Well today will be my AL preview day. It will just be my predictions of each division winner plus the two wildcard teams. Then of course I have to mention my World Series picks. This week was just about the winners and the playoffs but next week will be my predictions for the awards. Start in the west again and work our way over to the east.
Starting in the AL west and I think this division will be the closest of them all. Maybe 1 or 2 games. I believe it will be the two Texas teams slugging it out. In the end I think the Astros inch their way into winning the division, with the Rangers finishing in a close second. The Astros haven’t really changed much from the team that won a wildcard in ’15. But with a full year of both Carlos Gomez and Carlos Correa, I see the Astros as being in line for a big year. Like I said it’s going to be a very close division, the Texas Rangers are definitely not slouches. A year where Derek Holland can (hopefully) stay healthy, Yu Darvish on his way back from Tommy John surgery, Martin Perez coming back from injury too, and they made the Cole Hamels trade last July. From the looks of it this starting staff might be very good just like the offense, which was already pretty good even before they brought in Ian Desmond.
It’s really no surprise that I say the AL central is the Kansas City Royals division to lose. The Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians will both make it interesting but I still see the Royals coming out on top. The Royals are basically the same team that won a world championship last year. They loss Johnny Cueto (who didn’t pitch too great for them anyway) even they only had him for half a year and replaced him with Ian Kennedy. The rest of the world champion Royals pretty much remains the same. Now the Detroit Tigers are the interesting team in this division. With the additions of Jordan Zimmermann, Justin Upton, and Francisco Rodriguez at closer, this team looks very promising. With a healthy Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez this should be a very potent lineup, very right handed heavy but honestly it doesn’t matter when you have the best hitter on the planet in your lineup. I don’t get why but some “experts” have actually picked the Indians to win the division, by a lot too. I just don’t see it at all yes, they have a good starting staff but where would their offense come from? I wouldn’t bet on Lindor being above average offensively and Michael Brantley is still working his way back from an injury. I see them as a hair over .500 but that’s it.
Now the east is actually an interesting division this year. You have the improved Red Sox, the still good Blue Jays, Yankees are always right there, then you have the Orioles who have enough fire power to make it interesting. In my opinion I think the Red Sox just barely inch out the Blue Jays. It’s not because of the Sox offense, which is pretty good, or the addition of David Price, which will really help, it’s the lights out bullpen. Adding Craig Kimbrel puts the Sox bullpen in the top 5 in the league. Think about it, you have Kimbrel a lockdown closer, then you have Koji Uhera in the 8th old but still a good pitcher, then you have Carson Smith in 7th who looked absolutely lights out last year during his debut. That to me makes them the best team in the east.
The two wildcard teams will be the Rangers and the Tigers. The two of the highest powered offenses will both hit their way into the one game playoff.
And lastly my World Series picks this year are the Nationals (maybe a little biased) and the Royals for the third consecutive year. I really wanted to say the Tigers but if the last couple years have proved anything it’s that the Royals are a different team in the playoffs. Don’t quite know why but they just continue to win in the playoffs.