February 07, 2006

2006 American League Predictions

As AthleticsNation blogfather Blez points out in his story today titled "The Season Has Started", it's now becoming time to look at the Major League Baseball calendar and prognosticate just how each team will end up at the end of the season. With the Super Bowl behind us, and the Bay Area enjoying moderate temperatures - especially for February, the thoughts of Spring are in the air.

First and foremost, I'm an A's fan. There's no doubt of that. As a result, I wish they could go 162-0, and live and die alongside them for every bad call, bad play, bad pitch and bad game. As a result, any guess I take has to be given a grain of salt, as I am likely overestimating how well they will do in 2006. But with the team picking up Esteban Loaiza, Milton Bradley, and Frank Thomas and not losing any marquee players, things are looking up. In fact, in an ESPN chat today, Rob Neyer said "Right now, on paper, the A's are the third-best team on the planet (after the U.S.A. and the D.R.)"

So, throwing out any statistical analysis and not having special insight, while also ignoring the National League, because the situation over there is too dire, I suggest the following to be how the American League will look at the conclusion of the 2006 season:

American League West
Oakland 94-68
Los Angeles 86-76
Texas 77-85
Seattle 76-86

American League Central
Cleveland 87-75
Chicago 83-79
Minnesota 82-80
Detroit 77-85
Kansas City 67-95

American League East
New York 91-71
Boston 87-75
Toronto 85-77
Baltimore 73-89
Tampa Bay 71-91

Divisional Playoffs
Oakland over Boston, 3 games to 1
Cleveland over New York, 3 games to 2

League Championship Series
Oakland over Cleveland, 4 games to 1

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