Dre’s brief AL forecast for 2014…
Even with one of the baseball’s lowest payrolls the Rays always find their way to contention. Pitching will carry the Rays into October. Red Sox are primed for another October run, may be better than last years team. Baltimore got some heavy hitters in their lineup, they’re gonna need all that offense to back up a leaky rotation. Father time has caught up with the Yankees, acquisition of Tanaka won’t help their pitching. Thanks for the memories Jeter. Blue Jays, everyone’s favorite to take over the division last year, will find themselves looking up once again at the division. Their offense, anchored by Jose Bautista, could lead them out of the cellar and past, dare I say it…. the Yankees, but not much else in this loaded division.
Loss of Fielder to the Rangers won’t hurt Detroit’s October run. They just may be the most complete team in the American League. Kansas City is looking to make a run at post-season play this year for the first time since 1985. Royals pitching had the lowest ERA in the AL last season and with some added offense October baseball is a strong possibility. Indians looking to return to post-season, loss of Kazmir and Jimenez in the rotation could hurt. White Sox have some good young hitter’s and a quality starter in Chris Sale, but not much else. Twins have not won more than 66 games since 2011.
2 managers could be on the hot seat in this division. Ron Washington, who has guided the Rangers to 2 World Series appearances, 4 consecutive 90 plus win season, 3 post season berths, the most successful manager in Rangers history, has certainly raised the bar within the organization and with that comes higher expectations. There was some question as to whether Ron Washington would return this season after the Rangers bowed out in last years Wild Card tie breaker game against the Rays, marking the first time the Rangers would miss post-season since 2009. Washington has just recently been given a contract extension through 2015 . The acquisition of Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo will definitely add to an already dangerous lineup. Oakland starters won 72 games last season and could very well win a 3rd straight division title with a low payroll. Did I say 2 managers in this division could be on the hot seat ? Mike Scioscia, another manager in this division who has brought his team it’s longest run of success and is currently baseball’s longest tenured manager with the same team, could very well be on that hot seat as well. The Angels have not made it to post-season since 2009, the longest stretch during Scioscia’s reign, and though expectation’s may not be as high this season in Anaheim, a sub-500 season may mark the end of the Scioscia era, which to this point, includes 6 post season appearances, 5 division titles and one World Series title. The offense, with a healthy Pujols and Hamilton back on track, could put up some big numbers. The pitching outside of Weaver and Wilson however, still has too many holes to fill. King Felix will once again anchor the Mariners pitching staff, but the M’s, even with the acquisition of Cano, still have some questions on offense. The Astros, well, let’s just say they would make a good AAA team.
Boston over Oakland
Detroit over Boston
Texas over Tampa Bay
Detroit over Texas
NL Picks coming soon…..