MLB 2015 predictions for the American League
American League Playoff teams
AL Central - Detroit Tigers
Despite early trouble with Justin Verlander, the Tigers have one of the best offenses in the game and the foursome of Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, J.D. Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes is going to be a tough out for most teams.
AL West – Seattle Mariners
They almost made it last season. The Mariners made a couple small moves to help their offense and I think that will get them over the hump in the AL West. I believe James Paxton and Taijuan Walker will take a step forward as young pitchers and Austin Jackson will recover in a contract season.
AL East – Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles have the pitching, the offense and the defense to win the AL East again. The question for Baltimore is if they can get can avoid bad luck. Catcher Matt Wieters went through Tommy John surgery last season and Chris Davis missed the final 50 games for the team. If both can come back, and the Orioles get a healthy Manny Machado, they’re my pick.
AL Wildcard No. 1– Boston Red Sox
I’m not a fan of Boston’s pitching, but how can you not like their offense? There will be games where Boston simply outscores opponents while their pitcher get shelled on the other end. If the Red Sox can trade for a decent starting pitcher (Jonny Cueto makes the most sense to me), they could be AL East contenders. For now, I guess they’ll settle for the wildcard spot.
AL Wildcard No. 2 - Cleveland Indians
The Indians had the best pitcher in the American League in Corey Kluber and a top three MVP candidate in Michael Brantley Look out for Jose Ramirez, but more importantly, their top five prospect Francisco Lindor looks to be ready to enter the majors this season.
American League Most Valuable Player
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Mike Trout is the best player in baseball and there’s no reason for him not to come into the regular season as the American League MVP favorite. Hits for average, hits for power, steals bases, plays solid defense and the Angels should be in position to look for a playoff spot this season. All of that should equal Trout being in the discussion and claiming his second (should be fourth) MVP award.
DARKHORSE: Robinson Cano, 2B, Seattle Mariners
American League Rookie of The Year
Dalton Pompey, CF, Toronto Blue Jays
The popular answer to this question is Mookie Betts, outfielder to the Boston Red Sox. However, I’m going with Pompey. He’s fast, he has a developing contact ability and should get the majority of at-bats at center for Toronto. If he can adjust to the majors fast, I can see him having a solid season, one that can earn him the award.
DARKHORSE: Carlos Rodon, P, Chicago White Sox
World Series Matchup and Champion
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Seattle Mariners, Cardinals in 7 games
The Cardinals are constantly one of the best teams in the National League and the addition of Jason Heyward should help them make it back to the World Series. I’m bullish on the Mariners talent, and we always get one team who shocks us. I’m going Cards/ M’s with the Cardinals winning in seven.
Quentin Haynes is a sports editor and can be contacted at email@example.com