Like the rest of us, I cannot pick this division with any semblance of reason as my emotions get in the way. Alas...
Boston- Who did you think I was going to pick? The best pitching staff in the division, there I said it. Now the wrath and fury of Red Sox Nation can rain down on me if the pitching ends up in the tank. FYI Their offense will be pretty damn good too.
Toronto- I'll join the bandwagon Brandon. Let's get the Jays back to their glory days of the early 90's and the infancy of the Sky Dome...I mean Rogers Centre, which asks the question why is Center spelled differently in British English and American English? And why do the British and Canadians think this word ends with -re? Oh yeah, the Blue Jays- John Farrell would look great in the Sox dugout, their offense will be there, and Morrow/Romero is a very good 1/2 combination.
Tampa Bay- The Devil Rays (They will always be the Devil Rays!) have very good starting pitching, albeit with question marks (gasp!) such as will the real David Price please stand up, how many quality innings can they expect from Matt Moore, can Jeremy Hellickson improve on 2011. I'm with the Deacon their bullpen sucks. Kyle Farnsworth? How many people in America have had their fantasy teams screwed over by this Ricky Vaughan impersonator? Probably no one's other than mine but still. And their offense is still Punch, Judy and Eva Longoria right?
New York- If I didn't think it would be completely foolish, I would pick Brian Cashman's stalkers to finish last in the AL East. I don't think their pitching beyond Sabathia and Rivera is high quality (again question marks). The hitters benefit greatly from the bandbox that they play in, not sure but I think it is longer to hit it out to RF at Hippach Field in Farmington than Yankee Stadium. With all that said I couldn't put them last because...
Baltimore- The Orioles lost to a Community College Team. Ryan Flaherty from Deering HS and Harvard South is on the roster so they have that going for them, which is nice.
I just looked at all of the rosters for this division, they all are flawed. So by default your AL Central Champions are the...
Detroit- The Tigers have the best offensive player (Cabrera) and pitcher (Verlander) in the division, the strongest bullpen, and a solid manager. Can Jim Leyland still chain smoke in the dugout? If so let's start a new poll question since we open in Detroit: What brand of cigarettes is Jim killing himself with? I got $100 on Old Gold's (although it might be a pack of Lucky's!)
Minnesota- Since I don't like any of the teams in this division completely and everyone else picked these guys to finish near the cellar, I'll pick them 2nd in the Central. Hey, they play at Target Field and my wife loves to shop at the Target (got the Red Card and everything!) so why not? I talked to my trusty Magic 8 Ball and it told me that Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Francisco Liriano are going to turn the clock back to 2006, when they all had big years.
Cleveland- I really like their pitching (Masterson, Jimenez, Lowe, Perez). Don't forget old friend Dan Wheeler and for good measure former Sox farmhand Nick Hagadone is at AAA. As far as the line-up goes it is like that song “Smooth” by Rob Thomas not much going for it except Carlos Santana. Go ahead and have another season like last year Asdrubal Cabrera, I dare you! Casey Kotchman, Jack Hannahan, Travis Hafner are a couple of has beens and a never was. Grady Sizemore's done and their LF's name is Shelley.
Kansas City- The Royals have a very good, young line-up and Kaufmann Stadium is very nice when Dorothy and Toto aren't blowing through but their ace is Bruce Chen? Actually Jonathan Sanchez is probably the best pitcher on this staff but their pitching is definitely the achilles heel.
Chicago- The White Sox are bad, real bad. Too bad Robin (Ventura) can't bring in Batman to help this team out.
I think that this is a sneaky good division.
Los Angeles of Anaheim in Orange County- The Angels have a lot going for them, pitching check (Weaver, Wilson, Haren, Santana and a very good bullpen), hitting check (Pujols is the only stud, but they have very few holes in their line-up except when they play the Sox), a great manager (Scioscia is very good, although his faces in the dugout annoy the heck out of me).
Texas- Their line-up is very good, perhaps the best in baseball. However, their pitching is suspect to me but, Mike Maddux is a great pitching coach so I'm sure he'll get the most out of them. I just don't see them having enough to beat the Angels.
Oakland/Seattle- It's a pick'em. Their line-ups are both fair and their pitching is nothing to write home about. I guess if I had to choose give me Seattle 3 and Oakland 4, since the Pilots have Felix Hernandez...wait the Pilots aren't Seattle's mascot anymore?
AL MVP Albert Pujols
AL Cy Young Brandon Morrow
AL ROY Jesus Montero
AL Manager John Farrell
Wild Cards- AL Cy Young Brandon Morrow pitches the Jays back into the post-season over the Rangers
ALDS- Angels over Jays in 4, Sox over Tigers in 5
ALCS- Sox over Angels in 7