American League Central
DF: Cleveland Guardians
This time last year, I picked the Chicago White Sox to win both the American League Central and the AL Pennant. Chicago entered the year as heavy favorites in the division — but instead limped to a .500 record. While I’m tempted to ride with the Sox again, I’m going with the Guardians. Cleveland won 92 games in 2022 and should be a more formidable group this year. Jose Ramirez is a superstar, and I have a ton of faith in Cleveland’s pitching staff.
HA: Minnesota Twins
Here we go, again. The Twins disappointed last year after entering the season as one of the favorites to come out of the American League. 2022 ended up being an unbridled disaster for Minnesota as injuries and poor pitching led to a dreadful second half (Minnesota lost 29 of its last 40 games to end season). While the roster isn’t drastically different, we’re banking on better health and a deeper staff to power the Twins towards an AL Central title.
JF: Chicago White Sox
This race will come down to three teams: Chicago, Cleveland, and Minnesota. On paper, one could make an argument that Chicago has the most talented team. Losing A.J. Pollock and Jose Abreu isn’t ideal. However, the rotation is loaded with ability — starting with Dylan Cease, Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, and flamethrower Michael Kopech. Andrew Benintendi should be an upgrade as more of a contact hitter, and there should be less pressure on him compared to his past stops in the Bronx and at Fenway.
Image Source: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports