MLB Predictions 2013: Projecting Final Standings and Winners of Each Division

Robert KnapelCorrespondent IMarch 27, 2013

MLB Predictions 2013: Projecting Final Standings and Winners of Each Division

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    After a long winter and a quick spring training, the MLB season is now right on our doorsteps. Teams have been preparing for a while to get a shot at the World Series title.

    On Opening Day, everyone will start to chase after baseball's biggest prize. Teams will be fighting for division titles and trying to make the playoffs.

    Many come into the year with high expectations, while others know that they will be in rebuilding mode for the season.

    The following are projections for the winners of each division as well as the final standings for the 2013 MLB season.

AL East

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    Standings

    Toronto Blue Jays: 94-68

    Tampa Bay Rays: 91-71

    Baltimore Orioles: 85-77

    New York Yankees: 82-80

    Boston Red Sox: 77-85

    Following an offseason of acquisitions, the Toronto Blue Jays will look to live up to the high expectations that have been placed on them and win the American League East. As long as they stay healthy, that should become a reality.

    The Tampa Bay Rays will continue the trend of the strong performances they have had in the past few seasons, and the midseason boost they get from calling up Wil Myers will certainly help.

    Baltimore will follow up their success in 2012 with yet another winning season, but it won't be enough to launch them into the playoffs.

    Injuries and age will finally catch up to the New York Yankees, and they will finish in fourth place of the ultra-competitive AL East even though they have a winning record.

AL Central

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    Standings

    Detroit Tigers: 92-70

    Kansas City Royals: 83-79

    Chicago White Sox: 80-82

    Cleveland Indians: 80-82

    Minnesota Twins: 55-107

    The Detroit Tigers will be trying to avoid the hangover after losing in the World Series in 2012, and they will certainly do a good job. Detroit will run away with their division this year thanks to a strong starting rotation and powerful lineup.

    Kansas City's efforts to improve this winter will not lead them to the postseason, but it will lead them to a winning record behind the arm of James Shields.

    Both the Chicago White Sox and the Cleveland Indians will be fighting for second place in the division, but they will end up falling a bit short. This will be a disappointment for the White Sox but a nice improvement for the Indians.

AL West

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    Standings

    Los Angeles Angels: 93-69

    Oakland Athletics: 90-72

    Texas Rangers: 85-77

    Seattle Mariners: 78-84

    Houston Astros: 44-118

    Following a disappointing 2012 season, the Los Angeles Angels will come out with a vengeance in 2013. The addition of Josh Hamilton will help the team reach the postseason this year.

    As one of the more surprising teams in baseball last year, the Oakland Athletics will look to prove that they were not a fluke. Behind their young pitching staff, the Athletics will once again put together a strong year.

    Losing both Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli will take its toll on the Texas Rangers this year, and they will fade in the standings.

    The 2013 season is a rebuilding year for the Houston Astros, and they will be focusing on the future. As a result, they may end up challenging the 1962 New York Mets' mark of 120 losses.

NL East

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    Standings

    Washington Nationals: 100-62

    Atlanta Braves: 93-69

    Philadelphia Phillies: 88-74

    New York Mets: 67-95

    Miami Marlins: 55-107

    The National League East will be a very interesting division in 2013. Leading the pack this season will once again be the Washington Nationals. Their elite pitching staff and powerful lineup give them a definitive edge.

    Entering September, the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies could be in a close race for second place and a Wild Card spot. The Braves will eventually be able to pull away thanks to the strength of their bullpen.

    Both the New York Mets and the Miami Marlins will be in for long seasons in 2013. Injuries and a weak outfield could be big handicaps for the Mets this season. The Marlins decimated their roster this winter, and the team will suffer as a result.

    There is a bright spot for these two teams, as they could have a number of their young talents show off what they can do in the majors later in the year.

NL Central

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    Standings

    Cincinnati Reds: 95-67

    St. Louis Cardinals: 88-74

    Milwaukee Brewers: 83-79

    Pittsburgh Pirates: 81-81

    Chicago Cubs: 60-102

    Just a year after winning the National League Central, the Cincinnati Reds have improve their roster by adding Shin-Soo Choo. This should help them once again lead the division and find themselves in the postseason.

    St. Louis has been one of the most consistent teams in the major leagues this millennium, as they have had winning seasons for 12 of the past 13 years. That trend should continue this year as well.

    The late addition of Kyle Lohse will push the Milwaukee Brewers ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the standings in 2013. The news isn't all bad for the Pirates, as they will finally hit the .500 mark.

    Meanwhile, the lowly Chicago Cubs will follow up their 101-loss season with yet another year with more than 100 losses.

NL West

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    Standings

    San Francisco Giants: 96-66

    Los Angeles Dodgers: 91-71

    Arizona Diamondbacks: 80-82

    San Diego Padres: 79-83

    Colorado Rockies: 65-97

    The defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants will obviously be under a lot of pressure to repeat this season. They will face a challenge from the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the Giants will once again be able to hold them off.

    While a second-place finish is not ideal after all of the money the Dodgers have spent this offseason, they will still reach the postseason as a Wild Card team. The Dodgers have the potential to excel in the MLB postseason format.

    Offseason deals will have a negative impact on the Arizona Diamondbacks this year, and they will fall under the .500 mark.

    Moving the fences in at Petco Park will help with the stats of the San Diego Padres' hitters, but the team will still finish in fourth place, albeit with a better record than last season.

    Bringing up the rear in the National League West will be the Colorado Rockies. Despite the fact that they have some talented offensive players, their weak starting rotation will hurt them in a big way.