1. Kansas City Royals (93-69)
- Even though they are the defeding champs, and have been to the World Series two years in a row, the Royals seem to have quite a few doubters coming in to the 2016 season. Sure, they are a small market team, and they may be lacking some depth this season, but they resigned Alex Gordon, as well as World Series MVP Salvador Perez, who are both important pieces in the lineup. They did lose Ben Zobrist who I feel is a great player who can do most things, but with most of the core team still intact I can’t go against them. By the end of the season though we could be looking at the Royals anywhere between 1st and 4th, thats how tough this division could be this year. I think winning the division is as far as the Royals might advance this season though.
2. Chicago White Sox (90-72)
- If the Royals do slip up and not win the division, I think the White Sox will slide right into their spot. I think this will be a close race all season with the Royals narrowly edging out the White Sox. Chicago brings back a very strong rotation led by Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, and they also acquired slugger Todd Frazier, who hit 35 home runs and batted in 89 with the Cincinnati Reds in 2015 and is also the Home Run Derby champ. They may not win the division but I think they might make a deep run in the playoffs.
3. Cleveland Indians (81-81)
- Seems like here recently every year could be the year the Indians might take that next step. Hopefully for Indians fans this franchise isn’t becoming the next Chicago Cubs (spoiler alert). They do have some good, young talent in guys like Michael Brantley and Carlos Santana as well as former AL Cy Young winner Cory Kluber, but as the saying goes, theres always next year. I think they are one to two years from making the playoffs.
4. Detroit Tigers (80-82)
- The Tigers recently acquired slugger Justin Upton and still have Miguel Cabrera anchoring the lineup, but pitching could be a huge concern. I went with 80 wins but that may even be a little high.
5. Minnesota Twins (70-92)
- Miguel Sano may be one of the few bright spots for the Twins this season. He should have a solid season and if the rest of the lineup can contribute the Twins may be able to make some noise in the Central. With that being said I’d be surprised if they eclipse 75 wins.
What are your predictions for the AL Central this year? How wrong do you think I am?
Up next…AL East