Athlon Sports: 2009 MLB previews

BY foxsports • September 30, 2009




AL West





Seattle Mariners

Ken Griffey is back, but is that enough for Seattle in the AL West? The Mariners are the focus of our first MLB team preview.







Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Halos didn't have a great offseason, but so what? Given their remaining talent, it's hard to favor anybody else in the West.







Oakland A's

The A's have added Matt Holliday and Jason Giambi in hopes of knocking off the Angels in the West. But it may not happen just yet.







Texas Rangers

Texas is set to unleash Elvis Andrus. Will he be enough to take them from also-ran to contender? We preview the 2009 Rangers.





AL Central





Detroit Tigers

The Tigers were done early last season. To avoid a similar outcome, they'll need better pitching and a strong April.







Kansas City Royals

The Royals had a solid offseason. The AL Central is wide open. Put them together and K.C. may be in it all the way into September.







Minnesota Twins

The Twins rode a young lineup to strong season in '08. Now a year older, Minnesota is hoping to finally get over the hump.







Chicago White Sox

The White Sox have no choice but to rely on young players in key spots. But if last year was any indication, that's just fine.







Cleveland Indians

Unlike this time last year, nobody's expecting much from the Indians. That could mean big things if certain players rebound.





AL East





Toronto Blue Jays

Jays management has been pointing to 2010. But what about this season? Brace yourself for a long summer, Toronto fans.







Baltimore Orioles

You don't want to be rebuilding and trying to contend in the AL East at the same time. Unfortunately, that's what the O's are doing.







Tampa Bay Rays

Maybe the Rays did arrive a season early, but they're here now and a year older. It all adds up to another title run in the East.







New York Yankees

Yes, the A-Rod saga hurts. But there are plenty of reasons to the like the Yanks' chances of returning to the playoffs.







Boston Red Sox

Other than some risky buys, the BoSox didn't make much of a splash this offseason. But that doesn't mean they're going away.





NL West





Arizona Diamondbacks

Perennial Cy Young contender Brandon Webb has Arizona set for another run in the West. But they need more than just him to do it.







San Francisco Giants

The Giants didn't improve much on offense, but their pitching should be even better this year. Could it add up to a playoff appearance?







San Diego Padres

The Padres have Jake Peavy and a little bit of hope for now. But there's reason to believe they could be out of both by mid-summer.







Colorado Rockies

The Rockies went from NL champs in '07 to 74-win also-ran last season. So where's the truth? Find out if a rebound is in the offing.







Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers did what it took to get Manny back. But whether they repeat last year's success comes down to their youngsters.





NL Central





Cincinnati Reds

Youngsters like Joey Votto have some people thinking the Reds are ready to contend. That optimism might be a little premature.







Milwaukee Brewers

With CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets gone, the time has come for Ryan Braun to carry the Brewers. But will he be enough?







Chicago Cubs

The Cubs look like a good bet to stay on top of the NL Central. But that isn't enough anymore these days. Can they do better?







St. Louis Cardinals

Don't hand the NL Central to the Cubs just yet. The Cardinals have the goods to make it a race all the way into September.







Houston Astros

The Astros tried in vain to plug all their holes during the offseason but were unsuccessful. Get ready for more struggles.







Pittsburgh Pirates

The Bucs struggled to a 95-loss campaign in '08. Now they hope the pieces are in place to avoid another embarrassing summer.





NL East





New York Mets

The Mets have studs like David Wright and Jose Reyes, but no playoff trips to show for it. That's what makes this year so critical.







Philadelphia Phillies

The Mets got better. So did the Braves. It will be another tough haul for the Phils, but this team looks capable of defending its title.







Atlanta Braves

The Braves have built one of the league's top rotations. It's too bad they may not get the run support to have it result in a title.







Washington Nationals

Pitcher John Lannan gives the Nats' rotation some hope. But after him, things get dicey. That's why another long summer is coming.







Florida Marlins

In any other NL division, the Marlins might have a chance with their young talent. But in the East, they look like an also-ran.


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