Over the next week, The Redbird Daily writers will be participating in a few roundtable discussions on the upcoming Major League Baseball season. We would love for you to join the discussion by commenting below with your picks! Today we will tackle the American League.
American League West
Kyle Reis – ASTROS ASTROS ASTROS ASTROS ASTROS ASTROS ASTROS ASTROS. Rangers as a wild card. Same with the Mariners. THINK ABOUT IT
Ryan Massey – Astros are in the right place to win this year. A lot of youth and talent on this team. I expect Dallas Keuchel to bounce back and have a great year, and Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and George Springer will have solid years to lead the team into the post season.
Austin Lamb – In case the first two posts weren’t enough… ASTROS. I like the improvements to the Mariners and Rangers, but they’re aren’t enough to overcome the ‘Stros.
Allen Medlock – The Texas lineup is really good which makes me go with the Rangers. Darvish, Martin, and Hamels will be enough pitching to support the offense. The infield of Beltre, Andrus,Odor, and Napoli will account for a ton of runs. Keep an eye on Seattle. They have a loaded defensive outfield.
Clay Beyersdorfer – If anybody wins this division but the Houston Astros, I will write a personal apology to Kolten Wong.
Rusty Groppel – It’s a 3 horse race between the Astros, Rangers, and Mariners. I’m not as sold on the Astros starting rotation as other people are. I really like the 1-2 punch of Darvish and Hamels, and the Rangers always hit. Therefore I’m going with Texas.
John Nagel – This could be an interesting race down the stretch as both Houston and Texas are loaded. I will join a couple of the guys above and select the Rangers, but Houston will be a wild card
Adam Butler – I’m going with the Astros here as well. They underperformed early in the season last year and improved over the offseason. They might have the deepest lineup in baseball and their bullpen is crazy good. I also believe in Lance McCullers turning into a top of the rotation stud.
Zach Gifford – Part of my AL MVP pick was that the Angels would win the AL West, so I have to stick with that. If they don’t have to rely on their depth too much, I think they have decent guys across the board. I don’t think any of these teams win 90 games, so the door’s open.
Colin Garner – When I filled out my March Madness bracket, I dubbed the West region the “Wild West”, and I think the AL West will shape up similarly. It will be a three team race between the Astros, Rangers, and Mariners. I think King Felix returns to form, Robinson Cano continues to hit, and the Mariners make their first trip to the postseason in quite some time. The Astros will make the postseason as a Wild Card.
American League Central
Kyle Reis – The worst division in baseball, the Indians should walk away with this division and end the season with the best record in baseball. The only problem they’ll face is staying competitive all season with so many games against so many bad teams in their own division.
Ryan Massey – Let’s remember that the last three AL Champions were from the Central. The Indians will run away with it this season. Corey Kluber will have another monster year, and Fransico Lindor will feast on the lack luster pitching in the devision. They will battle Washington for the best record in baseball.
Austin Lamb – The Royals will bounce back to win the AL Cent….just kidding. They will fall way behind the Indians and start trading away upcoming free agents at the deadline. The Indians will run away with the division while no other AL Central team will make the playoffs.
Allen Medlock – Very difficult to say anything other than the Indians. Encarnacion addition will replace lost power, with Linder growing into a superstar. Keep in mind they won the A.L. without arguably their best outfielder who will be back in 2017.
Clay Beyersdorfer – This division is like having to kiss your mother in front of your friends: embarrassing, questionable, and if you are using tongue, you have issues. With all that said, give me the Cleveland
Lebrons Indians by a landslide.
Rusty Groppel – Royals and Tigers will battle for 2nd place while the Twins scratch and claw to avoid the 90 losses that the White Sox are hoping to have. Meanwhile the team that nearly won the World Series returns with their 2/3 starters intact and Michael Brantley back on the field. Indians. Piece of cake.
John Nagel – Indians win this one and have it wrapped up by Labor Day.
Adam Butler – No surprises here, I’m going with the Indians. The potential of adding both Michael Brantley and Edwin Encarnacion to the middle of their lineup is huge. If they can keep Kluber, Carrasco, and Salazar healthy all season their rotation will be deadly as well. Oh, they also have this guy named Andrew Miller.
Zach Gifford – I think the Detroit’s lineup will keep them in the race, but Cleveland will pull it out down the stretch. The pitching is great and the offense is plenty good enough.
Colin Garner – I picked Corey Kluber to win the Cy Young and Francisco Lindor to win MVP, so I think the Indians run away with the AL Central.
American League East
Kyle Reis – I love what the Yankees have done to get younger and better, but that staff is still more than suspect and isn’t going to cut it. Also, any team with Chase Headley as a starter shouldn’t be taken seriously. The Blue Jays are poised to take a BIG step back in 2017 and until the Orioles add two legitimate starting SP they’ll be a step behind. I like the Rays, but something is just off with their roster. The Red Sox should be just a few wins behind the Indians and winners of the AL East.
Ryan Massey – The Boston Red Sox have the best rotation in baseball. That will be more than enough to carry them through the AL East. Mookie Betts will lead the offense and have an MVP season.
Austin Lamb – The Red Sox will win the AL East as Chris Sale takes home his first AL Cy Young. The Yankees will be exciting with their young players such as Sanchez and Bird, but they are still a couple of years away from overtaking the Sox. I do believe they compete for one of the wild card spots, but I’m not sure they have the rotation to beat out Texas or Seattle.
Allen Medlock – The Red Sox look to be the favorite here which makes me pick the Yankees to take the division. They’re young, talented, and primed to add a major pitcher at the deadline. Brain Cashman played his cards well at the trade deadline in 2016.
Clay Beyersdorfer: I’m a Peter Griffin guy, and am obligated to pick the Boston Red Sox by default. But seriously, that pitching staff is stupid. If anyone on our staff picks a team other than the Sox I will fire them.
Rusty Groppel – Have to go with the Red Sox. They are going to hit, heck even Kung Fu Panda could return to relevance. Health at the top of the rotation and this is a slam dunk. Not necessarily any bad teams in this division and they probably clean up on the bottom feeders of the West and Central, but it’s more like 4 80-85 win teams while the Sox win around 95.
John Nagel – The Yankees are much improved, but the Red Sox have solidified their rotation and should be the favorite. If the Yankees can get solid pitching, they should content but I will stick with the Sox.
Adam Butler – I said earlier that the Astros might have the deepest lineup in baseball. If anyone is going to challenge them for that, it’s probably the Red Sox. They’re my pick. I’m not expecting much of anything from David Price after his injury, but I still think this rotation can perform well enough to win a lot of games with the offense that they have. One nice bonus is that now that David Ortiz is gone, they might actually be a watchable team for once.
Zach Gifford – I’ll take the Rays, mostly thanks to a stubborn will to not pick Boston. The Rays have an elite defensive outfield, a staff that lives up in the zone, a catcher who gets more high strikes than anyone, and a staff that induced the most fly balls in baseball last year. While everyone buys into the fly ball revolution, the Rays go the other way. Maybe it will fail miserably, or maybe the Rays surprise this year.
Colin Garner – I’ll take the Yankees, with Matt Holliday putting up All-Star numbers as a DH. I think the Red Sox make it as a wild card, and I think it will be a tremendous race that comes down to the wire.
American League Champion
Kyle Reis – First, the wild card game of the M’s verse the Rangers is going to be lights out. I’ll take the Rangers and Darvish. Then, a seven game series between the Indians and Rangers that ends with the Rangers on top. The all AL West showdown of the Rangers and Astros will isolate much of America, but it’ll be a great series. By that point, one of these two teams will have Jose Quintana. I’ll pick the Astros to win the AL and the Quintana sweepstakes with my man crush Alex Bregman as the ALCS MVP.
Ryan Massey – The Boston Red Sox will have the best starting three in the post season. Well, if David Price learns how to pitch in October. I still think they will beat the Indians in 6 games to win the AL Pennant.
Austin Lamb – The Indians will repeat as AL Champs just like the Royals in ’14-’15. However, unlike the Royals in 2015, the Indians again fail to seal the deal. The Nats roll them in the World Series.
Allen Medlock – The Indians will beat the Rangers to win the American League. Franco is one of the best leaders and the roster is loaded.
Clay Beyersdorfer – That Red Sox staff is WAY too good, even with an ailing David Price. What will be key to keep an eye on will be the health of their pitchers as well as how well they can swing the bats – if they can do both of those things well, I predict the pennant will come back home to Bean Town.
Rusty Groppel – I don’t love Porcello and Price is notoriously not great in the playoffs. I’d love to see what the Indians can do with Salazaar and Carasco healthy in October. They’ll duke it out with the Rangers in the ALCS but the Miller/Allen combo in late innings gives them the edge as the repeat AL Champs.
John Nagel – I will go with the Indians, like the majority of my colleagues above.
Adam Butler – I’m stuck between the Indians and Red Sox. David Price is the x-factor. Things just don’t sound very good for him and I don’t trust him to make it through the season. With that being the case I’ll lean toward the Indians.
Zach Gifford – I don’t like picking the Indians to repeat as AL Champs, but I think they have the most complete team. I’m concerned about the health of their rotation, but they showed last year they have just enough depth to take a few hits in a worst case scenario.
Colin Garner – It’s hard to repeat as League Champions, so I think the Astros beat the Indians in a thrilling ALCS. Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve are elite offensive players, and a return to form from Keuchel and the possible ascension of Lance McCullers will carry the Astros through the playoffs.