Now that we got the division predictions done it is time to dig a little bit deeper. Between now and the opener in Japan each team will get their own prediction/preview. I am going to go in alphabetical order.
Our next post takes us to Baltimore, and after looking at their starting pitching I have one question. Who the hell are these guys?? But more on that later first up:
Infield: Matt Weiters at catcher, Chris Davis at first base, Brian Roberts at second base, J.J Hardy at shortstop, and Mark Reynolds at third base.
Matt Weiters is still only 25 and had a good year last year. He is one of the top hitting catchers in the American League and should make his first all star team this year. Chris Davis will be playing his first full season at first base, and him and third baseman Mark Reynolds are basically the same player. Sure they will combine and hit 50 home runs, but they will also strike out a combine 300 times between the two of them. As far as the middle infield, both Brian Roberts and J.J Hardy are good players but neither one of them can stay healthy for a full season. The prediction is here they will not play 50 games together as a double play combination.
Who will have the best season of these guys? Matt Weiters. Will have less home runs then Reynolds and Davis but will hit for a much higher average, and will stay healthy unlike Hardy and Roberts. Like I stated above I think this is the year that Weiters finally makes an all star team.
Outfield: Nolan Reimold in left field, Adam Jones in center field, and Nick Markakis in right field.
It seems to me that Nolan Reimold and Nick Markakis are the same person. They both came in as good prospects and they started out hot and have since cooled down to be average every day baseball players. Markakis does have a higher average and is left handed, but honestly that is the only difference between the two, they even look the same. Adam Jones is an enigma. He has all the talent in the world and yet I wasn't mad when my Mariners traded him. From what I tell he has a work ethic issue and with Baltimore actively trying to trade him for starting pitching I think he has run his course. Wouldn't surprise me at all if he is traded by the deadline.
Who will have the best season of these guys? I'm going to say Markakis because I think Jones will still not be able to hit a curveball. Another season of .285, 20 home runs, and 90 RBI's. No wonder this team is going to finish in last, and the fourth place team will be closer to the division champ then they will be to the Orioles.
Starting Pitching: Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta, Wei-Yen Chen, Jason Hammel, and Brian Matusz.
Again... Who!?!?!? Matuz and Britton were both huge prospects who were brought up to the big leagues too early and now are completely lost. They have talent but so far have not showed the mental capacity to take the reins as a number one starter. Hammel was traded from Colorado, so he might have a better season away from Coors field, and somehow Arrieta won 10 games last year with an ERA over 5. Chen is a new guy this year who I have heard nothing about.
Who will have the best season of these guys? Because I have to pick someone, I am going to go with Matusz. He has the most talent of any of these guys, he just needs to get out of his own mind and pitch the way he can.
Bullpen: Kevin Gregg, Matt Lindstrom, Darren O'Day, and Jim Johnson
Jim Johnson is the closer for this team and he had all of nine saves last year. Kevin Gregg is going to be fantastically awful this year and will lead the league in home runs allowed in the 8th inning. Matt Lindstrom was a very good reliever for Houston in 2010, and he struggled a little bit last year but he pitched in Coors Field so that is to be expected.
Who will have the best season of these guys? Lindstrom will have the best season. He is away from the unfriendly confines of Coors Field and there is no pressure on him at all because the team is terrible. He will be the best reliever on this team until he gets traded in July.
Record Prediction: 68-94 Last in the American League East
Next up: Boston Red Sox