2012 MLB Predictions: Complete Guide to American League Playoffs

Alex EppCorrespondent IMarch 16, 2012

TEMPE, AZ - MARCH 12:  A sold-out stadium watches Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim take on the Los Angeles Dodgers during a spring training baseball game at Tempe Diablo Stadium on March 12, 2012 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Now that the Major League Baseball has agreed to increase the number of playoff teams starting this 2012 season, more teams will get a shot to write their name on a championship trophy.

Theoretically this system should allow those teams that seem to have mediocre years every year a shot to compete with the Yankees and Phillies of baseball.

Even with this new system, the bottom dwellers like the Seattle Mariners or the Baltimore Orioles, will still have a tough time making it against the much improved American League.

Below is a list of the five teams that will make the American League playoffs.

Los Angeles Angels

New York Yankees

Detroit Tigers

Texas Rangers

Tampa Bay Rays

Yes the Red Sox will get snubbed from the playoffs this year. With what happened last year and the changes that were made in the offseason, Boston will have a tough time keeping up with the Yankees and Rays.


Wild Card Playoff

The Rangers and the Rays will be playing each other in the one-game playoff. On paper, it looks like an easy will for the Rangers. But look for the Rays to pull it out and send the Rangers packing early.


Divisional Series

We’ll start with the Los Angeles Angels and the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays will pull out an impressive and somewhat surprising win against the Rangers and will put up a decent fight against the Angels, but the extra game will hurt them in the end as they will lose three games to two to the Angels

Meanwhile, the Yankees and Tigers will be in a great battle of pitching vs. pitching (Justin Verlander vs. C.C. Sabathia) and then pitching vs. offense (anyone else in the Yankees' or Tigers' rotations vs. anyone in the Yankees' or Tigers' lineup).

Look for a full five-game series with a couple of extra inning games. The Yankees will pull this one out just because of their home-field advantage. 


Championship Series

The ALCS will be a six-game series between the Angels and the Yankees, with the Yankees pulling it out in the end.

With Mariano Rivera in probably his last season and Derek Jeter winding down, the Yankees' drive will be strong and they will do what it takes to win No. 28.

The American League will more than likely have the home-field advantage and the Yankees will win the series in a fashionable six games.