Spring Training is basically over, and we get it started for real Monday April 3rd. Here are my pre-season picks.
1. Boston 2. Baltimore 3. Toronto 4. NY Yankees 5. Tampa Bay
- Cleveland 2. Detroit 3. Kansas City 4. Chicago White Sox 5. Minnesota
- Texas 2. Houston 3. Seattle 4. Los Angeles Angels 5. Oakland
Wild Cards: Houston, Baltimore
Teams to Watch Out For: Yankees (if their rotation can hold up, they will compete with that bullpen), LA Angels (if Matt Shoemaker and Garrett Richards can stay healthy, they could be interesting)
MVP: Adam Jones, Baltimore
CY Young: Chris Sale, Boston
Manager of the Year: Jeff Banister, Texas
Comeback Player: Yu Darvish, Texas
Breakout Player: James Paxton, Seattle
AL Champion: Cleveland
Five Interesting Things to Watch
- Sonny Gray: Does Oakland keep him? If not, where does he go? I think teams like Houston among others will flood the phone lines to inquire about him.
- Jose Quintana: Another hot pitching talent on a below average team. Will the White Sox part ways with, and what will the cost be for teams trying to get him. Again, teams like Houston I’m sure will inquire.
- The Yankees’ youth movement: It really got jump started with the call-up of Gary Sanchez at the end of last season. Now with him and other youngsters like Greg Bird and several young pitchers in the fold, the new infusion of youth will look to surprise the pundits this season.
- The AL West race: I have a feeling this race will go down to the wire with Houston, Texas, and Seattle. All of them have flaws (starting pitching depth, etc.) which should make for an fun division race.
- Cleveland Hangover: I don’t think there will be one, but we have seen teams fall off the following season after a great playoff run. However, this team is very talented with really good pitching and a great manager in Terry Francona who has been in this situation before with Boston.