2008 AL Central Predictions
1. Tigers — Just look at their lineup, OK? I dare you, DARE YOU, to find a better offense in the game. They’re simply stacked. Even if they get two-three injuries, they’ll be good enough to withstand it. And I really think their pitching staff has underachieved; they’re much more talented than what they’ve shown. This offense is going to win games. Lots of ‘em. If I could give them one thing, I’d give em … the Cy Young year Jeremy Bonderman is bound to achieve.
2. Indians — They’re really solid all the way around and certainly proved it last year, coming within a win from the World Series. Travis Hafner is due for a bounce-back year and should be able to carry them to the playoffs. Their staff is solid, the lineup is solid, their bullpen is pretty good — there isn’t much not to like about this team. If I could give them one thing, I’d give em … a left fielder.
3. White Sox — It was like Murphy’s Law for these guys last year — everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. Dye, Pierzynski, Thome, and Konerko can’t possibly be worse. Outside of Bobby Jenks, the bullpen would have a tough time being worse. They have holes at third and left, but they should be OK everywhere else. Check that: I cringe at the thought of Nick Swisher patrolling center field all year. They’re due for a turnaround season. If I could give them one thing, I’d give em … a lifetime contract for Ozzie. He’s too entertaining to ever be fired.
4. Twins — I don’t care if they got back Harmon Killebrew and Dan Gladden — you can’t improve by trading away the best pitcher in the game. That leaves a gaping hole in the rotation that was already weak last year. They have lots of talent on offense, but their middle infield is so weak they can kill rallies just being in the stadium. I still think Delmon Young will be a star so that offense has some good pop. If I could give them one thing, I’d give em … a hundred million dollar payroll so they could have kept their studs together.
5. Royals — They’re so cute, and they’re trying so hard, you really want them to do well. And actually, they’re not that far off from competing if guys like Teahen, Billy Butler, and Alex Gordon develop. I like that they’ve bought some players the past few years like Gil Meche and Jose Guillen, makes them more competitive. They also have the best closer you’ve never heard of — Joakim Soria. Still, they don’t have enough big guns to compete. If I could give them one thing, I’d give em … the Rookie of the Year Angel Berroa from ’03.