Monday, February 01, 2010

Baseball Predictions: The American League Central

I have seen a couple baseball preview magazines. The Sporting News and Lindy's are both picking the Tigers to place third in the American League Central behind the Twins and the White Sox. Each has Kansas City fourth and Cleveland fifth. The Sporting News is projecting Austin Jackson to be the American League Rookie of the Year. They also project Jeff Larish, Wilkin Ramirez and Brett Dlugach being in the Tigers' opening day 2012 lineup. If that is, indeed, the case, the Tigers future isn't very bright.
The Tigers are actually getting more respect this season than last, although it might because of a lack of regard t for the A.L. Central. Last year, for example, The Sporting News picked the Tigers to place last.
Believe it or not, the consensus pick to win the A.L. Central last year was Cleveland. On the first day of February, this is how I see the A.L. Central playing out in 2010:
1. Minnesota
2. Detroit
3. Kansas City
4. Chicago
5. Cleveland
I think the White Sox have spent a lot of money, but not wisely. I see the Royals as being a little better than in the past, but not necessarily a .500 team. I see the Tigers as .500 or slightly better because of their pitching. My final predictions will come near opening day.

My column in Monday's Oakland Press. Impressions of Senior Bowl and Lions upcoming draft

My column in Sunday's Oakland Press: If the Red Wings Leave Joe Louis Arena, it must be for The Palace.



Blogger Barry said...

Pat, they should change their method of predicting how teams finish up. This shows they do not know the Tigers very well. The only chance Dlugach being Tigers ss is if he hits 350, shows lots of range and doesn’t commit an error during spring training. Larish will only make the team if Maggs or Gullien gets traded or there is an injury. Rameriz comes with baggage with his high strikeouts and below average D. Rameriz is behind Raburn and Thomas at this point. I do agree the Tigers will be in the top three and will have the edge when they pick up a left-handed bat during the seasons if Maggs doesn't hit or Guillen get hurt again.

3:25 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me it's hard to make a prediction until we see what type of bat they add and how Bonderman comes back. If Bonderman is indeed anything like he was a few years ago then I think we have a very promising rotation. However, out lineup worries me some. I'd like to see us add an everyday left handed bat. So as of now I am going to go Twins first, Royals, Tigers/Sox(depending those couple of questions), and Cleveland.

4:00 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, I'll pick the Tigers for 3rd behind Minnesota and the White Sox. Their pitching should be fine, but they will allow extra runs due to a weakened defense. Sizemore will probably boot a few games away early in the year. Whoever ends up in center will not field the position as securely as Curtis Granderson, or deliver as many clutch hits. They seem to have promised left field to Carlos Guillen. I see this as a mistake. Maybe they will make a deal to solidify the top of the batting order. I hope so. I think the veterens may become demoralized if the rookie experiments don't work out. Dave

11:42 AM 
Anonymous Jeff H said...

Truly a bad division. Moving outdoors from the Little Dome of Horrors will cost the Twins 5 - 7 wins this year. Sox pitching with Peavy and Buerhle will take them to the top. Tigers can challenge if Porcello duplicates last year, Bonderman wins 12 - 15, Scherzer doesn't suffer an NL to AL drop off. Lots of ifs there and still haven't addressed 5th starter. Without any further moves I see Tigers 4th behind CWS, Twins and Royals.

12:13 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Book, I am assuming these predictions (including yours) include Verlander as a Tiger.

That means they ponied up and gave Justin year 6 (which I am not against at all - I think it's a no brainer myself).

Yet the National Media seems to be making the assumption that the Tigers are not willing to make anymore big deals? Snake-bite shy from 2007/2008 offseason.

I don't think that's the case. I think they got smarter - not more scared - about big deals. That's why I will be very dissapointed if Johnny Damon actually wears an old English D.

I like your projection Pat - and if I may add to it - I will bet there will be a number of weeks that the Tigers dip up into first place - during a Twinkie slump - only to fall back again after the All Star break.

I can smell the hotdogs now ...

12:31 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your prediction is spot on but would flip Chicago and KC.

Tigers end up 83-79.

Fred, the hot dogs are not good for you but then again, why not? It's baseball season and you can't do any better than that!

2:58 PM 
Blogger Stephen said...

Here's my 2 cents on the starters I don't feel we're very good at all, just descent cause of verlander. If this is our strong point we are in trouble!

Verlander - he's a stud. ERA 3.50

Porcello - League's gotten to know him now, I'm predicting a sophomore slump as he doesn't have overpowering stuff and I feel he struggled last year the second/third time teams saw him. ERA 4.60

Bonderman - Last 3 seasons were disastrous and injury filled. If he even lasts a full season I foresee stamina issues late in the year or late in games. ERA 5.10

Scherzer - Switching teams from NL to AL is not easy, but I think he's a good pitcher and capable...however slight learning curve is expected. ERA 4.40

Robertson - Nothing to say except I think he's just washed up! ERA 5.30

Galaraga - He was too hittable last year I watched many of his starts. He wasn't fooling anyone like his rookie year and I foresee that continuing. ERA 5.00

10:53 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Ramirez has 11 errors in 89 games in the outfield at Triple-A last season. 11. Ever hear of major league outfielder doing that? Not even sure Dlugach will be a 4-A player.

2:01 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Bonderman did comeback last season. He felt fine. Just didn't throw as hard or have same snap on slider. Wasn't a good sign.

2:02 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Most people are with you on the White Sox. They did spend money and revamp their team. Doesn't seem to me they spent it wisely, though.

2:03 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Jeff H,
Agreed. A huge X factor regarding the Twins is their new stadium. Did they take away one of the great home field advantages in all of sports?

2:04 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
He is going to be with the team this year - no matter what. Tigers pitching could be among the best in baseball. It might not that much, however, because they could struggle to score runs.

2:05 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Nothing better than a hot dog at ball game or a hockey game.

2:06 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Actually, Porcello did better the second and third time after seeing teams. He was a very good to dominant pitcher in the second half. His two-seam fastball is one of the best pitches in baseball. Would surprise me if he doesn't do even better this season.

2:08 PM 
Blogger Capital League Baseball coming soon. said...

The Tigers have to get first place this year after being robbed by that umpire in Minnesota last year. Too bad Detroit doesn't let men over the age of 25 try out for the team; if they did I would be happy to battle anybody over there for the starting left field job. Go Tigers!!!
Yours Truly,
Chris Hakim
Founder Capital League Baseball

12:30 AM 

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