Back during Spring Training, I took a look at each team and made predictions about how each team would do and how I thought their season would go. This was the first year doing this, and I figured now was a good time to take a look back and see how it went. I reviewed the AL East previously, and now it’s on to the AL Central.
Chicago White Sox
Predicted Record: 84-78 Actual Record: 88-74
This team’s record ended up slightly better than I thought it would, but actually finished in the same spot in the standings I believed that they would. They got solid pitching as usual, but not as much from Jake Peavy once he suffered a season ending injury. The move to second base for Gordon Beckham seemed to cause him some serious struggles throughout most of the season, and he didn’t seem to get his bat back until after the All-Star break.
Predicted Record: 68-94 Actual Record: 69-93
Almost perfect on the predicted record, but let’s be clear: Most of the predicted records were just wild guesses based on where I thought the team would place in the standings. One of the few bright spots for the Indians this season was outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who has become the team’s brightest star. The midseason callup of top prospect Carlos Santana provided some hope for the future, at least until he was knocked out for the season on August 2nd with a leg injury. The team should be better next season with a lot of players now having more experience under their belt. How much better remains to be seen though.
Predicted Record: 82-80 Actual Record: 81-81
The Tigers were lead by the amazing performance of 1B Miguel Cabrera and the excellent season from ace Justin Verlander, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to lead them past either the Twins or the White Sox. The team’s performance seemed very inconsistent at times, with offense being provided some nights by Magglio Ordonez, some nights by Johnny Damon, and some by the rookies Austin Jackson and Brennan Boesch. It was good to see the second half performance from Max Scherzer, who should give the Tigers a great 1-2 punch in 2011.
Kansas City Royals
Predicted Record: 72-90 Actual Record: 67-95
Another team that made a midseason switch in the manager’s office, the Royals seemed like they were worse than their record actually portrayed them to be. This is a team that really is trying to look forward, and with the prospects that they have coming down the line, some as soon as next season, they should do better next season. Players like Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, and Wil Myers could all be in Kansas City before the end of 2011.
Predicted Record: 87-75 Actual Record: 94-68
You know, I thought that the Twins would win the division, but I thought it was going to be another season where it would come down to the last game of the season, or even game #163 for a 3rd straight year. But they actually ended up being the first team to clinch a playoff spot, and this was in spite of not getting anything from the injured Justin Morneau throughout the second half of the season. It’s a bit strange to see them have such a high payroll (they approached $100 M by the end of the season), but they are definitely bringing in more revenue with Target Field, and should continue to do well next season.