Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Preview/Prediction: A.L. Central

I'm about fed up with Manny Ramirez not signing, I need to talk baseball.

The safest bet would be to begin with the A.L. Central. If Manny ends up there, shame on everyone. We should all just go home now.

I was just about completely ass-backwards last year with the Central. I picked the Tigers to win, the Royals to finish last, and the Indians, Twins, and ChiSox to finished 2-through-4, respectively.

I goose-egged all the way around. Eek.

1) Minnesota Twins (92-70)

The Twins picked up Luis Ayala in the bullpen and Joe Crede at third. They retained Nick Punto at shortstop, and lost Adam Everett and Eddie Guardado. A relatively quiet offseason for Minnesota's finest. This is a young team with a solid foundation in Mauer and Morneau, a great bullpen anchored by Joe Nathan, and a young and capable pitching staff. I like them to win a few extra games than last year and take the division title.

2) Cleveland Indians (88-74)

The Indians are taking the risks with Carl Pavano and Kerry Wood, with the upside much greater than the losses if things don't work out. Cliff Lee won't have anything close to the year he had in 2008. The big question mark for Cleveland is whether Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner finally stay healthy. I'll take a gamble and say yes. Expect great things from Grady Sizemore this season (duh?).

3) Detroit Tigers (87-75)

Detroit had a much more quiet offseason this time around, bringing in role players like Brandon Lyon, Juan Rincon, and Adam Everett. Todd Jones retired, which should be worth 8 or 10 wins right off the bat. A healthy Curtis Granderson will get the Tigers started off right. You won't be seeing an 0-16 mark from this Detroit team.

4) Chicago White Sox (80-82)

This team is getting older, though Alexei Ramirez is going to have a huge year. The starting pitching will be the downfall in ChiTown. Griffey, Crede, and Juan Uribe are all gone, and Orlando Cabrera is as good as gone, too.

5) Kansas City Royals (76-86)

The Royals' offense is making strides as the young guys (Billy Butler, Alex Gordon) grow up. The acquisition of Mike Jacobs will be nice, but they still don't have the pitching to make moves. Back to the basement for K.C. after a stunning fourth-place finish last season.

Coming soon: The second-least probable landing spot for Manny - the N.L. Central.
If he signs, I'll probably do up the A.L. West.


Eric said...

Nobody cares about the AL Cent. There are only 3 divisions anyone cares about: AL East, NL East and the NL West. And hardly anyone cares about the shitty NL West.

Travis Miller said...

Do you care about the NL West?

Eric said...

Yeah, but its still a horrible division.

Less than 20 hours 'til the Dodgers' spring training game!