Monday, March 22, 2010

2010 MLB Predictions: AL Central

  1. Minnesota Twins
  2. Detroit Tigers
  3. Chicago White Sox
  4. (3) Cleveland Indians
  5. (3) Kansas City Royals

Opening a new ballpark and building off of last year’s season ending momentum will help carry the Twins to the top of the AL Central pile. Their pitching staff is young and unproven with the likes of Slowery and Duensing. Orlando Hudson should provide a positive impact both at second base and the plate. The only true question for the Twins is who is going to close games? This is one of those moments where they get to experiment and perhaps start off with a committee. The lead candidate it Matt Guierrier, keep an eye on him as a fantasy sleeper.

The Tigers are set for second, based on the outfield. With some questions in the Twin cities, the Tigers could take first place. Their outfield is the definition of young and old. In center you have Austin Jackson looking to be a rookie starter, to Johnny Damon hobbling into left field. Magg’s is no Spring chicken either. Their pitching staff is anchored by one of my favorites, Justin Verlander, but after that the consistency drops off.

I do not see this year being a tight AL Central race. I see two dogs running for first, while the other 3 are scratching for third. The White Sox appear to be the next best team in this division. The pitching staff is not much to admire, but lead by Peavy. The offense, well time will tell. They have the rock at first base in Paul Konerko, but the rest of the infield seems a bit pieced mailed to me. Judging by this, the Sox are going to win games with small ball.

I think it is safe to say this is a rebuilding time for the Indians. They have some stars in the outfield with Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo. To add to this offensive punch, the HR leader for the Mariners last year in Russell Branyan. The reason I have them behind the Sox is because of pitching. Carmona, who I like, had a horrible year in 2009. However, I think he is your “ace” on this staff. We will see who else will emerge, but they very well could overtake the Sox for third.

KC is the team that always tries, but never gets there. I think they have a decent shot at third place in the AL this year. Their pitching staff is anchored by CY Young winner Zack Greinke. They have a mix mash of offensive names; from Jason Kendall of ex-Pirates fame to a host of ex-Mariners. Let’s hope they make the AL Central interesting.

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