Miguel Cabrera has MVP type stats-I know, I know, way to go out on a limb. But with his off field "distractions", people are starting to dismiss Miggy as a top-5 player in baseball. With Victor Martinez protecting him in the lineup, and a hopefully healthy Maggs in front of him, we may witness his true potential. I will say .327 with 43 HR and 134 RBI. I won't predict an actual MVP award, since the Tigers have enough question marks to make me doubt their postseason potential.
Verlander and Scherzer both reach 200 strikeouts-Again, not too much of a stretch. Verlander is almost a lock, and Scherzer had 184 last year. But with Scherzer's early season troubles, it is certainly not a given.
Phil Coke gets replaced in the rotation-This is not so much a knock on Coke, but optimism in guys like Andy Oliver. I think Coke gets 10-15 starts and moves back to the bullpen before Oliver or another youngster takes his spot.
Brandon Inge hits above .250-He hasn't done it since 2006. I just have a feeling he will be a pleasant surprise and provide more than stellar defense this year.
Austin Jackson's power is still MIA-When Jackson was a prospect in the Yankee organization, he was billed as a 5-tool player. He certainly showed four of those tools last year, but the power was lacking. I think he becomes a 15-20 HR guy eventually, just not this year. I will set the over/under at 7 and take the under.
The Benoit signing looks horrible through June, brilliant in September-When a player has a year like Joaquin had last year and cashes in, there is a microscope on him. Tiger fans expecting a repeat of his brilliant 2010 season will be disappointed early. But if the Tigers are in contention late in the season, I can see him becoming a fan favorite.
The Tigers are in the playoff picture all season, miss playoffs-I hate to say this. I do. But Chicago looks scary good this year. And there's the Twins. It should be a good 3-team race all season, but I think the Sox take it. The Wild Card should come out of the AL East as always. I want to be wrong on this one.
Leyland manages his final game on September 28th-I can't see him back next season, barring a miracle.
The AL playoffs include Boston, Chicago, Texas, and New York (Wild Card). Boston beats Chicago to advance to the World Series.
The NL playoffs include Philadelphia, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and Atlanta (Wild Card). Philly beats Atlanta to reach the World Series.
Boston beats Philadelphia to win the WS.
American League Awards
- Jon Lester-BOS
- Felix Hernandez-SEA
- David Price-TB
- Mike Moustakas-KC
- Dustin Ackley-SEA
- Desmond Jennings-TB
- Adrian Gonzalez-BOS
- Miguel Cabrera-DET
- Mark Teixeira-NY
National League Awards
- Roy Halladay-PHI
- Tim Lincecum-SF
- Zack Greinke-MIL
Rookie of the Year
- Freddie Freeman-ATL
- Craig Kimbrel-ATL
- Brandon Belt-SF
- Ryan Braun-MIL
- Albert Pujols-STL
- Roy Halladay-PHI
So there we have it. I will check back around the All-Star break, and again at the end of the season to see how close I was.