The Top 3 MLB American League Teams
In Major League Baseball, the Junior Circuit is filled with teams ready to take the 2014 World Series crown. After three straight years of National League World Series dominance, the American League looks to take a stand and begin a championship streak of their own. Here are the top 3 American League teams looking to grab the 2014 crown.
The Detroit Tigers
Make room, Justin Verlander. The Tigers starting rotation is arguably the best in baseball and ready to take another run at performing on a historic level. Coming off an early exit in the American League Championship Series, the Detroit Tigers remain the team with some unfinished business to do.
Why the Tigers will win: The Tigers have a pitching rotation that is loaded with durable workhorses that throw the ball at an ace level. In the wake of Miguel Cabrera's injury and Prince Fielder's late season slump, Victor Martinez carried the Tiger offense on his bat with an unbelievable second half performance. The Tigers have just filled the void at second base with Ian Kinsler as well.
Why the Tigers won't win: The Tigers have some serious issues to address in light of a more competitive AL Central Division. First, they need an effective bullpen. Rondon may be the closer of the future, but his control has been erratic at times.
The Boston Red Sox
It would be terribly remiss to omit the Boston Red Sox from this list. They have a power happy offense keyed by David "Big Papi" Ortiz, and a stellar pitching rotation. They won the World Series by having a little bit of everything- from good solid fundamentals to clutch grand slams.
Why the Red Sox will win again: Koji Uehara is now a household name among Red Sox fans, and for good reason. After putting together stellar numbers as a reliever but going largely unnoticed, Uehara absolutely refused to wilt in high pressure situations. Uehara almost singlehandedly patched the bullpen woes of the Red Sox, and figures to be one of the best closers in the 2014 campaign. Manager John Farrell put together one of the best teams in baseball, and knew how to manage each player on a day to day basis.
Why the Red Sox won't win: Many of the bits and piece that led to the 2013 World Series Championship win are now heading toward free agency. Losing those key pieces to other teams will definitely hurt the 2013 championship team's chance at a repeat.
The Oakland Athletics
The Oakland A's have been living up to their "moneyball" status. After scripting a picture perfect 2012 season worthy of a sequel to the Brad Pitt movie, the A's followed up with an even better season in 2012.
Why the A's will win: They have the support of a fan base starved for a World Series championship, a fantastic manager in Bob Melvin, and a pitching rotation that is matched by few. Josh Donaldson had a breakout season, both with his glovework and his bat, and a healthy Cespedes will power the A's offense to victory.
Why the A's won't win: The A's get matched up in the ALDS in Game 5 against their worst nightmare: Justin Verlander.
If and when these teams make it to the postseason, it will be an entertaining battle to see which team will achieve glory in 2014. I believe that Detroit- fresh off dealing Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler- has the right tools to finally win the World Series trophy that fans have been longing for since 1984.