Yes, I know we are 25% underway with the season, but I have calculated the numbers just as I have in previous seasons. After correctly predicting 5 of the 6 AL playoff teams last season, I hope you still find my "forecast" to be an interesting read. Besides predicted finish and playoff seed, I also show the Top 4 and Bottom 4 teams in three categories (Hit, SP, RP).
1. Minnesota Twins (4) - Strength: RP
2. Detroit Tigers - Strength: SP, RP
3. Toronto Blue Jays
4. Chicago White Sox - Weakness: Hit, SP, RP
In what was actually a very surprising result to me considering the player movement that has occurred over the past two seasons with the top 3 teams, the Twins narrowly edged out the defending champion Tigers and the near-miss wildcard Blue Jays.
1. New York Yankees (1) - Strength: Hit, SP, RP
2. Cleveland Indians - Strength: SP
3. Boston Red Sox
4. Baltimore Orioles - Weakness: Hit
On paper, the Yankees again appear to be the dominant team in this division, though it looks as though the Indians are starting to close the gap as their predicted finish is just barely out of the wildcard as the 7th best in the AL.
1. Texas Rangers (2) - Strength: Hit, SP
2. Charlotte Knights (6) - Strength: RP
3. Kansas City Royals - Weakness: SP
4. Tampa Bay Rays - Weakness: Hit, SP, RP
The Rangers should regain the division title this season with the Knights hanging close and making another playoff appearance. The Royals, while once again 3rd, actually look like one of the most improved teams in the AL, especially at the plate where they just missed making the Top 4.
1. Anaheim Angels (3)
2. Oakland Athletics (5) - Strength: Hit, RP
3. Portland Beavers - Strength: Hit, Weakness: SP, RP
4. Seattle Mariners - Weakness: Hit, RP
The Angels have the top team with a #5 ranking in all three categories, while Oakland and Portland look to be in the playoff hunt.