2012 MLB Preview: American League

March 27, 2012

Thanks to the MLB trying the season-opening series in Tokyo thing again (bad idea, by the way), I need to have my preview completed by sometime tomorrow morning. The game starts at roughly 6:10 a.m. EST  or something crazy like that, so I’m sure all the fans in Oakland and Seattle are eagerly anticipating the 3 o’clock wakeup call if they want to catch their club’s opener.

Anyway, this is a pretty bare bones preview for the upcoming season. I’ll give you my predictions for how the teams will finish, my picks for some of the major end of the year awards, and playoff predictions. If you wanted more, sorry.

Admit it; you didn’t want any more.

AL East

1. Tampa Bay Rays

2. New York Yankees

3. Boston Red Sox

What could save the Red Sox from missing the postseason in consecutive years? It’s a combination of how well the players gel with new manager Bobby Valentine and how well the bottom half of the starting rotation does. If the team starts off well and players buy into Valentine’s philosophy, there is more than enough talent on this team to keep things going well.

The first three in the rotation (Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz) should be fine barring injuries. If Daniel Bard can make a smooth transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation, he could be a scary fourth option. A lot of things have to go right, but if they do, the Red Sox can win this division as easily as any other team in the East.

4. Toronto Blue Jays

5. Baltimore Orioles

AL Central

1. Detroit Tigers

2. Cleveland Indians

3. Kansas City Royals

This team will have to prove me wrong this season. Having higher than modest expectations for the Royals is a dangerous thing, because they can turn into a cellar dweller in the blink of an eye. It probably won’t be that drastic this year, but Kansas City is still a year away from truly contending in the Central (or even for a Wildcard spot, really).

The offense looks to be set for the foreseeable future, and the future looks bright. First baseman Eric Hosmer will become a household name by the end of the year, and the outfield was one of the best in the league defensively last season. The question mark lies with the young pitching staff, which will have to grow up quickly if the Royals want to compete. This is the area where we will see changes in August if things don’t progress as planned.

4. Minnesota Twins

5. Chicago White Sox

AL West

1. Los Angeles Angles

The West will have the most exciting division battle in the American League. Both Los Angeles and Texas will make the playoffs, but there is something to be said for winning the division now that the two Wildcard participants have to face each other in a one game showdown before the true playoffs begin. I give the edge to Los Angeles, and not because of Albert Pujols or because Kendrys Morales is back in the lineup. The difference will be C.J. Wilson wearing an Angels uniform.

The Rangers also have a very solid starting rotation, which arguably got better when Texas signed pitcher Yu Darvish. The 25-year old Japanese star is projected to be Texas’ number one starter, but it could take some time before he reaches his potential in the MLB. That, along with the fact that Los Angeles has two men that could be an ace on most teams (Wilson and Jered Weaver) will separate what should be a very close division race.

2. Texas Rangers

3. Seattle Mariners

4. Oakland Athletics


Most Valuable Player- Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay)

Cy Young- Justin Verlander (Detroit)

Rookie of the Year- Yu Darvish (Texas)

Hank Aaron- Jose Bautista (Toronto)

Comeback Player of the Year- Kendrys Morales (Los Angeles)

Playoff Predictions


Texas over New York

Divisional Series

Los Angeles over Texas

Tampa Bay over Detroit

Championship Series

Tampa Bay over Los Angeles

– K. Becks

One Response to 2012 MLB Preview: American League

  1. […] that you know my ALCS and NLCS winners, here is my World Series […]

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