Previewing the American League


Tomorrow is a holiday that is recognized by all, well, except for your calendar and most likely your employer. The wait is finally over and baseball is finally back. With that, Top Shelf is back, also finally, predicting each division winner and award winners. Today we preview the American League while tomorrow we’ll hop into the National League.

AL East
Eric Evans- Toronto Blue Jays
Steven Rowland- Boston Red Sox
Mike Roza- Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox are the obvious choice here, but this David Price injury seems to be a little more serious than everyone initially anticipated. While their offense is arguably the most explosive in the American League, let’s not sleep on the Blue Jays offense. Although it’s close, I like the depth of the Blue Jays rotation over that of the Red Sox, again, assuming this Price injury is serious.

AL Central
Eric Evans- Cleveland Indians
Steven Rowland- Cleveland Indians
Mike Roza- Cleveland Indians

AL West
Eric Evans- Texas Rangers
Steven Rowland- Houston Astros
Mike Roza- Houston Astros

I absolutely love what the Astros did this off-season and I would not be shocked at all to see them win this division. I don’t see Dallas Keuchel rebounding into his Cy Young form, but he’s definitely better than what he showed last season. However, like last year, I’m again in love with this Rangers team. I am all-in on the return of Yu Darvish, as you’ll see shortly. The one-two punch of Hamels and Darvish might just be the best in the American league.

Wild Card Teams
Eric Evans- Boston Red Sox & Houston Astros
Steven Rowland- Texas Rangers & Seattle Mariners
Mike Roza- Texas Rangers & Seattle Mariners

Most Valuable Player
Eric Evans- Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays
Steven Rowland- Mike Trout, Angels
Mike Roza- Jose Altuve, Astros

Well, if the Blue Jays are going to win the AL East, it’s going to be because Josh Donaldson has another monster season.

Cy Young
Eric Evans- Yu Darvish, Rangers
Steven Rowland- Chris Archer, Rays
Mike Roza- Chris Sale, Red Sox

All-in on Darvish.

Rookie of the Year
Eric Evans- Yoan Moncada, White Sox
Steven Rowland- Aaron Judge, Yankees
Mike Roza- Jharel Cotton, Athletics

American League Champion
Eric Evans- Cleveland Indians
Steven Rowland- Houston Astros
Mike Roza- Houston Astros

Nope, I just can’t quit them. The Indians made the World Series last year without the likes of Michael Brantley, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. While all are, essentially, healthy heading into 2017, the Indians also added on of the most prolific power bats this off-season, Edwin Encarnacion. They’re my pick to represent the American League for the second time in three years.