Baseball is heeeeeeeeere, time to make my usual one sentence predictions. * for wildcards!
1. Rays – Portrayed as the plucky underdog, but that pitching staff has some thunder.
2. Blue Jays* – Offseason winners after flashing some cash, but will be a very tight race.
3. Yankees – Lost a lot of punch, getting older/worse/hurt.
4. Red Sox – Not far off, but need some luck to make the postseason.
5. Orioles – Surprised a lot of teams last year, it won’t happen again.
1. Tigers – Victor Martinez coming back and Torii Hunter coming in helps solidify their hold on the division.
2. Indians – Did good waiting out top free agents, but still need some pitching.
3. White Sox – Lost a couple pieces, need some help from replacements to go higher.
4. Royals – A curious offseason, trading one of the game’s best prospects for a good (but not great) starter.
5. Twins – Barren farm system just starting to get restocked, and the major league club is a disaster.
1. A’s – Won the division last year, and the two closest teams got worse.
2. Angels* – Killer lineup, and some questions about the pitching staff.
3. Rangers – Strange to see the Rangers with good pitchers and uncertain hitting, usually that’s Anaheim’s thing.
4. Mariners – Extending Hernandez a great idea, but went after the wrong bats.
5. Astros – Beating the Twins out for the worst AL team this year, but bottoming out is probably the right idea.
1. Nationals – Will be staring down at the division for a while, I think.
2. Braves* – Losing Chipper hurts, but the machine will keep rolling without him.
3. Phillies – The solution for them wasn’t to keep getting older.
4. Mets – Will stay out of the basement (barely)…
5. Marlins – …Mostly because these guys sold EVERYONE to Toronto- thanks!
1. Cardinals – A great lineup, solid pitching, and excellent prospects ready to step in.
2. Reds* – Not a slight on them, they should be with the Cardinals almost step-for-step.
3. Pirates – Have started hot and faded the last couple years, figure that doesn’t change.
4. Brewers – Have lost a lot of talent the last couple of offseasons.
5. Cubs – Still a long ways to go.
1. Giants – Hit all the right buttons the last few years, is that going to change?
2. Dodgers – Probably need to hide the chequebook from the owners, but the spending should almost have the desired effect.
3. Diamondbacks – Trading away talent for grit is a wonderful theory, until you discover that talent can’t be taught.
4. Padres – Some sneaky-good youth there, but will be well out of the playoff running for now.
5. Rockies – Expensive offence, but at least the pitching is awful.