When it comes to picking a winner in the
American League this MLB season, I’d like to believe I’ve got a ‘stone cold
lock’ for the 2012 campaign. Do all the
homework you like, research until your blue in the face but I can save you a
ton of time and money—and provide you with plenty of green, if you’ll just see
red. My advice is to take the red clad Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim who not
only will win the American League pennant but will capture the World Series.
The sportsbooks would have you believe that the
Yankees (11/4) are the team to beat in the junior circuit this year. I’m here
to tell you that it’s not going the case and if you insist on betting the Yanks
or the Red Sox, then you might as well keep your wallet closed. It’s more of
the that MLB East Coast Bias that not only has New York as the MLB betting frontrunner but has the Red Sox of all
teams in a group with the Angels and Rangers at 4/1.
of Prince Albert
First let’s get the negative stuff out of the
way about Pujols. Granted he’s spent time on the disabled list in three of the
last six years and by the time the contract has run its course, he’ll be in his
40’s. You aren’t following the game close enough if you think he’s not going to
be worth every penny of the $240 million dollar. It’s not just what he does on
the field but his presence in the clubhouse, his charitable work and his Dominican heritage will play big in this region of the state. The Cardinals built a
statue to honor him but by the time he’s done in Anaheim, they’ll name a theme
park after him.
His addition to the Angels is huge from a
baseball standpoint and a marketing point of view. He's going to give the
Angels a consistent .300-plus batting average, 35-40 home runs and season and
well over 100 RBI’s. Last year was the worst statistical year of his career and
he still hit .299 with 37 homers and 99 RBI.
The remainder of the Halos offense is good
and even very good in some spots. Tori Hunter is on the backside of his career
but brings great leadership qualities. Vernon Wells is capable of hitting 30
home runs and if he returns to the pre big contract days, he’ll make for some
great protection for Pujols.
You won’t find a better starting rotation in
the American League. Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson and Ervin Santana are
the 2012 dream rotation. Weaver and Dan Haren finished second and third in the
American League in WHIP in 2011 and C.J. Wilson is the best No. 3 starter in
the league. He’s outdone himself in each of the past two seasons throwing over
200 innings, cutting down on his walks and upping his strikeout total.
Ervin Santana is a 200 innings plus pitcher
who could be No.1 or No.2 on most pitching staffs but is the best No. 4 in the
game 200-plus innings and keep his ERA in the low 3.00s. There are a lot of
teams out there who could use Santana as a No. 1, never mind as a No. 4.
at the top
The Angels have the best owner in baseball
(Arte Moreno) arguably the best manager (Mike Scioscia) and a rising star in
General Manager Jerry Dipoto who orchestrated the deals for Pujols and Wilson.
The fan base has been electrified by the
offseason additions and the buzz is back in Southern California baseball. The
Angels red has replaced the Dodger blue as the preferred color of choice now.
Follow my lead in MLB picks and you’ll be seeing green and plenty of it this season.