AL Central Division Picks


Photo by USA Today


American League - Central Division picks

 

  1. Cleveland Indians
  2. Minnesota Twins
  3. Detroit Tigers
  4. Chicago White Sox
  5. Kansas City Royals

 

Cleveland Indians

Cleveland has ruled the American League Central Division for the past three years. They did it with pitching and more pitching. Only one other starting rotation in the AL can rival Cleveland top to bottom. Pitching and defense is what has enabled the Indians to stay steps ahead of its nearest rival.

Stacked with big time pitchers like Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber, this team will dominate even in this era of teams going bullpen crazy. But if they do go to the bullpen, they have Brad Hands, Danny Salazar and Adam Cimber ready to pick up the baton. They are impressive.

Defensively the Indians have always been good and led by shortstop Francisco Lindor the team can deliver wins in a number of ways. Add Jose Ramirez and Carlos Santana and it’s a tightly packed team that consistently wins in a weak division. Expect the same results and another division title for the team from Cleveland.

Can they go all the way?

Cleveland hasn’t won a World Series since 1948.

 

Minnesota Twins

This Minnesota Twins team will hit. Despite the retirement of Joe Mauer the team will improve dramatically in the offensive end. Coming to their batting lineup will be dependable home run star Nelson Cruz along with C.J. Cron, Jonathan Schoop and Ronald Torreyes. That’s a lot of firepower.

Pitching is something the Twins could use but they do have Jose Berrios and Kyle Gibson. Adalberto Mejia, a lefty, was very effective last year sporting a 1.16 WHIP in 22 innings. If he’s around for a whole season he can make a difference.

The hitting attack will dramatically improve with the new additions and expect the team to gain some ground on Cleveland this year. But until they shore up their starting pitching they will fall short. It’s a dangerous team.

 

Detroit Tigers

The once mighty Detroit Tigers fell below 70 wins for the second consecutive year winning only 64 again. With the return of Miguel Cabrera expect the Tigers offensive attack to be stronger. This will help their other slugger Nick Castellanos in the lineup see better pitches and that will result in big hits.

Pitching was lacking last year and the team addressed that need by signing Matt Moore and Tyson Ross. Those new hurlers add depth to their starting rotation and will help them improve by a tick or two.

Last year the team had no power and no speed. Now they have Cabrera back and he could make a difference in the power hitting department.

 

Chicago White Sox

After selling off their stars for potential stars the past several years, look for the White Sox to improve a few notches this year. Now the White Sox are ready to show off their young talent.

Eloy Jimenez, considered to be one of the top minor league players last year, will be on the opening day roster for Chicago. The speedy outfielder can do everything and very well. The White Sox already have other prospects like third baseman Yoan Moncada and pitchers Carlos Rodon and Reynaldo Lopez on the team. Could this quartet make them a powerhouse in a year or two?

The White Sox also picked up Ivan Nova and Alex Colome and those two will improve the pitching staff. This is not last year’s pitiful team.

 

Kansas City Royals

The team won only 58 games last year after winning more than 80 games in four consecutive years. The Royals will suffer again as it continues its rebuilding mode.

Kansas will rely on speed in both the outfield and infield. But they recently lost their catching star Santiago Perez to injury. It’s a crushing loss for the Royals.

Their best pitcher last year was Jakob Junis who wielded a 1.27 WHIP. It’s going to be another long season for Kansas who added speedster Billy Hamilton and Brian Goodwin to the team. But it’s clearly not enough to improve the Royals into contention status.

 

 

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