After more than a week off for a family vacation in Florida…we’re back and bloggin’ away. And wouldn’t you know it, it’s time for another United Cardinal Bloggers (UCB) project. This month the UCB’ers take a crack at predicting each division in Major League Baseball for 2013. Today, it’s the entire American League, but the next few days will see us slow down a bit and dissect each National League division and the playoffs.
So, take a moment to read and criticize my AL expectations below…and then head on over HERE to read the AL predictions from the rest of the UCB.
1. Toronto Blue Jays
2. Baltimore Orioles
3. Tampa Bay Rays
4. New York Yankees
5. Boston Red Sox
The Blue Jays are, as Mike Matheny would say, loaded for bear. Everyone wants to talk about the down side to the Marlins trade that shipped out everything but the kitchen sink (although, I thought I saw a plumber entering Roger Dean while I was in town Tuesday, so that sink’s days could be numbered)…but let’s not forget the Blue Jays portion of the deal. They stocked up, and that doesn’t even count the deal for the NL Cy Young winner in Dickey. Combine that with an injury-plagued Yankees roster, a new “winning” culture in Baltimore, the Rays’ ability to squeeze out wins, and the chaos in Boston, and this summer could turn into the Battle of the Birds on the East Coast.
1. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
2. Oakland Athletics
3. Texas Rangers
4. Seattle Mariners
5. Houston Astros
As much as Cardinals fans hate to admit it, this is the year of the Halos. With Pujols, Hamilton, Trout, etc., the Angels’ offense has the potential to be the most explosive run-scoring lineup in recent memory. Even considering a possible knee issue with Pujols and lurking pitching problems, the Angels should step up and take the division. Close behind, however, are the Battling A’s in Oakland. After last season’s storybook run, the Athletics are ready to flip the division on its head for 2013 and beyond. Look for the Rangers to take a step back but still contend while the Mariners still struggle for relevancy. All that said, with three of four teams a contender (let’s pretend the Astros don’t exist), this could be the most interesting division in baseball come August.
1. Detroit Tigers
2. Kansas City Royals
3. Chicago White Sox
4. Cleveland Indians
5. Minnesota Twins
This division could be the most unpredictable of all the AL divisions. The Tigers are still the easy favorites to win, but after that the picture gets murky. The Royals pitching staff is improved and their offense is still dangerous. The Indians seem to believe they are contenders (considering their offseason action), but the White Sox should prevent them from turning that belief into reality. And, unfortunately for the M & M boys, the Twins still don’t have much to look forward to in 2013. However…don’t forget that second Wild Card. In previous seasons, teams stuck in third or fourth place in a five-team division could look to bail out early by the end of July. But now, teams like the Royals, White Sox, and Indians will all hold on to talent and even look to acquire pieces in an attempt to turn a mediocre season into a contending year. Expect a dog fight for the second Wild Card spot to develop in August and September for AL Central teams.
That’ll do it. Remember, all AL predictions by Cards ‘N Stuff should be taken with a barrel of salt. It’s not exactly our specialty ;).
Check back this week for the NL predictions and playoff discussions as the UCB Predictions Project continues.