Even though I will surely regret trying to pick the standings for the upcoming season, I might as well give it a shot. Last year, I was way off in my bold prediction of a Washington Nationals vs. Kansas City Royals World Series. I guess there is no harm in trying again! Except for my inevitable hurt pride in being so wrong about things.
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Boston Red Sox
- Baltimore Orioles
- Toronto Blue Jays
- New York Yankees
- Always the most difficult division to pick, because there are three very good teams in here, and two others that have great teams on paper but have yet to deliver it on the field. It’s hard to argue with the Rays’ success over the past years.
- So much went right for the Red Sox last year, it will be difficult to duplicate that. But, they made some smart, low-cost moves over the summer, and should very much be in contention again. I like these guys, because they are tough and scrappy.
- Yes, I’m picking the Yankees for last place. That rotation is just a huge question mark for me, and that starting infield is brutal. One injury to their old men roaming the shale, and they’re done. Their outfield is definitely improved, but that is only three of nine positions. Brian McCann is an upgrade at catcher, however.
- I thought about going with the Orioles to win this division, but they are always such a tease. Third is where they belong.
- Those poor Jays. Even if they put together a year that is injury-free, they will have too tough a time getting past the other monsters in the division. Too many questions in the rotation, as well.
- Detroit Tigers
- Kansas City Royals
- Cleveland Indians
- Chicago White Sox
- Minnesota Twins
- Hard to pick against the pitching of the Tigers. They can basically roll out three aces in a row, and the rest of the rotation is pretty solid, as well. I think their bullpen is improved.
- This year, the Royals start to put it together. After a few seasons of expectations, they started to get it together in the second half of last year. They keep it going. Definitely a team trending upwards.
- The Indians put together something special last year, making it to the one-game playoff. I don’t think they can do it again, but they are another fun, scrappy team. Love what Francona has done there.
- Oakland A’s
- Texas Rangers
- Seattle Mariners
- LA Angels
- Houston Astros
- Not much changing at the top. The Rangers have still more firepower, but there is something about this team that is lacking over the past couple of years, and doesn’t seem to be fixed. It’s finish. They lack finish. Prince Fielder could have a huge year there, if he doesn’t wilt in the Texas sun.
- The A’s are just consistent. They are a good team, even if they seem to lack good players.
- Finally, an off-season where the Angles don’t overpay someone. Trout is incredible, but the aging lineup around him won’t do much to help him out.
- Washington Nationals
- Atlanta Braves
- NY Mets
- Philadelphia Phillies
- Miami Marlins
- The Mets will actually probably be the bottom of this division, because there is a lot to like about the young Marlins.
- I feel that last year was a season-long mistake by the Nats. They are better than what they showed last year, after their success the year before. They pull it back together this year.
- Is it just me, or does the Phillies just seem like a collection of dinosaurs at this point?
- St. Louis Cardinals
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- Cincinnati Reds
- Milwaukee Brewers
- Chicago Cubs
- Should be the most interesting division race again this year.
- Impossible to bet against the always-consistent Cardinals. That rotation is excellent, arguably the best in the NL.
- I think the Pirates contend again. They had players last year, on their miracle run, that had off-years. If they get it going as well, they can be good. Exciting team to watch, as well.
- The Reds just kind of stay the same. Pretty good. Not excellent.
- LA Dodgers
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- San Francisco Giants
- San Diego Padres
- Colorado Rockies
- That LA payroll is crazy. As is their roster. Even with the inevitable injuries, they have bought the depth to stay competitive. Another very good stable of pitchers. Seems like they have a dozen starters to choose from.
- Arizona is building, and this division always seems to have tons of movement in it.
- The Giants are usually good every second year, and this would be their year again. Don’t count them out, but I feel there are a few too many gaps to oust the Dodgers here.
AL Wild Cards: Red Sox, Royals
NL Wild Cards: Braves, Pirates
AL Champion: A’s
NL Champion: Nationals
World Series Champion: Nationals