It’s that time of year that all of us baseball fanatics have been waiting for. Opening day baby! Looking around the league, I see many teams who have immense potential and a chance to shake things up in their respective divisions. In this article I am going to give my American League predictions for this upcoming season.
Let’s start with the AL East. Typically this division is extremely competitive. In the past six years a different team has won the division. This season I think it’s going to be much different. To be honest, many of these teams are very mediocre. Here are my predictions:
- Boston Red Sox 88-74
- Toronto Blue Jays 85-77
- New York Yankees 82-80
- Baltimore Orioles 78-84
- Tampa Bay Rays 75-87
Trust me, I’m not being a homer here. The Red Sox have a deeper and much more talented team than any of their competition in the AL East. Last year, the Toronto Blue Jays owned the division racking up 93 wins on their way to an appearance in the ALCS. Unfortunately for them, they lost their ace, David Price to the Red Sox this offseason. Going down the standings, I see the Yankees continuing their pedestrian ways. Their team is full of overpaid and overrated talent and the pitching staff is inconsistent at best. The only thing that I see keeping the Yankees in games is their outstanding bullpen. The Yankees may have one of the best three headed monsters in the game with Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman. Bottoming out the league I have the Orioles and the Rays. Let it be known, the Orioles have a dangerous lineup but their pitching is putrid. If they want any chance of making the playoffs, their unproven pitchers will need to step up. Lastly, we have the Rays back at the bottom of the AL East again. This team is a joke, end of story.
Moving on to the A.L. Central. The 2015 World Series champion, Kansas City Royals received their rings on Sunday night. It will be interesting to see if anybody in this division can compete with these guys in 2016. In fact, I do believe there is a team that will put a scare into the reigning World Series champs.
- Kansas City Royals 93-69
- Cleveland Indians 91-71
- T3. Detroit Tigers 85-77
- T3. Chicago White Sox 85-77
- Minnesota Twins 74-88
The Kansas City Royals are the most talented team in this division. Their young talent and solid set of core players are back for another deep run into the playoffs. The pitching staff took a hit when Johnny Cueto signed with the San Francisco Giants this offseason. Even with the loss of Cueto, I see the Royals edging out the Indians for being the AL Central champions. The Cleveland Indians are my sleeper team this year. The pitching rotation is full of talent with former Cy Young Award winner, Corey Kluber heading the rotation. Following Kluber comes Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. Both of these guys have lively arms and exceptional ability. With Terry Francona running the helm, I see the Indians making a huge push toward a playoff appearance, grabbing one as a Wild Card team. As for the Detroit Tigers, I see them tying with the White Sox in third. Both teams lack the pitching necessary to win a division as competitive as this one. The White Sox made huge strides this offseason with the acquisitions of Brett Lawrie and Todd Frazier. Putting these big bats into the middle of this lineup has made Chicago a concern for opposing pitchers. In the cellar of the AL Central I have the Minnesota Twins. The Twins improved last year but didn’t show me enough to believe they will keep that trend going.
The A.L. West is a division that is full of talent and is always fun to keep an eye on throughout the season. Here are my predictions:
- Houston Astros 98-64
- Texas Rangers 88-74
- Seattle Mariners 84-78
- Los Angeles Angels 80-82
- Oakland Athletics 78-84
I have the Houston Astros as the beast of the American League. I love this team! The Astros have risen from the depths of the AL West a few years back to become one of the most promising teams in all of baseball. They have young talent all over the field, starting from their stud short stop, Carlos Correa. Their staff is full of young arms headed by the 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner, Dallas Keuchel. This team is going to go far, I guarantee that. Houston is not the only team in Texas that is going to be pushing for a playoff spot. The Texas Rangers are fully equipped to give the American League a run for their money. The Rangers made a huge splash during last year’s trade deadline, scooping up Cole Hamels from the Philadelphia Phillies. Having Hamels in the rotation gives this pitching staff great depth. The Rangers put Yu Darvish on the DL to start the year but once he is ready to return, this rotation becomes one of the best in the league. The Rangers rotation puts them over the top for me, and will receive the other Wild Card spot in the American League. Going down the division we have Seattle, Los Angeles, and Oakland finishing third, fourth, and fifth respectively. These teams don’t have nearly enough fire power to put a scare into either the Astros or Rangers.
Once the playoffs start, crazy things will certainly ensue. It is hard to predict who will come out victorious from the American League. If I were a betting man, I would put my money on the Houston Astros. Watch out for this team. Last year they made huge strides, and with another year of experience, this team could be American League champions.
Next week I will give my opinions on the National League and who I believe will face the Astros in the World Series.