Sports fans it is time to indulge in what used to be America’s pastime. I believe the NFL has taken that title, but baseball is still very popular and survived work stoppages, steroids, and even A-Rod. Before we get into this I must warn you that I am diehard Rays fan. Needless to say I have a major hatred for the Yankees and Red Sox. I think this year is going to be very exciting, so here is a breakdown of some of the movers and shakers by division this offseason. I will make my “formal” predictions a little closer to opening day.
AL East – In my opinion this will be the best division in Baseball, as it is every year. All 4 teams will be contenders. You always have the Yankees and the Red Sox. Baltimore won the wild card, with the Rays right on their tail. The Blue Jays made a major trade with the Marlins to get some quality players and should improve in the standings as well.
AL Central – This will come down to White Sox and Tigers, as they should be the class of this division. Kansas City might make a move, with Cleveland and Minnesota pulling up the rear. They both still have a lot of rebuilding to do.
Al West – The biggest question is can the A’s really win it again? The Angels made a big splash in free agency getting Josh Hamilton which makes there lineup brutal. However, they still have a very week pitching staff outside of Jarred Weaver. Texas may take a step back after they blew their division lead at the end of the year. I don’t expect too much from Seattle or Houston.
NL East – This should be the second strongest division in Baseball. The Nationals were very good last year and should contend again for the division, if not the World Series. Atlanta and Philly should be right there. I would like to see if the Mets can keep their hot start they had at the beginning of last year, and actually make a run. The Marlins may be the worst team in the league this year.
NL Central – Could be a good race if the Cubs and Pirates improve. The Pirates had a nice season last year and are looking to build on that, and Cubs are looking to build on anything at all. This division should be a two team race between the Cardinals and the Reds, but the Brewers might sneak in there.
NL West – This should come down to the Dodgers and Giants. I am not sure the Diamondbacks, Padres, or Rockies have done enough to make this interesting. AJ’s Smokin’ Sports Corner: 2013 Baseball Preview by David Sabot