The pennant race the AL Central provided last season was unexpected, and if my predictions are correct 2014 will be a surprise.
Are you familiar with the story of David and Goliath?
Well, I think the AL Central might turn into baseball’s modern day version of the famous tale.
Here is how I think the 2014 AL Central will look at season’s end:2014 AL Central Standings
|*Kansas City Royals||89||73|
|Chicago White Sox||76||86|
Kansas City Royals – It is good to be Royal, as this young team comes out of the gutter this season. KC will win a ton of close games, thanks to an unstoppable bullpen, and stellar defense. This along with a lot of gritty play by Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer, and the Royals will finally get rewarded. No doubt it will be a dogfight till the finish, but the Royals are primed and ready to be the divisional champs.
Detroit Tigers – I think the Tigers got weaker this off-season by trading Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler, and pitcher Doug Fister for basically peanuts. Fielder was Miguel Cabrera’s protection, and now the door is open for opposing pitchers to pitch around him more. DH Victor Martinez bat is no longer an added luxury, as he has to produce. Fister is perhaps the most undervalued pitcher in baseball. Tiger’s fans will realize this once Justin Verlander proves to be off again in 2014. And don’t forget the absence of skipper Jim Leyland.
Cleveland Indians – Fact is Cleveland is a good baseball team, but unfortunately the Tribe is trapped in a division with two better teams. They needed to improve pitching in the off-season to really contend, and that did not happen.
Chicago White Sox – Other than ace Chris Sale and new addition of Cuban Jose Abreu, the White Sox are kind of awful. They are counting on too many players that lack Big League experience and that usually comes with a learning curve. Abreu looks like the real deal and can be the guy the White Sox build around in the future, but unfortunately baseball is a team sport.
Minnesota Twins – Although this will not be a good season, 2014 will be a tad better than recent years. Joe Mauer and Trevor Plouffe will keep the Twins alive, but barely. Rebuilding takes time, but not so long ago this was a team that dominated the Central for years, so understandably Twins fans expect better.