they will not surprise teams this year. Solid rotation, strong bullpen, Experienced after reaching the WS.
CONTENDER Boston Red Sox- Committed to a new core of players (Bay, Youkilis, Pedroia, & JD Drew). Gone is the tandem of Ramirez and Ortiz. Ortiz has shown sign of slowing over the years. Strong starting rotation, however lots of work of the last few season, and interesting additions with Penny and Smoltz. Solid bullpen should be able to close most games.
NL predictions coming up next