2011 MLB Preview

American League


Boston Red Sox – (96-66) – The Red Sox improved every aspect of their game this offseason, adding slugger Adrian Gonzalez and star outfielder Carl Crawford to their already potent lineup. With a healthy pitching staff leading the way, the Sox should have no trouble winning the AL East.

New York Yankees – (86-76) – The Yankees attempted to acquire top free agent talent Cliff Lee to shore up their questionable starting pitching this offseason, but were unable to nab him.  Aging stars and a lack of starting pitching should leave the Yankees looking up at their rivals at season’s end.

Baltimore Orioles – (81-81) – Yes, you read that right. Manager Buck Showalter ignited the O’s at the end of last season and new offensive additions such as Mark Reynolds, Derek Lee and Vladimir Gurrerro should flourish hitting in Camden Yards.  The team’s real question, as always, will be pitching.

Tampa Bay Rays – (80-82) – The Rays lost a number of high profile names this offseason and plan on replacing them with former stars Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez as well as young prospects. After a year or two of mediocrity and development, the Rays should be back at the top of the division.

Toronto Blue Jays – (79-83) – The Blue Jays have done a lot of things right over the past few seasons by stockpiling prospects and shedding high-priced talent.  However, the team does not have the firepower to compete with their tough division opponents and a last place finish seems imminent.


Chicago White Sox – (92-70) – The White Sox added some serious power to their lineup by signing Adam Dunn and re-signing Paul Konerko.  If their pitching staff can stay healthy, or they can acquire a true ace, the Sox should be one of the AL’s better teams.

Minnesota Twins – (85-77) – Manager Ron Gardenhire is one of baseball’s best and during his 10-year reign one thing has been certain: the Twins will compete. 2011 will be no different as cleanup hitter Justin Morneau and closer Joe Nathan are coming back from injuries and should help this team fight for a division title.

Detroit Tigers – (80-82) – Newcomer Victor Martinez should give the Tigers an extra roar in the middle of their lineup, but the real question comes down to whether the Tigers will be able to pitch. Beyond Justin Verlander, the Tigers are counting on a largely unproven staff to blossom.

Kansas City Royals – (70-92) – The Royals shipped ace Zack Greinke to the Brewers for a boatload of prospects, but they won’t see a return on that deal for a few years. Make no mistake, something big is brewing in Kansas City, but their incredibly deep farm system still needs a few years to develop.

Cleveland Indians – (63-99) – What happened to the Indians? Once one of baseball’s up-and-coming franchises, the Indians have mismanaged themselves into a black hole. The team will feature Shin-Soo Choo and Grady Sizemore but other than that there is little to like coming out of Cleveland.


Oakland A’s – (91-71) – The A’s have the best starting pitching you’ve never heard of and it should carry them to the postseason later this year. General Manager Billy Beane also added veteran sluggers like Josh Willingham, David DeJesus and Hideki Matsui to give the lineup a much needed punch.

Texas Rangers* – (90-72) – Cliff Lee snubbed the Rangers in favor of Philadelphia, but regardless the Rangers should have one of the most dynamic offenses in the AL.

Los Angeles Angels – (78-84) – The Angels were a major disappointment in 2010 and that trend should continue heading into this season. While they still boast a deep and effective pitching staff, their best offensive players are getting older and are high-priced. When competing against the likes of the A’s and Rangers, this season does not look promising for the Halo’s.

Seattle Mariners – (64-98) – Everyone’s “sexy pick” wild-card team last year was a major bust right out of the gate. New manager Eric Wedge will have a lot on his plate as he deals with a complete lack of offensive production and the ever-swirling rumors that Felix Hernandez could be dealt.


National League


Philadelphia Phillies – (93-69) – Even with Luis Castillo likely starting in place of the injured Chase Utley to begin the season (it’s OK, laugh), the Phillies should be in the mix come October. Enough has been said about their rotation, but their record will only take them as far as their aging offensive core can muster.

Atlanta Braves* – (92-70) –The acquisition of 2B Dan Uggla to their already potent offense should be a great addition to complement their solid starting rotation. The Braves only true question mark is their bullpen, as they will be relying on rookie Craig Krimbel to fill in for Billy Wagner to close out ballgames.

Florida Marlins – (83-79) – There is a lot to like about the Marlins. The team added former Yankee Javier Vazquez in hopes of igniting their young rotation and acquired a few arms to bolster their bullpen.  Despite this, anything higher than a third place finish seems lofty.

New York Mets – (79-83) – The Mets are one giant question mark.  Their pitching staff is held together by strings and potential and their offense hinges on health. With new GM Sandy Alderson and new manager Terry Collins, there is no question; however, the team is heading in a better direction, just give it time.

Washington Nationals – (72-90) – The Nats shocked the baseball world this offseason by inking OF Jayson Werth to a gargantuan contract. The Werth signing was bold, but ultimately should turn out foolish as his power numbers should shrink coming out of Philadelphia’s little league-like confines of Citizen’s Bank Park.


Cincinnati Reds – (92-70) – The Reds ended a 15-year playoff drought last season and all signs point for the Big Red Machine to repeat this year. Joey Votto is a legitimate player to build an offense around and their rotation is incredibly deep.

St. Louis Cardinals – (84-78) – The Cards lost ace Adam Wainwright this spring, which will severely deplete their chances at a division crown. However, it is hard to bet against Tony LaRussa and Albert Pujols.

Milwaukee Brewers – (84-78) – Everyone seems to be high on the Brewers after their acquisition of Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum. However, questions loom as Prince Fielder’s future free agency becomes a reality.

Chicago Cubs – (76-86) – The Cubs are a team made mostly of aging veterans and injury prone players. If newly anointed manager Mike Quade can hold his roster together, the Cubs might be able to surprise.

Houston Astros – (73-89) – The team began rebuilding their roster last season when they dealt Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt for young chips Brett Wallace and J.A. Happ adding to a young core.

Pittsburgh Pirates – (65-97) – The Pirates have been in a perpetual rebuilding mode for over a decade now and have yet to make any significant process in changing their losing culture. However, new manager Clint Hurdle could be the first step in the right direction.


Colorado Rockies – (89-73) – The Rockies couldn’t catch the front runners last year, but a full season of Troy Tulowitski and the rest of their core should keep Colorado in the hunt until the very end.

Los Angeles Dodgers – (88-74) – The Dodgers, much like the Mets, are currently entangled in financial woes. However, the talent on the field is one of the best young cores in the majors and the addition of Jon Garland plus a full season from Ted Lilly give the Dodgers one of the most solid rotations in the game.

San Francisco Giants – (82-80) – Last year’s World Series champs have a lot to do before they can march into October again. The roster, which is largely the same as last season, is made up of mostly over achievers and asking for strong seasons from Aubrey Huff, Pat Burrell and Miguel Tejada might be too much.

San Diego Padres – (69-93) – The Padres were the feel-good story of 2010, but should not repeat that success heading into this season. While the Padres feature a strong rotation, their offense will miss A-Gon. Arizona Diamondbacks – (67-95) – New GM Kevin Towers has a lot to work on. The D-backs have some young talent that looks promising, but overall the team is nowhere near ready to compete with a division as tough as this.

WORLD SERIES PREDICTION: Boston Red Sox over Colorado Rockies in 5 games.