Let’s round them up, with a Rockies connection for each division (Click here for NL predictions).
1. Tampa Bay Rays
2. Toronto Blue Jays
3. Baltimore Orioles
4. New York Yankees
5. Boston Red Sox
One liner: The Rays’ pitching will be too much and they will find enough offense, while the loaded Blue Jays will gel midway into the season and snag a wild card.
Rockies connections: Jeff Niemann, for whom the Rockies almost traded, will come out of the bullpen for the Rays after not cracking their rotation. Jason Hammel will start opening day for the Orioles.
1. Detroit Tigers
2. Cleveland Indians
3. Kansas City Royals
4. Chicago White Sox
5. Minnesota Twins
One liner: Detroit’s talent is simply too much, while the Royals plan to go all in won’t pay off as well as they hoped.
Rockies connections: Jeremy Guthrie is smack in the middle of the Royals rotation, surrounded by the team’s new acquisitions from the Rays. Jason Giambi will be a smashing success as a mentor in Cleveland as they make a run at a wild card spot. The Twins will struggle with all the mediocre pitchers that they beat the Rockies out to sign.
1. Los Angeles Angels
2. Oakland Athletics
3. Texas Rangers
4. Seattle Mariners
5. Houston Astros
One liner: The Angels will find enough pitching to back up their stout offense, while the A’s will repeat their success from 2012 and just barely squeeze the Rangers out of a wild cart spot.
Rockies connections: Chris Iannetta will quietly be a stable presence for the Angels, handling the pitching staff and doing a good job of flipping the lineup for Trout and company. Seth Smith will once again show up taking clutch at-bats in September for the A’s.
Wild card game: Blue Jays over A’s
Divisional round: Tigers over Blue Jays, Rays over Angels
League championship: Tigers over Rays
World Series: Nationals over Tigers (join the club right?)