AL CENTRAL PREVIEWS

strong>White Sox:

No more Sale and now Quintana is the ACE. He has been durable, 200+ IP and ERA under 3.5 4 years straight. But the other guys in the rotation are VERY scary. Shields? He is a gas can, Rodon is very talented but very inconsistent. Giolito is too young to trust and Gonzalez is average. I do not like the rotation at all.

Lineup is decent. Frazier and Abreu can combine for 60+ HR’s, a lot of just a guys in lineup. Capable but nothing too much to scream about. Don’t like their defense much either. BP is a question mark too.

This team will be lucky to win 75.

Indians:

World Series contenders once again. Sneaky good lineup with Encarnacion added. If he hits 30+ HRs that will be huge for this team, lineup is very good at getting on base. Kluber Carrasco both ace caliber, Salazar, Bauer etc are solid low end rotation guys.

Team is solid on defense and is masterfully managed by Francona. Remember the Indians were very beat up last season. Still won 94. If healthy and EE can knock em out all year this team will be even more dangerous. Cleveland should win 95+

Tigers:

Pretty much the same team as last year. One year older though and with a lot of veterans.

Verlander very shaky ace, Fulmer should bounceback from the after ASB collapse. Zimmerman, Sanchez, Norris.. Very, very shaky rotation. Any of these rotation guys could give up 6+ ER’s and it would not surprise me.

Lineup is solid. defense pretty good. I will definitely be looking at overs with this team. Indians are the clear cut fave in this division so Tigers will need to get a WC bid to make it to the playoffs. If Verlander is more consistent, Fulmer pitches like a stud (very possible he’s only 24) and the bottom part of rotation at least saves face they might be able to string a surprise successful season but I doubt it. Not good enough to contend. Look for overs.

KC:

Team is quite a bit different but will still have the same personality. Let’s start with rotation, Duffy, Kennedy, Hammel, Karns, Wood are the epitome of a bend but don’t break rotation. KC has done it before, get the most out of their starters for 5 innings and then will with the BP. I am not sure Soria, Herrera and company will be as good for that. The rotation looks filled with 4ish ERA guys who will likely give up 2-4 runs every start. No more Davis, no more Ventura, no more Morales.

Lineup still looks capable

Player POS AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG OPS BB K
1 Alcides Escobar SS 588 63 5 49 18 0.264 0.296 0.345 0.641 23 77
2 Mike Moustakas 3B 545 65 23 75 1 0.259 0.318 0.446 0.764 39 72
3 Lorenzo Cain OF 514 78 12 67 23 0.296 0.343 0.432 0.775 32 95
4 Eric Hosmer 1B 568 79 19 90 5 0.276 0.334 0.433 0.767 48 103
5 Jorge Soler DH 461 60 20 70 2 0.265 0.337 0.447 0.784 48 130
6 Alex Gordon OF 505 68 19 57 8 0.248 0.332 0.410 0.742 54 127
7 Salvador Perez C 495 52 19 63 0 0.253 0.284 0.422 0.706 17 90
8 Brandon Moss OF 381 51 21 57 1 0.226 0.300 0.449 0.749 36 109
9 Raul Mondesi 2B 370 50 9 43 32 0.222 0.266 0.368 0.634 21 112

I like this lineup. Cain was injured last year so he should have a big year. Top to bottom a pretty nice lineup.

KC can do some damage but improvement is needed in the rotation, BP to seriously contend. Maybe a prospect like Dozier will make the lineup unstoppable, maybe Straum or Staumont will make the rotation respectable. I have no strong opinions about what this team will do, we have seen them exceed expectations before.

Twins….

hmmm where do we start? Will Buxton, Berrios and Sano wake up and turn into the studs they were always projected to be? Mauer, Dozier, Polanco all are very capable hitters. If things work out, Twins lineup could be dangerous. Could is the key word and a lot of things would need to go right that didn’t last year.

Rotation is a complete mess. Santana is their ace, he pitched well in limited action but can he be trusted to pitch an ERA is the 3s? I doubt it.
Santiago sucks imo and he will be getting a lot of starts, he would be the 5th man on many rotations so seeing that he’s the projected #2 tells you all
you need to know about this rotation. Gibson is average at best, Hughes is the same. Berrios has shown signs of being a possible ace in the minors but
can he do it in MLB? There are some prospects that have huge potential. Mejia, Gonzalves etc. They are stacked with young prospects who have tremendous talent.

I am going to do a wait and see approach with this team. I might mess with overs considering their BP and rotation is less than stellar and they have a capable lineup. But I am not sure what to expect, they could surprise with big contributions from the young studs or they could be terrible. Who knows?

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