Admit it, you’ve read a hundred of these already. Everyone has an opinion and while you usually abstain from reading about their beliefs, you make an exception at the beginning of the season to see who is crazy enough to actually put into print something truly bold that will either make you happy, angry or just ask “what the hell is he/she thinking?”. I wanted to put together a decent list of standings predictions for you guys, but I also wanted to be bold. I wanted to write something worth reading rather the same old “Dodgers win the west” garbage. At the same time, I’m not here to post things that are just completely off just for the sole purpose of being ridiculous. So here’s the best twist on standing predictions that I can offer.
- Rays 93-69
- Red Sox 90-72
- Yankees 87-75
- Orioles 85-77
- Blue Jays – A lot of losses
Everyone is picking the Red Sox because it’s the safe pick but has anyone really done their homework here? They lost Jacoby Ellsbury and think they’ll replace his production with Jackie Bradley Jr? Stephen Drew has about as good of a season as he can have and over-hyped prospect (like most Boston prospects) Xander Bogaerts is expected to be an upgrade? John Lackey will actually be good again? I’m sorry, I’m not buying it. Neither am I buying the Yankees run of spending. That’s an old team with a lot of questions. The Rays are the most well-managed and complete team in the AL this season (and virtually every season).
- Royals 88-74
- Indians 87-75
- Tigers 85-77
- Twins – Sub .500
- White Sox – Very Sub .500
Again, everyone likes the Tigers because they’re the safe pick, but has anyone bothered to compare them to their division rivals? The Tigers lost Prince Fielder‘s bat and have replaced it with Nick Castellanos. They lost Omar Infante to a division rival and have replaced him with Ian Kinsler. They’ve lost Andy Dirks due to a back injury. They lost Doug Fister for practically nothing, and Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez have never been THAT good (duel Cy Young candidates?), nor will they ever be THAT good again. Meanwhile, the Royals have reached their window of opportunity and added key pieces for a playoff run and the Indians are a well-managed team with lost of young pitching.
- A’s 91-71
- Angels 90-72
- Rangers 82-80
- Mariners – cellar
- Astros – sub-cellar
The A’s wont be as good as they were last year. Not without Bartolo Colon cheating his way back to prominance and their ace Jarrod Parker shelved for the season. But Oakland has a deep pitching staff with lost of options and should have better seasons from Reddick and Cespedes. The Angels on the other hand will look renewed behind a very potent lineup while Richards, Skaggs and Santiago surprise the world and are actually quite good. Still, their bullpen looks shaky at best and I’m not convinced Jered Weaver‘s 87mph fastball will hold the opposition off the board. The real surprise here will be the Texas Rangers. Normally accustomed to being atop the division, they’ll struggle this season. The pitching staff, both rotation and bullpen, is in shambles and they’ll go a large chunk of the year with replacement level players at best at both catcher and second base. As for the Mariners, they’ll look potent, but the young pitching has to show up and they’ll need more than Robinson Cano to generate runs.
AL Wild Card: Angels at Red Sox. Oddly enough, the Angels will be starting red-hot Garrett Richards in their do-or-die playoff game against the Red Sox in Boston. The Red Sox will counter with Jon Lester. ”That’s cute” says the Angels offense on their way to an 8-1 victory.
Royals vs the A’s: The Royals rotation is perfectly built for the playoffs and the heavily favored A’s will run into the buzz-saw that is James Shields, Yordano Ventura and Kyle Zimmer. Royals sweep the A’s.
Angels vs Rays: The Angels hold the advantage on offense and the Rays on the mound. Scioscia’s willingness to keep Weaver as his ace will ultimately cost him the games he needs to win in this series. Rays in 4.
Rays vs Royals: The dream matchup of pitching. No game will post more than 6 runs combined, but ultimately the Rays playoff vets come through and lead them to the World Series. Rays in 5.
What? You were expecting the Angels to win the World Series because this is an Angels blog? Sorry to disappoint, but in much lighter news, both Dipoto and Scioscia will have jobs in 2015.