MLB – THE QUICK AND DIRTY 2013 PREDICTIONS

AL EAST WINNER– Yankees

AL CENTRAL WINNER– Tigers*; Indians (wild card)

AL WEST WINNER – Angels; A’s (wild card)

 

NL EAST WINNER – Nationals*; Braves (wild card)

NL CENTRAL WINNER– Reds

NL WEST WINNER– Dodgers; Giants (wild card)

*World Series Teams

WORLD SERIES WINNER – Detroit Tigers

AL EAST

Despite the fact that the Yankees are already experiencing injury issues even before the season begins, I’m still convinced that this veteran-laden team will be held together by the pitching and come together to get the job done.  On paper, they are still the most talented team in the division.  Health is the only real concern.

I also don’t buy into the Toronto Blue Jays for reasons described in my previous article, Why the Yankees Will Win the 2013 AL East Division”, and I don’t see the other teams in the division as a real threat.

Baltimore is still untested; the Red Sox are in transition and also injury prone; and the Rays are weakened by the loss of Shields even though Evan Longoria is healthy now.  His bat is not enough to power that lackluster Rays offense.

AL CENTRAL

The Detroit Tigers are the most explosive team in the MLB and scariest I’ve seen in awhile.  If they don’t run away with the whole darned thing, I’d be mighty surprised.  I will breakdown their offense in my forthcoming more detailed article on the AL Central, but believe me when I say that 6 of the 9 in the lineup have the potential to hit over .300.  Their pitching will also be the best in the AL.

I’ve chosen the Cleveland Indians to win a wild card berth this season due to one most important factor: chemistry.  Coach Francona and Nick Swisher will bring this happy train into the station on their personality and belief alone, despite subpar pitching.

As for the Royals, I don’t see how the owner can feel that the only missing component for the team’s success is starting pitching.  Yes, he’s improved it this year by the acquisition of Shields and others, but that team needs leadership, bottom line and they haven’t got it.

The White Sox are solid all around, but failed to make any improvements during the off-season.  They also lost veteran catcher Pierzynski to the Rangers which I feel will be a huge loss.

Twins fans have the M&M boys, but not much else.  Nuff said.

AL WEST

This division was the tightest in all of MLB last year. The A’s won it by only 1 game over Texas and 5 over the Angels.

But, this season will be different.  The Angels got that much better with the acquisition of Josh Hamilton and reliever Ryan Madson.  They should prevail over the A’s who have stayed mostly intact.

The Rangers have been weakened by the loss of Hamilton and have issues with pitching.  The management unrest with the Nolan Ryan issue makes things sticky and unclear, not good for morale.

Seattle may be improved from last year, but not good enough to contend.  The Astros will be, well, pretty bad.

NL EAST

If I lived in DC, I’d be extremely giddy about the Nationals.  They are the second most well-rounded team in the MLB, after Detroit in my opinion.  They’ve got great starting pitching, enhanced bullpen with the acquisition of Soriano, and talent on the offense.  This division is also going to be pretty weak outside of the Braves and despite the Phillies improved health.

The Atlanta Braves feel more like an AL team to me than NL.  All that power with Heyward and the Uptons.  Their record will be good enough to get a wild card berth for sure.

All the spring training buzz has the Phillies back to contention due to improved health of Roy Hallady, Cliff Lee, and Chase Utley.  But, what do we really have here with these players?  These question marks won’t stick when this division is so top heavy.  They won’t contend.  Neither will the Mets and Marlins who both lack for quality in multiple areas.

NL CENTRAL

The Cincinnati Reds are definite contenders to win the NL, but I feel the Nationals are so good, nobody will touch them.  However, the Reds will win the division easily, especially with their depth in starting rotation and acquisition of Shin-Soo Choo in center.

I feel that injuries will plague an aging Cardinals team and keep them out of any real contention.  They will probably lead the division at various times during the season, but lack real depth to go the distance.

The Brewers have extremely talented players on the club, but aren’t as well-rounded as others in the NL.  And, despite the Pirates success last year, they also lack supreme depth to contend.

As for the Cubs, it’s well-reported the improvements GM Theo Epstein is making behind the scenes, but in front, it’s going to take a couple of years for the team to break out of the mire.

NL WEST

I’m picking the revamped Dodgers to win the Division this year.  Guggenheim management took an already good solid team and made them outstanding with big acquisitions.  I am excited afar for this team.  My only worries are injuries for Crawford and Josh Beckett’s inconsistency.

It’s hard to bet against a team that has won the World Series 2 times in the last 3 years.  But, even though I think the Giants will likely secure a wild card berth, I don’t think they won’t be able to take it that much farther.  I fear for Lincecum’s consistency and the team’s ability to compete against all the others who have improved during the off-season.

The Diamondbacks have made improvements to the club and will be solid, but this division also harbors 2 of the best teams in the NL ahead of them.  They will be the Jan Brady of the NL this year and come in third.

The Padres and Rockies suffer from similar problems – pitching issues and competition in this division.

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