1. Detroit Tigers 92-70
2007 Season: 2nd Place (88-74)
Best Off-Season Move: Trading for Miguel Cabrera
Why They’ll Be Better: This lineup will make people cry; Detroit fans in happiness, and opposing pitchers in dismay. Adding Cabrera will could be one of the best acquisitions they have EVER made. Cabrera is something special – at 25 he is a career .311 hitter and is almost a lock to hit 30+ home runs every season. Dontrelle Willis needs to figure out how to revert back to his Cy Young form, and if he does their rotation will be pretty solid. Their rotation can go either way as they are anchored by their ace Verlander, but have four average pitchers that are inconsistant. With only SOME consistancy from them, they will have a fantastic year. Their bullpen and lineup will carry them all season.
2. Cleveland Indians 89-73
2007 Season: 1st Place (96-66) Lost ALCS
Best Off-Season Move: Nothing
Why They’ll Be Worse: The Indians have a really good team, but I don’t know if they can match their win total from last season. I am not fully on board that C.C. Sabathia will have the season he did last year, and especially not convinced Paul Byrd will win 15 games again. I also believe that the Tigers have a better squad and will cost The Tribe some ball games. I can see Travis Hafner coming back this season to put up his usual numbers. Fausto Carmona was a nice surprise last season and will continue to hassle batters. Cliff Lee and Jake Westbrook just don’t do it for me, and Joe Borowski as your closer is always scary (even if you lead the league in saves!).
3. Minnesota Twins 75-87
2007 Season Third Place (79-83)
Best Off-Season Move: Trading for Delmon Young
Why They’ll Be Worse: Losing the best pitcher in baseball and not getting anyone in return who will help your team win immediately certainly hurts. Losing the face of your team (Torii Hunter) hurts too. I still think that the Twins will surprise some this season with Santana and Hunter long gone, but they will not be contenders any time soon. 2006 MVP Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Young, and Carlos Gomez make up a solid lineup, while newcomer Livan Hernandez and youngster Scott Baker may hold the fort in the rotation. They have always had a decent bullpen with Joe Nathan closing, so with some luck the Twinkies may overcome some big losses.
4. Kansas City Royals 74-88
2007 Season: Fifth Place (9-93)
Best Off-Season Move: Signing Jose Guillen
Why They’ll Be Better: The Royals are definitely a team that have a bright future; they are just not quite there yet. They have gotten off to a good start, but don’t let that fool you. Alex Gordon, Mark Teahen and Billy Butler are going to be special players, but they can not carry this team by themselves. Brian Bannister has a promising future as well but that can not be said for the rest of their staff. The bullpen Royally stinks, enough said. The Royals will win more games this year, but not enough.
5. Chicago White Sox 70-92
2007 Season: Fourth Place (72-90)
Best Off-Season Move: Traded for Orlando Cabrera
Why They’ll Be Worse: The White Sox are in a very odd position. They are in a sort-of rebuilding stage, when they really should be in a COMPLETE re-building stage. They have players like 37 year old Jim Thome, 34 year old Jermaine Dye, and 36 year old Jose Contreras sticking around, and they mess up the chemistry of the team. Contreras has no business being the MLB anymore; since starting out the 2006 season 9-0, Contreras has gone 14-27 since then – awful. They have one of the worst batting average lineups in the league, in they didn’t get much help from newcomers Cabrera and Nick Swisher, who have career averages of .272 and .251 respectively. Their pitching staff is decent at best, with Javier Vazquez and youngster Gavin Floyd leading the way. Mark Buehrle is the wild-card; if he can revert back to 2005 form, they may have a chance.