2012 American League Baseball Preview
After an exciting finish to last season, Major League Baseball underwent several changes, including new stadiums, new team names, and players changing teams. Now that we are a couple of weeks into the season, let’s preview the American League and get a few predictions from the staff at WFNZ The Fan 610 AM.
Brett Jensen (Host of ‘On The Beat’ 10am-12pm Monday-Friday): My AL Division winners are the NY Yankees (Still has strong hitters but will depend on pitching) , the Detroit Tigers (Pitching & hitting by far the best in the division) , and the Texas Rangers (Still overall best offense). My AL wildcards will be the LA Angels (Pujols will get them back to playoffs) and Boston Red Sox (too much talent despite last years choke job).
The easiest division this year to pick is the AL Central. Detroit already had a solid offense but now that is added Prince Fielder to go a long with Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers look poised to take it to the next level. People in Minnesota can’t stay healthy, the Indians are still a few years away, KC offers nothing, and the White Sox fall short of expectations every year. Detroit has Justin Verlander and nobody else does.
Travis ‘T-Bone’ Hancock (Producer on ‘The Mac Attack’ 6am-10am Monday-Friday): I have the Tampa Rays winning the east, the Detroit Tigers taking the central, and the LA Angels coming out of the west. The wildcard teams should be the Yankees and the Rangers.
While the Yankees seem to be the AL East favorite on paper, last year proved that the Rays will be a factor as long as Joe Maddon is at the helm and the young talent is plentiful. The Yankees added nobody new to a lineup that showed age and had major struggles in the postseason. The biggest addition would have been a full season of phenom Jesus Montero, who is now in Seattle. If Pineda is a bust (as it seems early) then you can also kiss the wildcard goodbye.
Chris McClain (Host of ‘The Mac Attack’ 6am-10am Monday-Friday): The West is where your AL winner will come from. I think the aggressive Angels will overtake the Two time Defending AL Champ Rangers this year. They will be rewarded for spending on slugger Albert Pujols and Pitcher CJ Wilson. The Wilson acquisition might do more to affect the balance of power in
the division than the Albert move. You took away a dependable arm from the Rangers staff and putt him on your staff. Huge move in the West. Could be the difference in the division. As for the As and Mariners, I think they will be remembered as the two teams that started the season way too early in Japan for some odd reason.
Chris Johnson (WFNZ.com Blogger): I like the Yankees to take the AL East, while the Detroit Tigers mop up the Central. I have the LA Angels winning the West, while Texas and Minnesota are the wild cards. Taking it one step further, I like the Angels and Big Albert to win the American League and potentially win the World Series as well.
Bruce Wilson (WFNZ.com Blogger): After a slow start (0-3) the New York Yankees are back on top of the AL east (9-6) and I have no doubt they will hold on to this division. The Tampa Bay Rays will fade as the season continues and Boston has been woeful to start the year. Their pitching staff has welcomed members of Red Sox nation to join their drinking in efforts to forget their poor performances. The Central is ripe for the Detroit Tigers to walk away with, however a tough home stand against the Texas Rangers leave the Tigers only a half game up on the Chicago White Sox who benefited from having the Seattle Mariners on their schedule early. If Philip Humber continues to pitch well, look for the Southsiders to win an AL wildcard spot. The other wildcard will come from the West and I put my money on the LA Angels because I don’t think there is a better team in the league than the Texas Rangers. Even with the loss of CJ Wilson, the Rangers bolstered their great rotation with Yu Darvish and reliever-turned-starter Neftali Feliz. The starters are a combined 10-1 and leading Texas to the best record in baseball 13-3. All star Josh Hamilton is back in form after a rough off-season and is leading the Rangers in almost every offensive category (.418 average, 7 home runs, and 17 RBI). I’m going to go with Detroit and Texas to replay the AL championship series again.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of Sports Radio 610 AM WFNZ The Fan.