Thomas Wayne’s Bold and Beer Battered 2011 Predictions – American League Edition

by ThomasWayne

Howdy boys and girls (and for those of you not sure which one you are congratulations on being a Cubs fan) and welcome to the 2011 edition of my nearly flawless (and by nearly flawless I mean I have about a one in no-chance-in-hell shot of getting more than a third of these right) MLB  AL Predictions. Without any more hullabaloo let us jump right in to the insanity…

American League East

  • Boston Red Sox 98-64
  • New York Yankees 98-64
  • Tampa Bay Rays 86-76
  • Toronto Blue Jays 79-83
  • Baltimore Orioles 69-93

I am not as high on the rebuilt Red Sox as some, however, I am not completely blind. This is arguably the team to beat in the AL. But I never count out the Yankees. All it would take is some nifty dealing to acquire a Chris Carpenter (assuming the Cardinals stumble…which I sure as hell hope they don’t) or the like and the Yankees are right there. Look for Tampa to possibly play spoiler as Summer turns to Fall (Tampa plays Boston seven times in September). I like the Red Sox to win the division and the Yanks as the wild card.

American League Central

  • Chicago White Sox 92-70
  • Detroit Tigers 90-72
  • Kansas City Royals 84-78
  • Minnesota Twins 80-82
  • Cleveland Indians 65-97

I like the White Sox from top to bottom. Great hitting lineup (especially when Gordon Beckham starts to rake like he should and stop playing like he’s Victoria Beckham…or David Beckham for that matter…he’s not quite the Alpha Female his wife is…but I digress) and more than enough pitching to make people stop and think. The Tigers will contend but come up short. Minnesota falls off the pace for the first time in years and I like the Royals to make a big leap from annual bottom feeders to a surprise-we-didn’t-see-them-coming-this-year-team.

American League West

  • California via Anaheim take a turn in Los Angeles Angels 88-74
  • Texas how the mighty will fall Rangers 80-82
  • Oakland soon to be Santa Clara/San Jose A’s 75-87
  • Seattle nothing clever to add here Mariners 64-98

What I like to call the most exciting boring division in baseball.  I like the Angels to win but not quite by default. In the past the Angels were the clear team to beat. Than last year came and changed all that. This year they are a better hitting and pitching squad than last, but overall they wouldn’t be able to compete in any other division but the Weak Sisters of The West. The Rangers pitching will come back down to earth this year but they will still hit there way to a .500 record (give or take a win or five). Oakland has some great young arms, but I’ve seen better lineups with pick-pockets in them. 

American League Playoffs

  • Red Sox vs Angels
  • White Sox vs Yankees

I like the Red Sox to dispatch the Angels and the White Sox to hold off the Bronx Bombers. But if the Yankees were to win it wouldn’t shock me.

ALCS

  • Red Sox vs White Sox

This should be a great ALCS….you got fiery managers on both sides, veteran arms and players who have been there before, and combined they have won three of the last seven World Series. Could go down as one of the best ALCS ever. I like the White Sox in the mild upset in seven games.

American League Rookie of the Year

  • Jeremy Hellickson – Tampa Bay Rays

Hellickson is one sick throwing son-of-a-ray and he will fill in more than nicely for the recently departed and under achieving Matt Garza. It may take him a month or two to hit his stride but when he does the Rays will be a solid closer and a big bat away from contending again. I look for these numbers by years end: 185 IP, 17-7, 3.16 ERA, 1.17  WHIP, 170 K’s and a shiny new AL Jackie Robinson Award to sit on his shelf.

American League Manager of the Year

  • Ned Yost – Kansas City Royals

If the Royals make the step I think they will it will be really hard not to acknowledge SkipperYost  as top Manager in the Junior Circuit  (at least for 2011). The Royals are loaded with up and comers who I believe will contribute this year (at least some of them). Yost will balance their youthful enthusiasm with been-there-done-that wisdom and help the Royals to an above .500 record for only the 4th time in the last twenty years making them the big surprise of the AL this year.

American League Cy Young Award

  • Jon Lester – Boston Red Sox

For the 26th year in a row I am picking Mr. Lester to win the AL Cy Young Award. This is the year that I thought would be last year. And last year will finally come true this year. Honestly, he has no excuses. It’s become the dominant stud we all know you are or just settle for being a really, really good pitcher who never takes it to that next level of exclusivity. Here is what I hope to see out of Lester this year: 220 IP, 22-5, 2.89 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 236 K’s.

American League MVP

  • Adrian Gonzalez – Boston Red Sox

Let’s face it, Adrian Gonzalez is a total stud. He leaps over tall buildings in single bounds and can have your girlfriend on his arm with the wink of his eye. He does all this and still had time to rake like no body’s business for a San Diego club that had almost no one else around him to offer up any offensive help (at one time Toothless Arnie McLain, the 62 year old left field peanut vendor, was penciled in to protect Gonzalez in the Padre batting order. Just for your need to know, Arnie lost a hand and four toes off his left foot while serving his country during the Tet Offensive – he deserves your respect). Gonzalez will now  take his already monstrous game to the next level in Boston. Here is what I believe we will see as 2011 unfolds: .301/.423/.533, 49 Doubles, 40 HR’s, 123 RBI, 105 Runs and an AL MVP.

Stay Tuned for My NL Predictions – Now with a Lemony Fresh Scent!!

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40 Responses to “Thomas Wayne’s Bold and Beer Battered 2011 Predictions – American League Edition”

  1. Bob Says:

    I hope you are right about Lester, I just have a hard time seeing somebody beating Felix. Hellickson is my choice for ROY as well.

  2. John Says:

    I like your Gonzo predictions, Thomas.

    If you adjust his numbers from last year to playing for the Red Sox, here’s what you get:

    .323/.421/.555, 37 doubles, 35 homers, 121 RBI, 105 runs scored.

    For the year before:

    .300/.434/.596, 30 doubles, 45 homers, 117 RBI, 106 runs scored.

    Though I don’t see a way that he clubs 89 xbh and “only” gets a .533 SLG, but now I’m just nitpicking.

    Fun stuff. I’d love to see Ned Yost get MoY at some point. Don’t see it happening this year, but sometime if he hangs around in KC.

  3. Raul Says:

    Sure is interesting.

    The Orioles won 66 games last season and this year you have them winning 69.
    Apparently their off-season wasn’t as impressive to you — which is fine.

  4. brautigan Says:

    Thomas: The only quibble I have with your picks is about the Yankees.

    They won’t make the playoffs.

  5. John Says:

    “Apparently their off-season wasn’t as impressive to you — which is fine.”

    Yeah. Lots of moves, but at the end of the day, you’re talking about a DH who never walks, a 1B who’ll start on the DL, an often-injured SS, a 3B who is unproductive unless he has a .400 BAbip…

    Really, just classic Orioles moves. They’ve been doing this crap for over a decade and they aren’t gonna stop.

  6. Raul Says:

    Also,

    I think it will take an incredibly underachieving Red Sox team to win only 98 games if Adrian Gonzalez posts the numbers you think he will.

  7. Raul Says:

    I also think the Yankees will have a long summer in 2011.

    I have little-to-no faith in Jeter, Posada, Gardner and Granderson. Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira are far too streaky offensively. Jesus Montero has been underwhelming to say the least in his 2011 Spring Training thus far.

    So it comes down to Cano and A-Rod. They can be outstanding but to ask them to carry this team is asking an awful lot.

    The rotation is a mess. Perhaps in 2014 it might be among the best in baseball, but for 2011 it’s very uncertain.

    I think the Yankees can will themselves to about 90-92 wins — but that’s it.

  8. John Says:

    The closest season I could find to the Gonzalez season that Thomas described was Bobby Abreu in 2002. .308/.413/.521 with 50 doubles, 102 runs, but just 85 RBI and 20 HR.

    The Yankees rotation is full of question marks. For them to make the playoffs, AJ Burnett is going to have to get his ERA back below 4 at the very least.

    And then there’s the question marks that are misters Garcia, Colon, Mitre, and Nova. Well, Colon isn’t a question mark; he’s a (looks at keyboard) …well, he’s one of [ O ] these.

  9. Chuck Says:

    I think Teixeira and Jeter will bounceback somewhat, and Cano and Gardner will regress.

    Unless the Yanks get 15-18 wins from Burnett and 25 or so between Garcia and Nova, they won’t win more than 90.

    And I don’t think 90 will be enough for the wildcard.

    Love the Kansas City pick, Thomas, although you’re probably a year early.

  10. Jim Says:

    Terry Francona fiery? He’s about as even keeled as they come.

    Picking the RS & Yanks to tie is gutless lacking confidence. My thought is the RS will win 97-98 games but their upside is 103. For the Yanks the upside is 97-98.

    Twins: as much as I hate to say it, they are a team that is capable of under performing. Lots of questions in the BP and the rotation really doesn’t scare anyone. They have some good starters but none would be better than a #3 on a good team.

    KC: I hope you’re right. They remind me of the Rays in 05-06, some good talent that needed to figure out how to win.

    Angels: Really??

  11. John Says:

    Thomas,

    Why only 80 for Minnesota? They won 94 last year with just half a season of Justin Morneau…

  12. Raul Says:

    The Yankees rotation would be pretty good….if this was 2005.

    CC Sabathia: 196 IP, 185 hits, 4.03 ERA
    AJ Burnett: 209 IP, 184 hits, 3.44 ERA
    Freddy Garcia: 228 IP, 225 hits, 3.87 ERA
    Mark Prior: 166 IP, 143 hits, 3.67 ERA
    Bartolo Colon: 222 IP, 215 hits, 3.48 ERA

  13. Raul Says:

    If you suppose Sabathia can win 20 games, Hughes can win about 17.
    Chuck says Burnett needs to take 15-18. Let’s give him the high end of 18.

    That’s 55 games.
    Another 25 between the 4th and 5th guys (about 13 a piece) brings you to 80.

    That means your bullpen has to get you 18 wins.
    I think that may be pushing it, but I suppose it’s doable — if Soriano, Robertson and Chamberlain are lights-out.

    I think we’d all say it’s unlikely, but that’s why they play the game.

  14. Raul Says:

    Scott Kazmir was once a hot prospect but he’s fallen apart over the past 2 or 3 years.

    But he’s still only 27 years old. Any chance of a team rebuilding him? Where’s Dave Duncan? If he can make Joel Pinero a winner, he can do anything.

  15. Raul Says:

    Speaking of Kazmir, one of his similar pitchers is Frank Viola.

    Viola won 24 games for the Twinkies in 1988.
    But he also won 20 for the 1990 New York Mets.

    To my knowledge, he’s the last Mets pitcher to win 20 games in a season.
    I don’t know much, but 20+ years seems like a long time to go between 20-game winners.

  16. Raul Says:

    Also, 2011 marks the 50th year of the Mets franchise.

  17. ThomasWayne Says:

    John,
    My Twins pick is based on many things…one…Morneau not being healthy…and yes…I realize they played well without him last year….but it worries me that he may play all year and not truly be himself…worried about his head. We shall see.

    I also worry about the pitching staff. If Liraiano and Pavano and so on can repeat what they did last year I will eat huge crow…but I just have some doubts.

    I look at it this way…I picked the Angels to win the AL West last year and look what happened to them. Twins fans should rejoice….based on my track record they will win the AL Cent. going away….lol.

    TW

  18. Chuck Says:

    Matt Dominguez is widely considered one of the best 3B prospects in the minors, and certainly the best defensively.

    The only concerns with him are with his bat, and he’s been very surprising so far this spring and has a legitimate chance to win the opening day job in Florida.

    So, why was he playing right field today?

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/boxscore.jsp?gid=2011_03_09_wasmlb_flomlb_1

  19. Cameron Says:

    Again, I’m about as dyed-in-the wool as they come for a Royals fan as they come… But 84 wins? I’ll be surprised if the crack 64. We’re talking about a team with one legitimate offensive and pitching threat and a team filled with placeholders between now and September, except for Wilson Betemit who will be gone in June. Our ace is Luke Goddamn Hochevar… C’mon.

  20. Raul Says:

    I got $10 says Luke Hochevar wins 14 games in 2011

  21. Cameron Says:

    Our wins leader last season was Bruce Chen, with 12. Zack Greinke in a bad year is still better than Hochevar in a good one, I’ll go… MAYBE 12 wins for Luke.

    But gun to my head, I’m calling Jeff Francis to be the wins leader.

  22. Bob Says:

    Raul, if you still lived in New York, I might make a bet. But alas, you moved out West. You like it out there?

  23. Bob Says:

    I like Francis more than Hochevar myself. And for some reason, I think the Tigers will be somewhat underwhelming this year. The arrest of Miguel Cabrera is troubling to me.

  24. Raul Says:

    Women? I’d say even with New York. There are some beautiful ones here.
    Weather? California.
    Traffic? New York.
    All-around night life and things to do? New York.

    Food? Good lord. It’s my biggest gripe since moving here. You can’t get a decent sandwich or pizza ANYWHERE. It’s pathetic. I went in for a breakfast sandwich. I asked the guy for a turkey, egg & cheese on a roll, and he said he didn’t have rolls. Then once I went out with coworkers for lunch to an Italian restaurant and out of the 6 of us…2 had never heard of baked ziti.

    You know that end scene in Goodfellas where Ray Liotta says “right after I got here, I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce, and I got egg noodles and ketchup.”

    That’s no exaggeration. That’s exactly what food is like on the West Coast.

  25. Raul Says:

    Well that’s great.

    It took Kendry Morales 6 years to tell the Angels organization that his real name is Kendrys Morales.

    Then I read somewhere that his agent stole 300k from him.

    Plus he’s probably not going to be ready for the start of the season.

    Kendrys Morales – you just suck on so many levels.

  26. Bob Says:

    My brother-in-law went to college in Southern California and said they have outstanding Mexican food. Where in California are you located?

  27. Raul Says:

    I’m in Glendale, which is basically Armenia-central. It’s between Pasadena and West Hollywood/Burbank…and north of East LA.

    I don’t like Mexican Food.

  28. Chuck Says:

    “That’s no exaggeration. That’s exactly what food is like on the West Coast.”

    Amen to that.

    Crap, just pure crap.

    When you ask someone for a recommendation on a seafood restaurant and they tell you Red Lobster you know you’re in trouble.

  29. ThomasWayne Says:

    Cameron,
    Keep the faith brother…that’s why they call them predictions…as of right now the Royals have as good as shot as anyone…6 months from now I will either be a crack pot or a man of bold thought. I hope the latter…but yes…the Royals winning games into the 80’s is bold…but why predict 65 wins and nail it when you can predict 80 something and look like a genius if they pull it off.
    Keep the faith brother…keep the faith…
    TW

  30. Cameron Says:

    I’ll start next year when the product starts to look decent. The Royals banana is still green.

  31. Chuck Says:

    Cam….Yost said yesterday Butler’s the starting first baseman, and it’s not etched in stone that Kila will be in the lineup everyday.

    Possibly Butler may DH some against lefties with Betemit getting a few starts at first base.

  32. Cameron Says:

    Betemit is a utility guy but I’d still say Butler’s best at DH. Still, Yost probably isn’t high on Kila and I kinda don’t blame him really.

  33. brautigan Says:

    Raul: You may need to go to Monterey Park for some Chinese food. Otherwise, good luck. Los Angeles is the home of mediocre cuisine. If you want good food, you may need to go to San Francisco or Seattle or Portland.

  34. Cameron Says:

    San Fran’s closer and some of the best seafood around.

  35. Raul Says:

    I went to San Francisco in January for a weekend and I did like it.

    I didn’t care much for Fisherman’s Wharf but the rest of the city was quite nice.

  36. brautigan Says:

    Stay away from Fisherman’s Wharf. It is a tourist trap. Go to North Beach for some good Italian and/or seafood.

    Los Angeles is a garbage dump where dreams go to die (thank you Nathanel West). I truly despise that place. You drive and drive so more, get where you are going and then get in line.

    One nice thing about Anaheim, it is easy to get autographs there, possibly one of the best places to get ballpark autographs. I think Yankee stadium is one of the worst unless you bribe one of the ushers.

  37. Mike Felber Says:

    I am in the middle of NYC, & think you are right about the city comparisons Raul. But visiting LA, I like the feel of the place. The palm trees, weather, light…though it might be tough if you do not like Mexican food. Bill Maher had a party at his compound for staff, & my brother said the food trucks he hired had the best Mexican you could imagine.

    I do not have sophisticated tastes. DO not like alcohol, seafood, coffee…Not that the guys are any more immune from this analysis, but I wonder whether NYC or LA has more kind, emotionally stable single ladies.

  38. Seven Says:

    Am I adding wrong or do you have both the AL and NL above .500?

    I haven’t been on the site in a while, but not much has changed. The Cardinal fan in Thomas and his hatred for Billy Beane get in the way of rational prognostications.

    Good luck with that A’s pick.

  39. Chuck Says:

    “I haven’t been on the site in a while, but not much has changed.”

    I can see that, and you’ve only posted three comments.

  40. Seven Says:

    haha thanks Chuck, good to be back.

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