April 2, 2011

2011 Post Opening Day Season Preview - AL

Here are the officially unofficial BTW MLB 2011 American League predictions:


American League - East

1) Boston

  Possibly the most complete team in the AL.  Trying to find a hole in this team is almost impossible.  If they do not win 100, the regular season could be considered a disappointment.

2) Tampa

  The biggest question for the Rays is how the bullpen holds up.  The pitching staff is the strength of the team.  The loss of Crawford will hurt badly, especially to another team in the division.

3) New York

  The offense is full of All- Stars, catcher has to be a concern defensively.  With Rivera as the closer the only questions at the back end of games is will father time finally catch up and how will the pen fair bridging the gap to Rivera.  The starting rotation is another big questionmark, if Burnett can pitch to the level expected of him the rotation becomes a little more solid.  Getting 15 wins from Burnett could push the Yakees above Tampa in the standings.

4) Toronto

Another season depending on the long ball.  I don't see Bautista coming anywhere near his 2011 levels.  In any other division this team would be challenging for the division crown.

5) Baltimore

A young rotation with all the building blocks of a nice rotation in a couple years.  The offense may be ugly at times, they could challenge for the league lead in strikeouts.  


American League - Central

1) Minnesota

Somehow, someway Minnesota always ends up near the top of the division.  This season will be no different.  Team health will have a lot to do with their success.

2) Chicago

A solid rotation and a good offense that plays well to their home field.  As always, more attention will be paid to Ozzie Guillen than the play on the field.  I usually shy away from picking them to finish second because Williams is never shy to pull the trigger on trades if he feels they are out of contention.

3) Detroit

This, unfortunately, may be Jim Leylands last stand in Detroit by no fault of his nor the play on the field.  I expect the Tigers to be very active at the trade deadline whether to add or subtract is the big question.  They have a legitimate chance to win the division.  Next offseason should be interesting to see how big of players the Tigers will be in free agency.

4) Kansas City

Up and coming.  It would be a surprise to see them challenge in the division with the strength of the top three teams.  There are still a few holes on the team and plenty of youth.  How quickly will the prospects get a chance to show their wears in MLB?  It will be a fun season for Royal fans to get a glimpse of what the future holds.

5) Cleveland

I don't know where this team is headed.  I have been a closet Indians fan since the 70's.  While other people loved the lovable loser Cubs, I always pulled for the Tribe.  Unfortunately they right now have the look of the Dave Littlefield Pirates.


American League - West

1) Texas

This team looks better than the team that started the year in 2010 that won the division.  The loss of Lee won't change things in Arlington, he was only a rental player in the end.  The offense will carry the team.  Hopefully they do not mess with Feliz the way the Yankees did with Chamberlain a few seasons back bouncing him between the rotation and the pen.  The play of Borbon in CF will also play a key role in the fate of the team and overall makeup.  If Borbon fails, Hamilton's health will become a concern with the way he plays the game if he returns to CF.

2) Los Angeles

The rotation is solid, but I don't think Scioscia has the offensive team he likes to play with.  I don't think last seasons results were a fluke.  If the team is still hanging around come the trade deadline they will need to pick up a few pieces (3B) to catch Texas.

3) Oakland

The rotation is one of the better in the AL.  Unfortunately for A's fans, I still wonder where the run support will come from.  Much like the hype of Seattle in 2010, I don't see the team living up to the hype of being every experts sleeper pick in the AL.  

4) Seattle

The easiest way to look at Seattle is waiting for their prospects to arrive this season.  Outside of King Feliz, Chone and Ichiro, the rest of the season will be watching younger talent take their first steps as they arrive in the Majors.


Wild Card - I am going to go with the White Sox here.  I think the wild card comes from the Central this season.

MVP - I am picking Robinson Cano here, as much as it pains me to pick a Yankee, he might be the best player in the AL for the forseeable future. 

Cy Young - I am going to go with Lester here.  Partially because he will get plenty of press if the Red Sox live up to expectation but mostly because he will have the numbers to support it.  I really wanted to pick Price here, but I think Lester will end up with enough wins to make up the difference in the other numbers.


Watch for the NL post in the next few days.


Feel free to rip me for my predictions in the comment section.  

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