Baseball 2013 Brings New Promises, Predictions



Outfielder Josh Hamilton with his wife, Katie Hamilton, during a news conference to introduce him as the latest Los Angeles Angels free-agent signee at ESPN Zone, Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California, on Saturday, December 15, 2012. Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/MCT.

Chris Ginley

Baseball season. There’s nothing quite like it. The smell of fresh-cut grass, the roar of the crowd on a walk-off home run, sell-out crowds singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” on warm, summer nights. All winter, teams were wheeling and dealing, trying to get their teams ready for the “dog days” of summer and the run to the World Series. Here are my predictions for the upcoming season and a roundup of all the major acquisitions around Major League Baseball.

AL East (In predicted order of finish)

1. New York Yankees

2. Boston Red Sox (wild card)

3. Toronto Blue Jays

4. Tampa Bay Rays

5. Baltimore Orioles

AL Central (In predicted order of finish)

1. Detroit Tigers

2. Kansas City Royals

3. Chicago White Sox

4. Cleveland Indians

5. Minnesota Twins

AL West (In predicted order of finish)

1. Los Angeles Angels

2. Texas Rangers (wild card)

3. Oakland A’s

4. Seattle Mariners

5. Houston Astros

NL East (In predicted order of finish)

1. Washington Nationals

2. Philadelphia Phillies (wild card)

3. Atlanta Braves

4. Miami Marlins

5. New York Mets

NL Central (In predicted order of finish)

1. Cincinnati Reds

2. St. Louis Cardinals (wild card)

3. Pittsburgh Pirates

4. Chicago Cubs

5. Milwaukee Brewers

NL West (In predicted order of finish)

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

2. San Francisco Giants

3. Arizona Diamondbacks

4. Colorado Rockies

5. San Diego Padres

Notable Acquisitions

Boston Red Sox – The Red Sox signed Shane Victorino, which should provide a good outfield duo with Jacoby Ellsbury. They have also agreed to terms with Mike Napoli, which should give the Red Sox a veteran presence at catcher.

New York Yankees – The Yankees got Kevin Youkilis to turn over to the dark side this off-season, which should be a good replacement for Alex Rodriguez until he returns from a hip injury.

Toronto Blue Jays – Baseball’s most active team this off-season certainly gave the impression that they are ready to compete in baseball’s best division. Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera will give the Blue Jays’ offense a jolt, and R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle are three solid starters in a rotation that will arguably be the best in baseball.

Cleveland Indians – The Indians finally opened up their wallets and found $56 million to give to Nick Swisher over four years.

Detroit Tigers – Torii Hunter joins a trio of big bats in Motown. Hunter will join Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez in what probably is the best offense in the American League.

Kansas City Royals – The Royals made a few good additions to their pitching staff, in James Shields, Wade Davis and Ervin Santana that could help them compete in baseball’s weakest division.

Houston Astros – In their first season in the American League, the only big splash the Astros made was signing Carlos Peña.

Los Angeles Angels – The Angels reeled in the biggest fish in this year’s free agent pond in outfielder Josh Hamilton. Ryan Madson should be a good addition to the Angels pitching staff.

Texas Rangers – The Rangers haven’t had a lot of luck in the playoffs in recent years, and they didn’t make any big moves this winter. They signed veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski and reliever Joakim Soria, but they will have to make up for the loss in offense caused by Hamilton’s departure.

Atlanta Braves – Landing BJ Upton is definitely a boost to Atlanta’s outfield.

Philadelphia Phillies – Adding veteran Michael Young should be a good addition to a veteran-laden lineup in Philadelphia.

Washington Nationals – Denard Span will give the Nats a dangerous leadoff hitter and Dan Haren will bolster an already dangerous rotation.

Chicago Cubs – Adding Edwin Jackson gives the Cubs depth in their pitching rotation.

Cincinnati Reds – Shin-Soo Choo should be a good addition to the Reds outfield. They also signed Jack Hannahan to be a utility infield man.

Pittsburgh Pirates – Russell Martin is an upgrade at catcher and Francisco Liriano is a good addition to the pitching staff.

Arizona Diamondbacks – A busy off-season in the desert helped the Diamondbacks land Brandon McCarthy and Heath Bell, which should give the D-Backs a strong rotation and Cody Ross should be a good fit in the Arizona lineup.

Los Angeles Dodgers – The free-spending Dodgers added Zack Greinke, which makes their rotation one of the best in the National League.

Playoff Predictions

A.L. Wild Card

Boston over Texas

N.L. Wild Card

St. Louis over Philadelphia

A.L. Division Series

Detroit over Boston, 3-1

Los Angeles Angels over New York Yankees, 3-1

N.L. Division Series

Los Angeles Dodgers over St. Louis, 3-1

Cincinnati over Washington, 3-2


Detroit over Los Angeles Angels, 4-2


Los Angeles Dodgers over Cincinnati, 4-2

World Series

Detroit over Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-2

Contact Chris Ginley at [email protected].