2012 AL Central Standings - Part 1
Let's do our division picks, poll style. Today I'll post a poll for who will win the AL Central. Tomorrow we'll eliminate the winner and post a poll for who will finish second and we'll repeat on Thursday and Friday. Don't just vote - give your reasons.
Regression, Regression, Regression
I'm the guy who voted Indians. Ya, I'll admit that it's in part because I have a hard time going along with what everybody else thinks is a no-brainer (i.e. last year’s Red Sox).
I can see a Tiger meltdown based on three things all happening:
1. Terrible Defense – Jhonny Peralta had an absolute career year defensively that stands out drastically from his normal performance, so regression is very possible. Other than Austin Jackson, this team is very adequate in the field.
2. Pitching Regression - All this bad defense will definitely lead to a drop in team ERA (much like the Twins did last year). And while Verlander is coming off of an MVP year, his BABIP was unsustainably low at .236 compared to his career average .285.
3. Struggling Supporting Offense – I say “supporting offense” because Cabrera & Fielder are going to get their numbers, but it’s the supporting cast that I wonder about. Alex Avila raked last year, mostly thanks to an unbelievable .366 BABIP. Jhonny Peralta had his best offensive year last year since he was a rookie. If Delmon does what he’s always done (with the exception of 2010), and the rest of their lineup stays around the same, the supporting cast of this team looks pretty weak.
You sprinkle in some missed time for Miguel Cabrera in their because of possible wear and tear at third base, and you’ve got an 80-85 win team. Suddenly the Indians are in striking distance for sure.