Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Other Joe's AL Award Winners and Playoff Teams

AL Most Valuable Player - Miguel Cabrera - The guy tore up National League pitching for five years in a wholly unexciting lineup. Now he moves to the Tigers who could have five guys get 200 hits this year. Sleeper: Travis Hafner

AL Cy Young - Justin Verlander - With the improvements to the lineup, Detroit could win a hundred games this year. Verlander was already a great pitcher, but with this team, he could rack up 22-24 wins to go with great averages and strikeouts. Sleeper: Francisco Liriano

AL Manager of the Year - Ron Gardenhire - For years he's gone unnoticed because the Twins had Johan Santana anchoring the staff. He'll finally get credit this year, despite a likely .500 finish. Sleeper: John Gibbons

AL Rookie of the Year - Jacoby Ellsbury - He's already got a high profile because of his performance at the end of last year and in the playoffs. That media exposure coupled with his talent and a very good team figure to result in back-to-back ROYs from the Red Sox. Sleeper: Joba Chamberlain

AL Playoff Teams
New York Yankees - The young pitching will grow up fast, and the lineup is as strong as ever.
Detroit Tigers - Their second worst hitter is a future Hall of Fame catcher.
Seattle Mariners - The injuries to Lackey and Escobar open the door, and the acquisition of Bedard will help Seattle saunter into the playoffs.
Boston Red Sox - They'll be disappointed to be only the wild card team, but in the playoffs, Beckett doesn't lose, and they'll be right back in the World Series.

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