MLB 2012 American League Predictions
To my old followers, you know the drill. If you are not a fan of baseball, ignore this post.
To my new followers: I am a HUGE fan of Baseball, and it is my favorite sport (next to Cuddling). Every now and then when I feel the urge, I write little posts here on the sport, usually my own nitpicky opinions or other interesting stuff. So, if you are a fan of baseball as well, I hope you enjoy this post! If you are not…then don’t read I suppose. Or continue to read. Whichever you decide :D
Here are my predictions for what the standings will be in 2012 (so far):
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Reasoning: Nothing out of the ordinary. The Yankee’s lineup has not changed much so far, and as much as I loathe them, they have the best lineup in the American League. They will most likely take the AL East crown. The Rays are a young energetic team that prove to get better and better every season. Though they have lost Johnny Damon (which isn’t a HUGE loss, but a loss nonetheless), they can do without. Most of their best players are in their prime (Matt Joyce, Evan Longoira, Ben Zobrist), and they’ll pull off great seasons, maybe even over taking the Yankees.
The Red Sox are a mess, but they’ve got the talent there. They’ve lost Johnathon Papelbon, and are possibly losing John Lackey. While that sounds amazing, we have to remember that Papelbon has been one of the best closers in all of baseball these past 4 years. While he choked down the stretch, any baseball player can do that. And Lackey had the worst season for a starting pitcher for the Red Sox in…forever? But before this season, he was one of their best. Seasons come and go, only time can tell if they are changed for the worse.
Toronto and Baltimore give my sympathy. They are not bad teams by any stretch of the imagination, they just happen to play in the toughest division in baseball. They have to play the Yankees, Red Sox, and the recently dominant Rays more than anyone else does. Yikes.
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Hoo boy. This needs a lot of explanation, I know. The Tigers are indisputably the best team in the Central, by a wide margin. With Verlander being EVEN BETTER than he was before, Cabrera playing as consistent as ever, Fister being the best acquisation mid-season, Alex Avila budding into his own All-Star right…where does the list end? Motor City Kitties have rolled up an amazing, all around team that could very well make the trip to the World Series next season if they play their cards right.
I have high hopes for Kansas. With the emergence of Eric Hosmer, Bruce Chen signed to a two year deal after a breakout season (even as a veteran), and with the youngest team in the league, all they can do is grow. Last season they scored the second most runs in the Central Division, despite finishing in 4th overall. What did them in was their lackluster pitching staff. However, they traded away veteran outfielder Melky Cabrera to acquire some good pitching stuff: Johnathon Sanchez from the San Francisco Giants in the National League. The trade made perfect sense: Giants had terrible offense and great pitching, and the Kansas, the exact opposite. They basically did each other a huge favor with this deal. If the young talent boosts even a little bit all around, they can become strong contenders for the division by next season and many seasons to come.
Minnesota Twins…where do I begin? We know they are better than what we saw last season. Much better. I mean, they have Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Denard Span, Jason Kubel…all great players. All but Kubel bombed terribly. It just goes to show you that all good players can have down seasons. The problem with the Twins is that their key players ALL had down seasons (with the exception of Kubel, who did quite well). That probably won’t happen again next season, but with Mauer getting older, Morneau suffering his concussion, and the uncertainty of their pitching staff…this team could end anywhere in the division.
Chicago has suffered some big time crashes here. Adam Dunn is the biggest disappointment in the history of baseball acquisitions. Ozzie Guillen has moved on as manager. Juan Pierre wasn’t offered arbitration. Buherle may end up leaving to go to one of their Division Rivals: The Detroit Tigers. Add that with the fact the Central Division is shaping to be a strong division…this team has a lot of catching up to do. Alex Rios was a bust last season. Gordan Beckham just can’t capture his ‘09 season again. If they want to make a run for the title, they need to step up their game.
Cleveland Indians…last? Oh yeah, no question. Let me explain. They started off hot last season, yes. But look at their second half last season. It was actually very very bad. They finished 80-82, not even .500 baseball, even after leading the Division by the All-Star Break. Nowhere near as big as the collapse of Red Sox or Braves, but still a collapse in their own right. Ubaldo Jimenez was a huge disappointment, Asdrubal Cabrera had a sparkling season, defensively. His offense tapered terribly. Their pitching staff has promise, but I’m pretty sure their success last season was merely a fluke.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Rangers win the title. Moving on.
Athletics have shown more promise in the past few seasons, but let’s be honest here: This is the worst division in the AL by far. Seattle is terrible, Athletics have been lackluster, the Angels have been decent, and the Rangers have been dominant. You can’t really say much about this division. I’m putting the Athletics above the Angels by a slim margin.
Once the teams start getting more trades and sign more players, this list could change, so in a month or so, I’ll post a new prediction, accommodating to the signings. So, what are your predictions?