With Prince Fielder and King Albert moving to the American League, the junior circuit is primed to retake its long-held position as the superior half of baseball.
After 13 seasons without an all-star game victory, the National League has won the last two All-Star Games and the last two World Series. Pretty impressive, I’ll admit, but this season will mark a return to American League dominance. Much like college football where fans routinely root for their conference, I find myself cheering for the American League during interleague play and the World Series. I know I’m not alone in that feeling. Rudy Giuliani will even cheer for the Red Sox when they represent the AL in the World Series.
Fans of National League teams often like to point out that their teams play “real baseball,” while the American League teams play some sort of new age mockery of the sport. Nevertheless, the American League offers a better brand of baseball–not just because the thought of Joe Blanton struggling to get a bunt down fails to thrill me, but because there are simply better teams in the AL.
The National League Central’s two best players–Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder–will be playing in the American League next season, making the talent pools looks pretty lopsided. A writer for CBS-St. Louis offered his power ranking for next season. His top six teams… All American League clubs.
Just a few nights ago the Baseball Tonight crew evaluated the top five offenses in baseball. They ranked the Rangers, Yankees, and Red Sox in the top three and followed with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Detroit Tigers, respectively. I would take it a step further and say the Tigers should be head and shoulders better the Pujols-less Cardinals too.
Without Pujols the Cardinals will rely heavily on Matt Holiday who is an elite slugger, but hasn’t hit 30 home runs since 2007 and David Freese, who I’m a big fan of, but has 15 career home runs. Carlos Beltran and Lance Berkman will be the two key supporting sluggers. It seems like there could be a power outage without Pujols in the lineup. Meanwhile, the Tigers will feature the best 3-4 punch since the steroid induced dominance of Manny Ramirez-David Ortiz in 2004. Yahoo ranks Miguel Cabrera as the top player for the upcoming baseball season, Prince Fielder isn’t too far behind, Alex Avila has emerged as an all-star, and Austin Jackson has a bright future. With two of the NL’s top players moving to the AL, the top four offenses and the top six teams hail from the AL. This is the year the American League reclaims their position as the dominant league in professional baseball.
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