2007 AL Central Preview
This is the little division that could and finally did. Two playoff teams came from the AL Central in 2006 and one of them, the Wild Card Detroit Tigers, made it all the way to the World Series. The second-place finisher in the AL East is no longer the shoe-in for the fourth playoff spot.
There are three teams in the Central Division that should be highly competitive this season. The Detroit Tigers, with Jim Leyland at the helm and Dave Dombrowski, are nicely positioned to possibly win the Central. There’s some good bats and excellent pitching. Leyland is a master manager.
Close at hand will be the Minnesota Twins. The team includes the AL’s top pitcher, hitter and player. Manager Ron Gardenhire will have to handle his young and talented starting rotation exceptionally well. There’s great fielding and hitting here.
Ozzie Guillen’s Chicago White Sox have a lot of power in their bats and potentially lethal arms. But the clubs’ starters must find the power and form that took them to the championship in 2005. The bullpen is very sound and that will be a big help.
For the Cleveland Indians to finally make it to the post-season, the bullpen has to come through. The starting rotation is in place and the hitting is first-rate. DH Travis Hafner is a major force, but he has to do something he has not done in a long time—stay off the DL. These four teams make the top of the AL Central extremely crowded.
The Kansas City Royals are in the process of trying to finally become a serious force in their division. New GM Dayton Moore hit the ground running, spending money on pitching and expanding development and scouting possibilities. However, this team is a few years away from competing with the other four clubs.
American League Central Predictions
Projected Order of Finish:
Click on team name for individual team preview.