Wednesday, March 26, 2008

2008 MLB Baseball Preview: AL

Let's get going on predictions for the season, starting with the AL (with the NL coming tomorrow):

Division Races:
AL East: Red Sox
AL Central: Tigers
AL West: Angels
AL Wild Card: Yankees
AL Champ: Tigers

Notes: My only real issue here is leaving the Indians out. One of the best subplots -- if not the best subplot -- of the season will be the race between Boston, New York, Cleveland and Detroit for three playoff spots. All through the offseason, I have been admiring the Tigers' aggressive moves, in the face of dominance by the Red Sox. Hard to stop Detroit's lineup.

Individual Awards:
MVP: Miguel Cabrera
Cy: Francisco Liriano
Rookie: Clay Buchholz
Manager: Jim Leyland

Notes: Picking Cabrera for MVP tracks with picking Detroit to win the AL pennant. But surrounded by the lineup he is in, at the stage of his growth he is at, taking on what seems to be a sub-par group of AL pitchers (compared to the NL), he should have a monster year.

(Picking Liriano to win the Cy is a nod to the lack of depth of star pitchers in the AL, along with a nod to the longtime Quickie readers who were with me in the Summer of Liriano back in 2006, when he wasn't just the best rookie pitcher, but the best pitcher in baseball.)

Let me open it up to you: Who are your picks to win the divisions and to pick up the individual awards in the American League? Leave them in the Comments. I will post them as often as I can.

-- D.S.


John said...

AL East: Red Sox
AL Central: Tigers
AL West: Mariners
Wildcard: Indians

For some reason I think injuries are going to doom the Angels and Yankees this season.

MVP: Manny
CY: Bedard
ROY: Ellsbury
Manager: Leyland

Manny might be a homer pick on my part and he'll probably lose votes, because he's a nut, but I think he's going to have one of his old monster years.

pete said...

You could make a case for a Red Sox sweep for these awards.

MVP: Manny Ramirez.

Why: Contract Year Manny. Also, he's coming off a down year (in Manny terms) and needs to prove he's still worth $20M/yr (or more). After seeing him against the A's in Japan it looks like he's trying to make the case.

Cy Young: Josh Beckett

Why: Last years only 20 game winner and has an awesome F You attitude. No Santana to compete with. With this Boston team I set the over/under on W's at 22.

Rookie: Jacoby Ellsbury

Why: He's better than Pedroia. Will be competing to keep the starting job from Crisp. He's effing awesome.

Manager: Terry Francona

Why: If he leads the Red Sox to a second consecutive AL East title and keeps the team in the position of presumptive World Series champs, how can he not win this award? In 4 years in Boston he unseated the Yankees from AL East Champs for the first time in like a decade, has won 2 Championships, and is undefeated in World Series games.

Brad said...

Manny in a contract year means next to nothing...he probably doesn't even know what year it is

JX said...

AL East: Red Sox
*Yankees should be concerned with their pitching. Toronto has just enough to win, oh, 80-85 games and that's it. Tampa is the 'trendy' pick to breakthrough but, come on, it's Tampa! Yeah, they've got lots of on paper talent but it's gotta produce on the regular. Baltimore...well, Baltimore will suck.

AL Central:Tigers
Indians are going to be very good, but the Tigers are just too stacked. The bullpen, depending on health, could be an issue.

AL West:Angels
Too much hitting. Too much pitching. Too much bullpen. The Mariners intrique me, if nothing else because of the addition of Bedard.


AL Champion: Red Sox

*Contract year, focused, Scott Boras = HUGE Numbers.

CY Young:Verlander
*Best pitcher on what could be the best team in the league this year.

Rookie: Ellsbury
*Spring slump be damned!

Manager: Leyland
*I wanna see him celebrate with a Marlboro!

Melbye said...

Well I have been way too detached from spring ball this year to make any educated guesses. We had our 2nd child last Sunday night, but believe me, the MLB Extra Innings package will be flying come Sunday.

I like the Liriano pick on the Cy, it is scary what the kid can do when he's healthy and is ready to, in his words, let it go.

bmajoras said...

Lack of star pitching in the AL? CC, Beckett, Verlander, Hernandez, Bedard, Dice-K, Carmona, Wang. I'd pick any of those guys before I picked a guy who hasn't pitched in two years to win the Cy Young