Friday, March 26, 2010

2010 American League Baseball Predictions

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-Digger's Daily-

2010 will treat us to another thrilling baseball season. A handful of teams were very busy this off season refining their rosters in an attempt to dethrone the champion Yankees. Many teams should be considered contenders to win their respective leagues. Time to fast forward and gaze into my crystal ball. Here's my final predictions for 2010...

American League
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox*
Tampa Bay Rays
Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays

Yanks and Red Sox will battle wire to wire. Yanks 1-4 rotation their best of the decade. Lineup has 2 new faces (Granderson, Nick Johnson). Bench depth, which was always a NY strength, is now missing. Sox lineup missing big time power hitters but these guys will continue scoring runs in bunches behind a sharp rotation and deep bench. Don't be surprised to see them as division chams. Pitching was key to Tampa's World Series run and has been missing since. Great young team with competitive rotation might get snake bit again by faultering pen. Baltimore is beginning to make great strides attempting return to respectability. Toronto is a team in reverse. One time future stars have gone bust and pitching staff is one of AL's weakest.

Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Cleveland Indians

Chicago has what it takes on paper. Question is, can they stay healthy enough to reach the promised land? Everyone in their lineup will contribute and pitching staff has never been better. There will be plenty of excitement in Minnesota as the Twins open their new outdoor stadium. The loss of closer Joe Nathan to season ending injury essentially derails division title dreams. Detroit choked last season and changed a few faces for 2010. Pitching and lack of power might keep them stiffled in the middle of the pack. Kansas City's strength is pitching. Difference between winning and losing is run production which has been lacking from Royals hitters for years. Cleveland has potential future talent but this franchise was mortgaged years ago. A one time AL powerhouse gave away most of their talent and will have a hard time filling seats.

Los Angeles Angels
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers
Oakland A's

The West will be wild. It's a three team race. Seattle has an improved rotation, lineup and defense. Angels changed a few faces and parted with former playoff heroes (Lacky, Vlad). Staying healthy is key #1 for LA to win. Seattle will be hot on the trail and could end up on top. The secret to success in Texas is pitching. Why haven't they figured it out? Rotation is weaker than '09 (Millwood gone) which is a crying shame considering their explosive offense. Oakland has never looked weaker and will lose 100+.

AL Champ: Boston Red Sox

Batting: Ichiro (.360)
HR: Alex Rodriguez (44)
RBI: Miguel Cabrera (130)
SB: Jacoby Ellsbury (65)
Wins: CC Sabathia (23)
ERA: Felix Hernandez (2.45)
Saves: Mariano Rivera (44)
MVP: Kevin Youkilis
Cy Young: CC Sabathia
Rookie: Austin Jackson

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