American League Baseball predictions unveiled

American League Baseball predictions unveiled

by Dave Morain

With another baseball season just around the corner, many questions loom large. Who did enough in the off-season to make themselves legitimate contenders? Who did not do enough? Who is only one arm or bat away from the playoffs? Who is doomed to the cellar for the year? The Simpsonian takes a crack at breaking down every team and attempts to predict the big winners and losers from April to October.

Anaheim Angels: The Angels did a lot for their already-tough pitching staff by acquiring Kevin Appier and Aaron Sele. The bats will have to be much more lively if they want to play in October.

Projected Finish: 3rd in the AL West

Baltimore Orioles: Cal Ripken jumped ship at just the right time. Their line-up reads like a “Who’s Who” of minor league all-stars. Their pitching staff is not much better.

Projected Finish: 4th in the AL East

Boston Red Sox: Team stars Pedro Martinez and Nomar Garciaparra are coming off injuries. Center fielder Johnny Damon is the most overpaid player in the AL (besides Alex Rodriguez). Still, they have the talent to make some noise in the pennant race.

Projected Finish: 2nd in the AL East

Chicago White Sox: The “other” Chicago team has quietly put together a winning combination of power (Frank Thomas, Magglio Ordonez) and speed (Kenny Lofton, Royce Clayton) to become one of the most potent offensive teams in the league.

Projected Finish: 1st in the AL Central

Cleveland Indians: Lost the most prolific RBI man in the game (Manny Ramirez) before last season and never fully recovered. This year they are without the services of their leadoff batter (Lofton) and all-star second baseman (Roberto Alomar).

Projected Finish: 3rd in the AL Central

Detroit Tigers: Their motto: “Hey, we still have a baseball team!” Not much to say about their pitching staff (which may rival that of some Little League teams) but catcher Robert Fick will provide a few fireworks at the plate.

Projected Finish: 4th in the AL Central

Kansas City Royals: Perfect example of why small market teams fail to be competitive. Carlos Beltran and Mike Sweeney are lone bright spots.

Projected Finish: 5th in the AL Central

Minnesota Twins: Baseball’s story of triumph in the face of adversity, the Twins actually have a shot at winning the pennant. They will need clutch pitching from Brad Radke and Eric Milton.

Projected Finish: 2nd in the AL Central

New York Yankees: The official team of Satan. Owner George Steinbrenner ensured that he will return to the playoffs by acquiring Jason Giambi from the A’s.. Pitching staff is solid from top to bottom.

Projected Finish: 1st in the AL East

Oakland Athletics: The A’s have the best young pitching staff around, bar none. David Justice will help to replace Jason Giambi in the lineup. They have the best chance of knocking off the Yankees in the American League.

Projected Finish: 2nd in the AL West (Wildcard)

Seattle Mariners: These guys lose Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, and Ken Griffey in successive years and manage to tie the record for most wins in a season by a ball club. They will win their division again, but don’t count on 116 wins anytime soon. The loss of Aaron Sele hurts their staff.

Projected Finish: 1st in the AL West

Tampa Bay Devil Rays: Like some creation gone horribly wrong, this team should be put to sleep. Only Ben Grieve and Greg Vaughn have any business being in the Major Leagues. Their role this year will be to keep the Orioles out of the cellar.

Projected Finish: 5th in the AL East

Texas Rangers: The most interesting team to watch this year will be the Rangers. They added affirmed racist John Rocker and ill-tempered slugger Carl Everett to a team with quarter-billionaire Alex Rodriguez and the worst pitching staff in baseball. Let the games begin!

Projected Finish: 4th in the AL West

Toronto Blue Jays: Shannon Stewart, Raul Mondesi, and Carlos Delgado should provide enough stability for the role players to step up and win some games. Jose Cruz, Jr., is quickly becoming a great outfielder.

Projected Finish: 3rd in the AL East