Who is really the best baseball team in the majors? I honestly don't know but I try to figure that out by using basic and advanced statistics. I live for talking about baseball, it's my biggest drive in my life and I will jump on the opportunity to talk baseball with anyone, even with people who I don't really like. For me, Baseball is a piece of art that sits in my mind all day, ready to be painted on at any point of the day.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My projections for the 2011 season (American League)

By Mike Moritz

My favorite team, the Yankees. But whose to say that they will win it all in 2011?
I know that this is a few days late but better late than never. Theses are my projections for the 2011 end-of-season standing projections for the American League, I hope that all of you find them decent. My National League projections will be up soon, I hope:

American League East:
  1. Boston Red Sox (101-61)
  2. New York Yankees (96-66) *AL Wild Card Winners*
  3. Tampa Bay Rays (87-75)
  4. Baltimore Orioles (81-81)
  5. Toronto Blue Jays (79-83)

This is definitely the most competitive division and I thought I might want to get it over with it. I am a huge Yankee fan but I am not biased, by no means at all. The Red Sox got bitten by the injury bug big time last year and yet, they still won 89 games. Most notably, they lost about 3 WAR from both Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia each and maybe another 2 or 3 from Jacoby Ellsbury and probably a few more from an injured and ugly Josh Beckett. Then they lost Adrian Beltre and his 7.1 WAR and Victor Martinez's 4.0 WAR. But then they come out and get Carl Crawford AND trade for Adrian Gonzalez.

The Rays got there whole bullpen striped over the offseason and they also lost Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford, obviously to the Red Sox. People are really overreacting to this situation, but why is there a need to? Sure, they lost A LOT of talent, but they are by no stretch of the imagination, a bad team. In fact, I still think that they are a good team. I love Joe Maddon as manager and I'm still convinced that Even Longoria will break out this year (read my post here and I'll tell you why) despite his recent oblique troubles. Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez were both brought, two players that are for sure still productive, despite Damon's small calf tightness. The defense is still good. 

The Yanks have just an "eh" starting rotation, and they won't win the World Series but the offense is still great and the bullpen is one of the best in the bigs. I had a post a while ago about why I thought Alex Rodriguez was 'done' though I actually think he is going to bounce back this year. New projection for A-Rod: .285/.370/.550, .390 wOBA, 40 homers. Pretty ballsy projection for a 35-year-old, but I'll go with it.

The Orioles have obviously made a splash to upgrade their team and the Blue Jays are about the same. Boring, I know.

American League Central:

  1. Chicago White Sox (91-71)
  2. Minnesota Twins (90-72)
  3. Detroit Tigers (86-76)
  4. Kansas City Royals (73-89)
  5. Cleavland Indians (70-92)
The Chicago White Sox brought in Adam Dunn to give them some more pop from the left side. Great signing, at least in my opinion, though they could have gotten him for a little less money. Moving into a great home run ball park in U.S. Cellular, Dunn should see a little more home runs, scary, I know. National's Stadium has also been known to increase BABIPs, so we should Dunn's average dip back down to his normal .240 range from before his stint with the Nationals.

The combination between the White Sox getting Dunn and the Twins bullpen getting striped should put Chicago over the Twins. But never count out the Twinkies. They have Justin Morneau healthy (we'll see how long that lasts) and due to some regression back to the mean, Jason Kubel should bounce his batting average back to his career mark, .271. We should also note that the Nick Blackburn will probably falter and that Kevin Slowey should be getting his spot back in the rotation, not that he should have ever lost it to Blackburn in the first place.

The Tigers are my Dark Horse American League team. Ryan Rayburn is finally getting a starting job, and add Victor Martinez into the mix as the DH and Alex Avila catching (more for his offense) who, yes, has some strides to make, but can be a nice bat to have at the plate.

American League West:
  1. Texas Rangers (88-74)
  2. Oakland Athletics (84-78)
  3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (79-83)
  4. Seattle Mariners (73-89)
Obviously, a lot of people thought that the Mariners were going to win the AL West, but they went on to win a mere 61 games. O well. 

I am not at all convinced that the Texas Rangers have enough pitching for the season. Then again, Hamilton, Kinsler and Cruz are all healthy (but like Morneau, we'll see how long that lasts). They brought in Adrian Beltre which will give them another solid bat and amazing glove. Do not expect anything close to the same batting average this year, he was helped by a high BABIP and for what ever reason, a very slight increase in contact% which led to a very slight decrease in strike outs. But he will still put up about a 3 or 4 WAR season, but not another 7.1 mark. 

I was so excited about the Athletics coming into this season but that has died down a little bit since then. But nonetheless, I am still excited about them. The pitching staff is Top 3 in baseball and the bullpen is staked and was added on by Grant Balfour and Brian Fuentes, so I wouldn't even sweat it that Andrew Baily is missing time with an elbow injury. They added three nice bats with David Dejesus, Josh Willingham and Hideki Matsui. Coco Crisp is healthy again and Kurt Suzuki should have a nice little bounce back year (his power should be the same but his average should creep back into the .260 range as he was hampered by a low BABIP). I would not be surprised at all if they come in and take the AL West title from the Rangers. 

(Stats in courtesy of: fangraphs.com)


  1. u said the al east is the al west...also, in my opion the rays will come in last in the al east..the orioles have a great lineup now and if their pitching can hold teams to 3-4 runs a game i see them being very competitive as well as the jays getting numerous homeruns from anyone...i think the orioles and jays both have the talent to win the al west or maybe even the central but willl be held back by the sox and yanks...i do see them both finishing above .500 with the rays haveing a forgettable year

  2. True, I would not be surprised if all the teams in the AL East won over 81 games. The Jays and Orioles have the talent to win 85ish games but they just play in the wrong division.