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American League Central

This may not sit well with some folks out in Cleveland, but we are going to call this league a two team race this year. When it comes right down to it, when talking about the American League Central there are only two teams that come to mind, the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins. Both teams made what I am going to call very calculated moves in the free agency market, which should booster their presence on the mound and in the field. This is not a historically strong division but one that displays some very good baseball.

Let’s start with the South side of Chicago, and the moves that they made this off season. The addition of Joe Kelly, whether as a starter or coming out of the pen, can be huge for the White Sox. Joe Kelly became a fan favorite while in Los Angeles, so I think the South side is going to enjoy his character and how he plays the game.

Now around the horn, for the southsiders, we need to mention Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson, Yasmani Grandal, and my personal favorite, Luis Robert who I think has the potential to win MVP. Luis Robert should be bringing the fire power to the team this season. On the hill we have Lance Lynn, Dallas Keuchel, Joe Kelly, Craig Kimbrell, and Liam Hendriks. With names like this, and their style of play, it would be really difficult for another team to catch the White Sox in this division. Just on the offensive side, these four players could easily combine for a minimum of 100 home runs this season. Now that is what I call a solid offense.

Minnesota, on the other hand, made a few big moves in the free agency market. Adding Sonny Gray, and Chris Archer on the hill, Gio Urshela and Carlos Correa in the field, and Gary Sanchez behind the dish. All of these moves show that the Twins mean business and they are here to win.

With all of the additions mentioned above, including Miguel Sano, the Twins have the fire power and pitching to make a push for October. Again, with Urshela, Correa, Sanchez, and Sano you could be looking at 100 home runs. The only questions the Twins will have out of these four players is do they stay consistent, and do they get on base? For example, last season Gary Sanchez had 23 home runs with 54 RBI’s but only hit .204. Of course this gets balanced out by Correa who hit .279 and Urshela who hit .267.

So now it’s predictions time. Assuming that both teams stay healthy the majority of the season, you can see we have a descent race. I think that the White Sox can win in the high 90’s and win the division. Now with the new play off system, where there are more playoff teams, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Twins make it into October. This is all coming down to consistency, and the health of each team. As I often say, the key to winning the division is playing at least 500 ball against those in your division and slapping the heck out of the sub 500 teams.

Prediction: Chicago for the win, Minnesota to come in second.

Top Fan Rivalry readers tell me what you think!

Article by Bill Perkins, TFR Owner.

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