Scott Garceau: Play Ball! Crystal Ball
Let’s get this started with full disclosure. Last year I boldly predicted that the Boys of Boston would finish dead last in the American League East. Instead the bearded bunch from Beantown went from worst to first and had a big parade after they won the World Series. This isn’t exact science, so let’s just call it entertainment. Here are the Garceau Guesses for the 2014 American League standings.
- Tampa Bay– David Price is still there and a full season of Wil Myers. Pitching wins!
- Boston– No Ellsbury, and young on the left side of the infield, but plenty to like including Koji.
- Baltimore– Vegas says 78 wins I say crap. If the pitching is solid they’ll contend and win 85-90.
- New York– A half-billion in the off-season didn’t fix it, old with injuries waiting to happen.
- Toronto– Joey Bats and Encarnacion terrific 1-2 punch but wanting on the mound.
I wouldn’t be surprised if any of my top 4 teams won this division or grabbed a wild-card. The Orioles can exceed the other 4 in power and defense. It’s fair to question the O’s starting pitcher and wonder how Tommy Hunter will handle the 9th inning.
- Detroit– Prince, Doug Fister and shortstop Jose Iglesias won’t be around, but still the best here.
- Kansas City– Coming off their first winning season in 10 years the Royals look like contenders.
- Cleveland– They did little in the off-season after last year’s playoff run, starting pitching questionable.
- Chicago– They lost 99 last year, but added some nice pieces like Cuban slugger Jose Abreau.
- Minnesota– Can Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes make the pitching staff respectable? I doubt it.
There’s a sizeable gap between the top 3 and bottom 2 in the Central. The Tigers have the best hitter in the game and a big 1-2-3 punch in their rotation. KC might make it interesting.
- Oakland– The lineup doesn’t scare you, Jarrod Parker’s out for the year but they’ll find a way.
- Texas– Add Prince and Shin Soo-Choo but injuries have taken a big bite out of the Rangers.
- LA Angels– I don’t like the pitching but have a hunch the Angels might surprise this summer.
- Seattle– Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano after that I don’t know.
- Houston– I’ll say something nice. They won 61 games last year; they’ll win more this year.
Not crazy about the West, injuries have scared the A’s and Rangers before the first pitch. If the Angels get good years from Pujols and Hamilton it could be a three team race. Don’t see the Mariners and of course the LAstros being a factor.