March 14, 2013; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) drives in two runs with a base hit against the New York Mets in the spring training game at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

2013 American League Predictions

The excitement of a new season just continues to mount for us baseball fans. Here at BoSox Injection, each writer will submit their predictions and with Aidan Flynn having already posted his, here are mine for the upcoming season.

AL East:

  1. Toronto Blue Jays (92-70)
  2. Tampa Bay Rays (90-72)
  3. Baltimore Orioles (87-75)
  4. Boston Red Sox (86-76)
  5. New York Yankees (82-80)

MVP Candidate: Evan Longoria

Cy Young Candidate: David Price

Mar 10, 2012; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) drives in a run during the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

As a whole division, the AL East is going to be as close as it has been in years in 2013. Traditional powerhouses like the Yankees and Red Sox have fallen over the past few years and new powerhouses like the Orioles and Rays have arisen. In 2013, it looks like the Blue Jays may join that mix. Toronto went all in during the 2012-2013 offseason, adding big-name pitchers (R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle) to a very weak rotation and adding big bats (Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera) to what was already a powerful offense. If all breaks right for the Blue Jays, they could be a very good team and a definite playoff contender. The Rays have what they’ve always had in their recent run: excellent pitching. Last year’s AL Cy Young David Price leads a rotation which also includes Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore among others. The offense is subpar at best, but it does have Evan Longoria sitting in the middle of it and that may be enough to carry Tampa. One of the big questions in the 2013 season will be whether or not the 2012 Orioles were a fluke. They do have the offense to compete in the division with Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters, and Chris Davis. However, I don’t think that they have the starting pitching to win a playoff spot in a close-knit division. The Red Sox made a number of changes during the offseason, as they added Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes, and Stephen Drew to the offense and strengthening the bullpen with Koji Uehara and Joel Hanrahan. However, they still haven’t truly addressed the starting pitching, their weakest link in 2012, only adding Ryan Dempster to the mix. If Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz can return to where they once were, the Red Sox should contend seriously, but otherwise this will be a bridge year. The Yankees had a team that looked like it could compete for first place entering the spring; however, they have been struck hard by injuries. Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez will start the year on the DL and there are too many question marks for the 2013 team.

AL Central: 

  1. Detroit Tigers (97-65)
  2. Kansas City Royals (88-74)
  3. Cleveland Indians (86-76)
  4. Chicago White Sox (85-77)
  5. Minnesota Twins (62-100)

MVP Candidate: Miguel Cabrera

Cy Young Candidate: Justin Verlander

The AL Central is not going to be a one-horse race in 2013 as the Royals and Indians both had big offseasons and should be considerably better in 2013. However, the Tigers are still certainly the cream of the crop. Their already excellent offense will be further bolstered by the healthy return of Victor Martinez, who missed all of 2012 with a torn ACL. He’ll join perennial MVP candidates Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the middle of a dominant Detroit lineup. The Tigers’ pitching staff, featuring a strong top four of Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez, and Max Scherzer also looks to be one of the best in the game. The Royals added tremendously to a very weak pitching staff by bringing James Shields, Wade Davis, Ervin Santana, and Jeremy Guthrie to a revamped Kansas City rotation. That rotation added to a good, young offense featuring Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer should produce a winning ballclub. The Indians also added tremendously to their team during the offseason, spending much of their effort increasing offensive production by adding Michael Bourn, Mark Reynolds, and Nick Swisher. The pitching is still very weak in Cleveland though, and that could be the downfall of this promising team. The White Sox were one of the big surprises of the 2012 season, but I’m not a believer in the ability of Chris Sale and Paul Konerko to continue to carry the team in 2013. Despite all the uncertainty in the middle of this division, it seems almost certain that the Twins will occupy last place in the AL Central. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are really the only two major leaguers on the team and things don’t look good for them.

AL West:

  1. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (93-69)
  2. Texas Rangers (91-71)
  3. Oakland Athletics (87-75)
  4. Seattle Mariners (84-78)
  5. Houston Astros (52-110)

MVP Candidate: Mike Trout

Cy Young Candidate: Felix Hernandez

Mar 23, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) singles during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

If any division had a tumultuous offseason, it was the AL West. Not only did the Houston Astros come from the NL Central to the AL West, teams like the Angels and Mariners had huge offseasons and a big Rangers star traded places within the division. That would of course be Josh Hamilton, who joined an Angels lineup which in 2013 should become one of the highest scoring teams, possibly of all time. Hamilton will join 2012 AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout as well as three-time MVP Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo. The pitching will be a question for the Angels, but the additions of Tommy Hanson and Jason Vargas will help to shore up the rotation. On the other hand, the Rangers had a rough offseason as they lost their star outfielder. However, Texas will hope that new acquisitions Lance Berkman and A.J. Pierzynski will fit in well with a lineup already featuring Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, and Ian Kinsler. Unlike the Angels, the Rangers have a very competent pitching staff led by Matt Harrison and Yu Darvish although their bullpen is weak. The A’s are another team whose strong 2012 could be considered a fluke. With Jarrod Parker and Brett Anderson at the head of their rotation, the pitching should be poised for another big year. Their offense is the big question though, as it all depends on whether former Red Sox Josh Reddick, Coco Crisp, and Jed Lowrie can hold down the fort. The Mariners had themselves a pretty big offseason by adding big time to their offensive attack with Michael Morse. Felix Hernandez should lead a decent pitching staff again and the M’s will likely be as good as they’ve been in years in 2013. The Astros are just the buzzkill of this division though. There are essentially no quality players on their team except Jose Altuve and Bud Norris and they should be poised for a horrendous season in 2013 in the AL.


Wild Card: Rangers > Rays

ALDS: Tigers > Rangers, Angels > Blue Jays

ALCS: Tigers > Angels

AL Champion: Detroit Tigers

Tags: Predictions

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