Published on April 4th, 2013 | by Sam Chimenti0
Surprise Teams in 2013
With the baseball season under way, here are my 3 teams in each league who I predict may end up being like last years A’s or Orioles and surprise the baseball world…
In the AL-
Kansas City Royals- if there pitching is good on a consistent basis, and their abundance of young hitters start hitting like the were supposed to last year, the Royals will clinch a wild card.
Cleveland Indians- their situation is very similar to the Royals. They have a lot of power in their lineup with the additions of Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, and Mark Reynolds to go along with Carlos Santana and Asdrubal Cabrera. Its just a matter of whether or not their starting pitchers, particularly Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez, decide to show up.
Seattle Mariners- the Mariners only problem the past couple of years was their offense- they couldn’t score at all. But the additions of Michael Morse and Kendrys Morales to the starting lineup, with Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez also in the mix help make last years Mariners offense look like a thing off the past. And with the offense finally fixed, its only up to Mariners pitching to keep up what they have been doing in order to stand a chance at making the playoffs.
In the NL-
Milwaukee Brewers- the Brewers have a great offense. One of the best in the game. Their starting pitching isn’t great, but having Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse at the top of that rotation makes their rotation legit. It’s only the bullpen standing in the way of the Brewers making it back to the playoffs. If their bullpen can hold onto leads, and John Axford doesn’t blow every game, the Brewers will fight with the Dodgers for the second wildcard spot.
Philadelphia Philles- it’s the same old story with the Phillies as it is with every other team trying to make the playoffs this year after missing it last year- in order to be good, their starting pitching has to be there. Sadly for Phillies fans, their starting pitching hasn’t been the same since 2011. Roy Halladay is not the pitcher he used to be, Cliff Lee looks confused on the mound, and the back end of their rotation, along with their bullpen, isn’t very good. Also, the Phillies never seem to be healthy. However, if the Phillies pitching can be consistent, and Ryan Howard and Chase Utley stay healthy, the Phillies will also be in the mix for one of the wild cards.
Pittsburgh Pirates- last years Pirates team thought the season ended at the All Star Break. That’s why their midseason first place finish ended with a third place finish and yet another losing season in Pittsburgh, However, most of that Pirates team from last year is still on the team, along with the additions of Russell Martin and Starling Marte in the everyday starting lineup, and the additions of Wandy Rodriguez and Jonathan Sanchez to the starting rotation. This team, no matter what people say, is better then they were last year. That’s why I think the Pirates, while still not making the playoffs, will finish with the teams first above .500 record since 1993 and take one step closer to returning to the playoffs in 2014.