The newest team to the American League, the Astros, has a lot to do in order to even be close to finishing .500 rather than being competitive. Bo Porter will have his work cut out for him as the new manager of the team will need to place the best players on the field. There is no positive outlook here to the team, as the best player might be starting pitcher Bud Norris. There is a lot of disappointing prospects on this team from Brett Wallace to Fernando Martinez. The positive side to the defense is perhaps up the middle of the diamond, having Jed Lowrie and Jose Altuve. Altuve had a career year last year, and Lowrie had some ups and downs. Look for Altuve to be a round 12-15 player this year in deep leagues, as he does add some value for speed, runs and batting average. Altuve may not see any improvement in his numbers from the 2012 season, as they move to which I think is a tougher division than the NL Central. I can see Altuve producing 75 R, 20 SB, and a .285 batting average. The Astros will have the worst record in the league this year, being new to the American League and having to play against the Rangers, and the Angels, which I consider two of the top 5 most powerful offensive teams in the MLB. No one on this roster stands out to me more than SP Bud Norris, who might go 10-16 with a 3.44 ERA. Norris could go in round 7-10 pending on the league you play in.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals are a team I cannot figure out completely. The farm system they have or should I say had, was top notch, with a bright future ahead of them. This off season they made a trade which brought mixed reviews, when they traded for SP James Shields of the Rays, and traded away top minor league prospect Wil Meyers, who was said to be the ‘real deal’. It is hard to say what the mentality is of the Royals, and by the looks of that trade, I would read it as a win now mode type deal, however, I think they needed Meyers and Odorizzi to ‘win now’. The Royals can be an above .500 team, and they do have all the pieces if they can click together. 1B Eric Hosmer hit his sophomore slump in 2012, and looks to rebound in 2013. Hosmer could go in rounds 6-10, look for a .285 BA, 25 HR, 85 RBI type season, and I look the same for 3B Mike Moustakas. The weakest link in my opinion on this team is the starting rotation. James Shields is fine, but a No 1 SP, I am not sure about, and then to follow him you have Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie who are No 5 starters at best in this league now. These guys will give you 10 W max, and that’s not good for your 2 and 3 starters. I look for the Royals to finish .500 this year, and wash out with the trade, and see Wil Meyers and Jake Odorizzi become superstars for the Rays, with the Royals kicking themselves. Meyers will be drafted this year in deep fantasy leagues, as I can see a September call up perhaps, if not then in 2014 he will see major league action. If you are in first year dynasty league, grab this guy up ASAP, as when it comes to your team, it is never too early to draft a player.
Los Angeles Angels
This team should and will be a World Series favorite in 2013. The big signings of the 2011 off season, on top of the big signing of OF Josh Hamilton of 2012 off season makes this team on paper a 100 plus win team. Look for the Angels to have the most players off the draft boards in the early rounds with Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Jered Weaver, and Josh Hamilton going in the first two rounds of a 10 team league. Trout should be hit .300 with 20 HR, 75 RBI, 90 R, and 35 SB. Puljos should reach another year of .300 BA, 30 HR, and 100 RBI with Josh Hamilton matching his numbers. I see Jered Weaver being this years AL CY Young winner, as he was my favorite last year. Weaver could have the chance to become a 25 game winner in the league, especially with the Astros joining the AL west this year. No new faces on the roster for the Angels, yet three new pitchers, Jason Vargas, Joe Blanton and Tommy Hanson will fill out the 3-5 holes. All these pitchers can each win 12 plus games with no issue with this high powered offensive lineup.