From: Subject: Date: April 21, 2005 3:53:51 PM CDT Hankblog: AL Preview

Monday, April 04, 2005

AL Preview

Ok, here's the thing with the American League. Last year, when Boston executed the greatest comeback in post season history (and you have no idea how much it nauseates me to type those words), the Red Sox showed that truly anything is possible. So with that as a given in this league, I think predictions are pretty much an exercise in futility, but I'll take a shot just the same.

AL West
1. Rangers
2. Anaheim
3. Athletics
4. Mariners

I liked what I saw from Texas last season. A team that had become plodding and lethargic suddenly had heart, drive, and hustle. They overachieved compared to their pitching staff's actual talent level, but that can go a long way towards establishing confidence for the young starters. If Chris Young or Ricardo Rodriguez shows the same life Ryan Dreese showed last season, their offense can easily take care of the rest. Anaheim has a potent offense, and are three years removed from a title, but they still have some question marks in the staff. Oakland is officially rebuilding and Seattle has nothing as far as starting pitching goes.

AL Central
1. Twins
2. Indians
3. Tigers
4. ChiSox
5. Royals

The Twins have so much cohesion as a unit, it's easy to like what they do on the field. Johan Santana has nasty nasty stuff. He could win 25 this year if he pitches like he did in the second half last season. And if he does that, the Twins could put 100 in the win column this year. Detriot could surprise some people, though I may be biased having just watched them pound the crap out of KC to open the season. But they have a good dynamic offense with some depth off the bench. And Bonderman could be the next coming of Santana if today was any indication.

AL East

1. Yankees
2. Red Sox
3. Blue Jays
4. Devil Rays
5. Orioles

I freely admit bias plays at least a part in my predictions being a die hard Yankee fan. That said, Randy Johnson looked solid in his first start and pinstripes, and I can't imagine Wells' first start as a Red Sock (Sox?) can inspire much confidence. Wells won't always be that bad or RJ that good, but I think the odds are better for a big year out of Randy. With Pavano slotted in the number 3 position behind the Unit and Moose, have to like the staff's chance to win 100. I think this is the year Pinella gets the D-Rays out of the cellar and they could surprise some people if their talent comes together and gels nice. Boston takes the WC.

Twins over Red Sox
Yankess over Rangers
Mark my words though: if my playoff teams actually come out as listed, do not be surprised if Texas comes out and pops NY in the mouth. Would be just my luck to go from listening to my friends Chris and Dennis gloat over the Red Sox beating my boys, to my ex-wife getting a chance to lord her boys making mine their bitches for a season.

Twins over Yankees
Makes me sick to write that, but I think the taste last year made these Twins hungry for more. I do think if this is the ALCS that Santana and Johnson will lock down for two or three games for the ages.

World Series
Twins over Florida
Sappy feel good World Series that it might be, I think I'd enjoy the hell out of this matchup.