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The season begins in less than a week. Most teams are getting their 25 man rosters situated. We can use this thread to discuss preseason predictions as well as the actual race itself from April through September. This is how I would guess the division shakes out:
3. Kansas City
2. Kansas City (7 GB)
3. Chicago (10 GB)
4. Cleveland (13 GB)
5. Minnesota (15 GB)
This post was edited by PRStoetzer 13 months ago
Royals (10 GB)
Indians (11 GB)
Sox (13 GB)
Twins (19 GB wire to wire last place)
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by COgruff 13 months ago
I remember prior to last season getting in arguments with people that claimed Cleveland and/or Kansas City would finish ahead of Chicago. As it turned out, Chicago finished well ahead of both.
Now this year, I'm seeing the same sort of thing as I browse various preseason predictions. So I guess I'll ask the few people that responded already here: What makes Cleveland and Kansas City better than the White Sox?
I have a $50 bet with a buddy that the Royals will win +78 games. Hoping it's easy money.
That being said - Tigers win the division by at least 6 games.
Quick answer is Sox didn't get any better and KC and Clev did. Swisher and Bourn aren't world beaters, but they're improvements. Tribe's pen is very good and maybe Francona gives them a charge. KC got some pitching to add to a good lineup.
Sox aren't going to get '12 productio from Rios, Dunn, or Peavy. They were the luckiest team in the Central last year.
Fair enough. I don't agree that the White Sox were the luckiest team in the Central, but to each his own.
Dunn's numbers last year were closer to his career averages than his pitiful 2011, so I don't see why he wouldn't be able to do that again. Peavy was finally healthy again last year, so I expect his numbers to be at least close this year (if not a little worse). Rios had career highs in average and home runs last year, so I won't argue with you there, but his numbers in 2010 were only slightly worse.
The White Sox added Jeff Keppinger, who is important as a steady guy in the 2 hole, as opposed to the revolving door the Sox had there last year. He rarely strikes out which gives them more flexibility with steals and hit and runs, and he's coming off a year where he hit .325 in 115 games played. (interesting stat on him: in his career, he has more extra base hits than strike outs)
Also, Viciedo should have a better year, so a drop off in Rios' numbers should be offset there. I also expect Beckham to have better numbers (note that I said "better" as opposed to "good").
And Chicago's pitching is definitely above average. They have one of the best pitchers in the American League not named Justin Verlander, and their bullpen should once again be solid. They had so many rookies on their pitching staff last year so the extra experience should help (namely Quintana, Reed, and Jones).
But like they say, that's why they play the games. Looking forward to next week.
Assuming no one significant gets hurt for an extended period, the AL Central should be the most interesting division in baseball.
I think the Tigers will be slightly better, but their record will not reflect that because of improvements from Cleveland and Kansas City. The Indians will be better thanks to acquisitions, experience, and a new manager. The Royals added pitching but I'm not sold on their offensive production. I think Chicago will look more like the team that faded down the stretch in 2012, and Minnesota will be competitive at times but generally lag behind the rest of the division.
This could be a very tight race into mid-September, but my expectation is for Detroit to put a little bit of room between themselves and their rivals and glide into another AL Central Title.
Detroit: 87-90 wins.
Cleveland: 83-86 wins.
Kansas City: 81-84 wins.
Chicago: 76-79 wins.
Minnesota: 63-66 wins.
Living in Kansas City and attending 12-15 games a year here's my quick assessment on the Royals:
Key Additions: James Shields, Ervin Santana, Wade Davis
Key Losses: None
Adding 3 arms to the starting rotation to pair with one of the best bullpens in the American League instantly upgrades this team. They have a young core of everyday players that are at their peak (Butler, Gordon) or should be reaching it in the next year or so (Hosmer, Moustakas, Perez, Escobar). After a sophmore slide for both Hosmer and Moose (2nd half of season) these 2 will look bounce back and add some middle of the lineup punch to go with Billy "Country Breakfast" Butler.
Defensively, Escobar (ss) and Perez (c) are 2 of the best players at their respective positions. Add in Gold Glover Alex Gordon and cannon armed Francour and this is a pretty formidable defensive team - Hosmer & Moose aren't half bad either.
If this team can get some middle of the lineup run production and 25-30 starts from Shields, Santana, & Davis at career averages this team has a chance to make a jump like the Orioles or Nationals did last year.
As a Tiger's fan, I've enjoyed watching Detroit beat up KC at Kaufmann the past few years but it's going to be tough going moving forward. I think Detroit is still the team to beat but KC should be able to stay around .500 most the year and potentially contend for a wild card spot.
Prediction: 83 - 79
Huh, I have to think the Tigers should be at the very least five games better this year with adding Martinez and Hunter and having Infante and Sanchez for the whole year. Guys like Peralta and Avila probably won't be as bad. If they can't get to 93 witthout major injuries impacting them for significant time then something really went wrong. The Central is still a bad division.
There will be no race. Tigers are stacked. AL Cental is fucked.
Detroit will finish first, Minnesota will finish last.
The middle three are a toss-up, with none of them seriously competing for a Wild Card spot.
I honestly think KC can finish 2nd.
Very fair and solid assessment. I expect the White Sox and Royals to have similar records this year. If I had to guess, I'd say the Royals win somewhere around 80 games and the White Sox win somewhere around 84 games.
Shields was a great addition to the rotation, but I still like the offense and pitching in Chicago more than Kansas City. And let's not forget about the often overlooked importance of a solid defense. Chicago had the best defense in the AL last year (KC was right there with TB as the worst).
Bump for opening day. Tigers fans, good luck against the Twins today.
I predict I will want Leyland fired after at least 5 different games this year because he does something that just makes you scratch your head. That being said:
Remind yourself. Nobody built like you, you design yourself.
Tigers 90-95 wins
Indians/White Sox/Royals all between 78-84 wins. Honestly, I have no idea what order I'd put them in. If forced to choose, I guess I'd be most confident in the Indians, but no way they're challenging for the playoffs.
Twins 65 wins.
Boys, I may not know much, but I know chicken shit from chicken salad. -- Lyndon Johnson
I have no reason to think KC will be better, but Cleveland added a lot of quality hitters to their lineup, Nick Swisher is a damn good player despite the fact he's a a douche. Having him hitting 6th is a nice spot for him IMO. Their outfield, defensively, is fantastic. They have a ton of speed on the bases, good power as well. Pitching will be good for them with guys like Masterson, Jimenez, and Kazmir. Their bullpen is good too. Not to mention, Francona is a hell of a manager.
If the Tigers dick around like they did last season, they might not win the central.
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