Minnesota Twins (32-16)
Leading the division isn’t a surprise to me. With lots of hitters who can get on base any way possible, the Twins are producing run after run. With tons of quick guys on the roster, stealing bases is easy to them. With tons of speed and On-Base-Percentage being high, expect the Twins to keep winning games.
Key Player: Jose Berríos (SP)
Through 10 starts this year, the Twins ace has a 3.39 ERA and 60 K’s through 63.2 IP. Dominating on the mound, Berríos is building off a strong 2018 campaign and hasn’t missed a beat. With him pitching so well, the Twins have a legit chance to win the division.
Injuries: Nelson Cruz (DH) and Mitch Garver (C)
With 2 starting hitters out, the twins still have a good core to produce even with these two out. Cruz was the power for the Twins but now with Miguel Sano back, they should be fine.
Cleveland Indians (25-22)
A team that didn’t make any noise in the offseason, they look to win a 4th consecutive division title. They will need to be buyers at the trade deadline if they want to continue the streak. With a strong rotation and great hitters, the Indians have a good shot at the division.
Key Player: Shane Bieber (SP)
Everyone that talks about the Indians pitching rotation talks about either Corey Kluber or Mike Clevinger. Shane Bieber deserves to be in the conversation going into this year and throughout the year. With Kluber and Clevinger on the shelf, Bieber has to step up and be the ace until those two get back. He’s ready for the challenge and expects him to do great in their absences.
Injuries: Mike Clevinger (SP), Corey Kluber (SP), Danny Salazar (SP)
With 3 out of the 5 main starters on the IL, the Indians record is a lot better than expected. With all of these players not sure on a return, the Indians will have to stay around .500 without there main starters in order to compete in the division. Getting them back is pivotal to making a title run this year. Trying to end title drought of 70 years without a World Series trophy.
Chicago White Sox (21-26)
One of the youngest teams in baseball, the Chicago White Sox are looking to prove that experience doesn’t matter. With young players come times where it can get hard to play some games. But the White Sox are looking to turn some heads this year and let others know that there ahead of schedule on the rebuild.
Key Player: Yoan Moncada
Last year Moncada showed the potential of what is to come. This year he has developed into a better player and already it’s starting to show. Hitting 9 HR already this year, he’s already halfway to last years total of 17 HR. This year he’s focused on putting the ball in play more and reducing strikeouts. A whopping 217 strikeouts from last year isn’t good. If he can lower his strikeout rate and put more balls in play, Moncada will have an excellent year.
Injuries: Nate Jones (RP), Michael Kopech (SP), Carlos Rodon (SP)
Pitching for the White Sox isn’t looking good at the moment. Going into the year, the White Sox needed their staff to be average or better to have a shot at the playoffs. When 2 of your 5 main starters are hurt, it’s hard to have a rotation to perform at it’s best. Jones luckily may come back this year while Kopech and Rondon needed Tommy John Surgery. If the team wants to compete, they need to go out and get some pitching.
Detroit Tigers (18-27)
Losing star pitcher Michael Fulmer before the year started, hurt the Tigers in every way possible. Being the only proven dominant pitcher for the Tigers, they needed him to do well this year for them to even have a chance to break even this year with an 81-81 record. After the announcement that he needed Tommy John surgery, the Tigers have been trending downhill.
Key Player: Miguel Cabrera (1B)
With Cabrera getting hurt in recent years, him staying healthy is key for the Tigers this year. Teaching the rookies and helping the veterans is what Cabrera’s good at. His bat always puts fear into a pitchers eyes but as of recent, he’s getting older and easy to pitch too. Expect Cabrera to have a comeback this year and put himself in the running for Comeback Player of the Year.
Injuries: Michael Fulmer (SP), Matt Moore (SP), Tyson Ross (SP), Jordan Zimmerman (SP)
With Fulmer and Moore done for the year and Ross and Zimmerman out till June, the Tigers need the young bucks to step up in the rotation. So far their replacements haven’t done terrible but some are exceeding expectations. Spencer Turnbull has registered two straight Quality Starts and looks to build off of that for the rest of the season. Having to get thrown into the rotation due to injuries, Turnbull has been the spark the Tigers needed.
Kansas City Royals (16-31)
Being one of the worst teams in baseball this year, the Royals have a lot to look forward to next year. This year, however, their record is deceiving. With loads of talent in the infield, the bats are single-handedly carrying this team to victories. All of there starters can hit but pitching is a disaster. The rotation is a mess and isn’t going to get better any time this season.
Key Player: Alex Gordon (OF)
The reassurance of Alex Gordon is here. Unfortunately for the Royals, this comes in a year where they won’t be competitive. It’s great to see Gordon be able to have a hot start and make it look like he’s back to his old self. He will have the leadership role for the Royals to help teach the young players every day.
Injuries: Salvador Perez (C)
Having an all-star catcher on your team is rare, not having him on the field hurts. With Perez out for all of this year, missing his leadership and play on and off the field hurts everyone on the team. Most times in baseball, the catcher is the leader of the team and not having your leader on the field can wreak havoc on the team. Having him back next year is going to be great as he tries to lead this Royals team from a different role this year.
Cleveland Indians (84-78)
Minnesota Twins (79-83)
Detroit Tigers (70-92)
Chicago White Sox (68-94)
Kansas City Royals (64-98)
I think that with the Indians potential rotation, they will get healthy, return; and be the push the team needs. With these guys back at the end of the year, expect them to run away with the division crown. Winning for the 4th year in a row.