This is always just a shot in the dark, but I love trying to predict how the standings will finish up in the MLB each year. Today, I am going to cover the American League, and tomorrow I will go over the National League. So here we go. My 2012 predictions:
Last year, they were the victims of one of the largest late-season collapses in baseball history. They were pegged as a potential World Series Champion. That obviously didn’t happen. I expect them to have a big bounce-back year this season.
It’ll be a close race between the Yankees and Red Sox for the division crown, but I see New York getting one of the now 2 Wild Card spots. However, if Nova and Pineda can live up to expectations based off of the way they pitched last season, then maybe the Yankees win the AL East. But as of now, I just don’t see that happening.
They are going to have one of the best pitching rotations in all of baseball. That I am sure of. I just don’t see them winning the division. As for the second Wild Card spot, I see that team coming out of the AL West.
For the past few years now, it has seemed as though the Blue Jays have been on the verge of becoming a Wild Card contender. Unfortunately for them, they can never put together a strong season from start to finish. I don’t see it panning out for them any differently this season.
First of all, yes this is the logo that the Orioles have chosen to go with for the 2012 season. Second of all, they will finish last in the AL East again this year. They have some young talent with Matt Wieters and Adam Jones, but where’s the pitching?
With the addition of Prince Fielder to their lineup, these guys are going to be tough to pitch against. Then you throw in the fact that they have the reigning AL Cy Young/MVP winner leading their rotation, I don’t see them being surpassed by anyone in this division.
The Indians have a lot of young talent: Carlos Santana, Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo, and Michael Brantley, just to name a few. They acquired Ubaldo Jimenez last year from the Rockies, and even though that didn’t pan out they way that the Indians had hoped, look for him to have a bit of a bounce-back year this season.
They need Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau both to stay healthy all year if they want any chance at the division. Their pitching is what has most people worried, and for good reason.
The Sox are going through a rebuilding phase right now. They lost Carlos Quentin and Mark Buehrle, among others, this off-season. This year, they will be hoping that get a lot more production out of Adam Dunn. One player to watch on the White Sox will be Dayan Viciedo. That kid is loaded with potential.
The Royals have the second best farm system in all of baseball based on overall talent, according to BaseballAmerica.com. I would have to agree. After years of finishing near, or at the bottom of the league, they are loaded with top draft picks in their minor league system. Some of them are just beginning to surface at the Major League level, such as Eric Hosmer, who is expected to have a big breakout season this year.
Everyone knows that they signed Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson to big contracts this off-season. Because of those two signings, the Angels are now definite contenders in the American League. They have arguably the best starting rotation in all of baseball.
They are the 2-time defending AL Champions heading into this season. Yes, they lost CJ Wilson to their division rivals in Anaheim, but they signed Yu Darvish to replace him. Much of the Rangers success this season lies in the hands of Darvish. Can he produce the way that they need him to? Only time will tell. I see the Rangers getting the second Wild Card spot come the end of the season.
The Mariners got off to an impressive start last season, but couldn’t keep it up as the year progressed. They ended up finishing last in the division as the result. This year, they should theoretically finish third in the division if you compare their talent to that of the A’s. The acquisition of Jesus Montero in exchange for Joel Pineda needs to benefit the Mariners this season, or else their front office is going to look pretty bad.
Two of their top pitchers heading into last season, Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill, are no longer with the A’s. They really don’t have much pitching now heading into this season. As for their offense, they signed Cuban prospect Yoenis Cespedes to help produce some runs. Plus, don’t forget about Manny Ramirez. Yes he is suspended for the first 50 games of the season, but once he is done serving the suspension, I’d expect to see him in the A’s lineup. However, with all of that being said, this looks like a last place team to me.