2012 Previews: American League

As I’m sure you’re quite aware, the Texas Rangers preview posted yesterday was the last of the American League previews, so I thought it pertinent to do somewhat of a review of sorts. A preview review, if you will.

Follow me after the jump to take a look at my predictions (or rather, random gut-reaction guesses) for the American League in handy chart form. Because who doesn’t love charts? No one. The answer is no one.

AL East W-L GB
Boston Red Sox 94-68
Tampa Bay Rays* 93-69 1
New York Yankees** 92-70 2
Toronto Blue Jays 83-79 11
Baltimore Orioles 60-102 34


AL Central W-L GB
Detroit Tigers 86-76
Kansas City Royals 81-81 5
Minnesota Twins 80-82 6
Cleveland Indians 77-85 9
Chicago White Sox 74-88 12


AL West W-L GB
Texas Rangers 97-65
LA Angels of Anaheim 91-71 6
Oakland Athletics 71-91 26
Seattle Mariners 65-97 32


As you can infer from the information above, the Rangers, Red Sox and Tigers would be guaranteed entrance into the ALDS with the Yankees and Rays heading to a one-game playoff to decide who gets to face the AL’s number-one seed; in this case the Rangers.

Predicting the regular season is somewhat easier given the large sample size inherent therein, but predicting the post-season is a different animal; one I’m not entirely comfortable provoking. But, for the sake of entertainment and to hold myself accountable to you, the loyal Blankard, I will perform the inadvisable and attempt to predict the playoffs.

In my little predicted fantasy world, the Rangers would face the winner of the Rays-Yankees tilt, which I will give to the Rays, mostly because they have a much deeper pitching rotation. If C.C. Sabathia is not available to New York in that one game, they don’t necessarily have the pitchers to compete with the depth of the Rays.

I’ll predict the Rangers to defeat the Rays, just as they did in each of the last two years and the Red Sox to handle the far inferior Tigers, setting up a Rangers-Red Sox ALCS. In a short series, I like the Red Sox more than the Rangers mostly because I think their lineup is slightly deeper and, all things being equal, the Red Sox trio of Lester, Beckett and Buchholz is better than any three pitchers the Rangers possess. So, there you have it: I “predict” that the Red Sox will win the AL pennant. And for the sake of subjecting myself to further future mockery, I’ll say they do it in six games.

As for the awards, here are three players I think have a legitimate shot at each of the major awards, listed in no particular order:

MVP Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays
  Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Boston Red Sox
  Albert Pujols, 1B, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim


CY Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox
  Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
  Dan Haren, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim


ROTY Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels Anaheim
  Matt Moore, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays
  Yu Darvish, RHP, Texas Rangers


Thoughts? Suggestions? Feces flinging?