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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Sports Spiel: Predicting Results For The 2013 MLB Season

Courtesy+of+L.+Richard+Martin%2C+JR.+on+Flickr%0A

Courtesy of L. Richard Martin, JR. on Flickr

Opening Day is finally here! It seems like with every season that goes by, there are more surprises, and the division winners are getting harder to predict. However, we gave it a shot. Here are The Mass Media’s projected division winners and wild cards.

AL Central:

Detroit Tigers. While it will be hard for Miguel Cabrera to replicate last year’s outstanding season, he won’t have to carry the team like he did.  Detroit is one of the most improved teams in the AL and they only made one addition to their roster: Torii Hunter. Victor Martinez is also coming back and he will pile on the threat for an already potent offense. Between the two, you have great veteran leadership, an additional .280 batting average, and another 29 home runs. If Verlander can win a few playoff games, expect Detroit to be rock city in late October.

AL West:

Texas Rangers. Texas lost a big part of their offense, letting Josh Hamilton sign with the Angels. However, the additions of Lance Berkman and A.J. Pierzynski are inexpensive ways to supply some offense. The one benefit of that platoon over Hamilton is that they stay healthy. The rotation is strong, they don’t have a “true ace” but ERAs below 4 and WHIPS below 1.30 make it a solid rotation. If the season is in jeopardy, I would expect Texas to make a big trade. Minnesota cant hold on to Joe Mauer forever and they need to start rebuilding at some point.

AL East:

Boston Red Sox. Biased, perhaps, however I do believe that the Red Sox have the best chance to win in the most competitive division in baseball. There are loads of veteran leaders and there are just as many young talents. Will Middlebrooks will be back after missing most of last season and hopefully we will see his true power. If the pitching is struggling as well as the offense, the Red Sox are in the best position in the majors to make a blockbuster trade. They have four to five blue chip trade prospects, with Ellsbury leading the list.

AL WILD CARD:

New York Yankees. They are aging, but lets be real: Don’t ever count them out.

LA Angels. The bullpen has holes, but with that type of offense you won’t have to rely on the pen much. With the amount of holes in those swings, on some days you’ll have to rely on the pen. That bullpen will lose enough games. The Angels could be a façade this year with all that star power — remember the Philadelphia Eagles two years ago.

NL WEST:

Los Angles Dodgers. The race in the west this season could be neck and neck for a few months. But then Crawford and Ramirez come back. This team is loaded with offense, and that’s what Josh Beckett needs. People don’t know this in the West, but Beckett’s run support was horrible in Boston. It was just as bad as his one or two bad innings. With a lineup like LA’s, and without the stress of competing to be number one, Beckett should do fine in LA-LA land. During September, when there are division games, Dodger pitching will eat up the weaker teams.

NL Central:

St Louis Cardinals. Call me old fashioned but I like ball clubs who put the ball in play. Seven out of nine hitters had a BA higher than .285 last year. Cincinnati only had 2. St. Louis is a great ball club; they have been in the playoff race every year, and while big names have left, they have never had a rebuilding year. They will coast during the season, but when September comes, they will win a tight race over Cincinnati.

NL East:

Washington Nationals. The Nats did it right in the offseason. They picked up Dernard Span, a good top-of-the-lineup guy. They also got Dan Haren — he will certainly take some of the load off of Strasburg and shore up the back end of the rotation. Most importantly, the Nats secured their bullpen. They might have over-paid for Rafael Soriano, but hey, the Yanks won four out of five championships off that idea.

NL Wild Card:

Milwaukee Brewers. This team has the talent to win, but can they put it together? It’s been the same team for years, and now they have a number two starter in Kyle Lohse. They are the “Band of Brothers.” They’ll stick together and make a great fight for that last playoff spot.

Atlanta Braves. They have a good-to-strong pitching staff; nothing really great here, but they get the job done. The lineup is young, and these boys are going to have fun winning this year. Their third baseman, Chris Johnson, will have a breakout season.