New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

The Sports Journal

Pinstripe Press

As we prepare for Opening Day, I must toss in my opinion on who will win the divisions in baseball this season.

I will start off easy. In the American League East I am picking the New York Yankees. Did you really believe I would choose anyone else?

I like the Yankees, not just because I am a fan, but because they are a better team this year then last. Their pitching is better than other teams in the division and hitting is never a problem.

In the American League Central I’m taking the Detroit Tigers. They added Prince Fielder to go along with Miguel Cabrera. With Justin Verlander leading their rotation, how can you choose anyone else?

I’m taking the Texas Rangers in the American League West. Their line-up includes Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton and Mitch Mooreland. I also like pitchers Yu Darvish and Neftali Perez. They have come close to winning it all a few years now and I don’t see that ending.

In the National League East I have to stick with the Philadelphia Phillies. I don’t care who bats, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels will keep them in the game. I am worried about Jonathan Papelbon as relief pitcher however. I think his stock is falling.

The National League Central division winner should be no surprise in the St. Louis Cardinals. The World Series Champions will finish on top. Yes, Albert Pujols has left, but the team knows how to play.

Pitchers Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright are strong. The defensive is strong and Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday will hit over 50 home runs between the two. David Freese and Carlos Beltran are no slouches either.

In the National League West I’m favoring the San Francisco Giants. Tim Lincecum had an off year in 2011, but I expect he will be back in form this year. Catcher Buster Posey will have a great return this season to lead the team. Pablo Sandavol could top his 24 homers last year. Of course, I love former Yankee Melkey Cabrera (I still wear his jersey) and believe this season he will be an all-star.

So look for the Yankees, Tigers, Rangers, Phillies, Cardinals and Giants to be tough this year. Who do you like?