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Sunday, March 30, 2008

American League Preview

Yesterday I got the National League, so here's my predictions for the American League

AL East

1. Boston Red Sox (97-65)-
There are some questions about the rotation, but Dice-K will take a step up this year and the offense and bullpen are both excellent. They'll make it back to the playoffs.

2. New York Yankees (88-74)- Their counting on two guys who are essentially rookies (Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy) and two guys who are essentially dead (Andy Pettite, Mike Mussina) to key the rotation. I like Joe Girardi's ability to coax some success out of the youngsters, but this rotation and an aging lineup (Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera are the only starters under 31) will keep them out of the playoffs for the first time since 1994.

3. Tampa Bay Rays (84-78)- I know, I'm batshit crazy, but I like Kazmir, Shields, and Garza in the rotation (assuming Kazmir gets back from his injury soon), and they have a solid lineup with Carlos Pena, Carl Crawford, Cliff Floyd, and BJ Upton.

4. Toronto Blue Jays (82-80)- They have some potential in the rotation, but they're injury prone. Scott Rolen sucks offensively these days and he's already hurt. They think David Eckstein will help because he's a "gamer". At least they have Matt Stairs.

5. Baltimore Orioles (64-98)- Fuck Andy MacFail. This team sucks. I won't even describe it for you. Just look at the roster.

AL Central

1.Detroit Tigers (95-67)-
They have some shakiness in the bullpen without Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney, but the rotation is solid 1-5 and they'll score 1,000 runs. No exaggeration.

2. Cleveland Indians (92-70)- CC Sabathia could possibly be better in his free agent year than last year when he won the Cy. I don't think Fausto Carmona was a fluke, and I think Travis Hafner rebounds from a so-so year to lead their extremely good offense. If I could trade Felix Pie and my dreams for Grady Sizemore, I'd do it.

3. Chicago White Sox (77-85)-
They're starting Joe Crede over Josh Fields, hoping someone will trade for Crede, they're secretly shopping Paul Konerko. This team has fire sale written all over it. They'll blow it up and start from scratch.

4. Minnesota Twins (73-89)- They sent Fransisco Liriano down to the minors to build up strength. There's really not much to be excited about here, but there never is with the Twins. They're a few years away from building back up to contention.

5. Kansas City Royals (71-91)- They have three middle of the rotation starters who will give them some quality innings (Meche, Bannister, Greinke), but you could wander through Kenya and find a place with more power than their lineup.

AL West

1. Seattle Mariners (89-73)-
I think Felix Hernandez has a huge year in their rotation, but it's Erik Bedard who will make them contenders. They need a big rebound from Richie Sexson to score consistently, but I think they'll do just enough.

2. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California, 90210 (86-76)- They have potential for a good offense in Guerrero/Hunter/Anderson/Rivera/Kendrick, but John Lackey is out for at least a month and Kelvim Escobar's shoulder may require season ending surgery. I don't think there's enough pitching left after that.

3. Oakland Athletics (76-86)- Their rebuilding, and will probably deal Rich Harden, Joe Blanton, or both during the season. They have a potential star in Daric Barton. Other than that, not much too look forward to in Oakland (is there ever?).

4. Texas Rangers (72-90)- I expect them to shop Hank Blalock as soon as he proves he's healthy, their pitching rotation needs career years from Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla just to hope for .500. Josh Hamilton was a good pick-up, though.

Division Winners- Boston, Detroit, Seattle
Wild Card- Cleveland.
AL MVP- Miguel Cabrera, Tigers. Runner Up- David Ortiz, Red Sox
AL Cy Young- Justin Verlander, Tigers. Runner Up- CC Sabathia, Indians.
AL ROTY- Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox. Runner Up- Daric Barton, A's.

Division Series-
Cubs over Mets AL- Red Sox over Indians
Phillies over Rockies Tigers over Mariners

Cubs over Phillies ALCS- Tigers over Red Sox

World Series- Cubs over Tigers. Honestly, who the hell else did you think I was going to take?

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