MITCH ALBOM

AL East — NY Yankees

AL Central — Cleveland

AL West — Anaheim

AL wild card — Baltimore

NL East — Atlanta

NL Central — Houston

NL West — Los Angeles

NL wild card — San Francisco

World Series — Atlanta over New York Yankees

AL Central:

1. Cleveland

2. Chicago

3. Detroit

4. Minnesota

5. Kansas City

On the Tigers: The Tigers will stun everyone and win their division. Unfortunately, this is my year 2000 prediction. For 1999, it’s still pitching, pitching, pitching, which means third place.

GENE GUIDI

AL East — NY Yankees

AL Central — Cleveland

AL West — Anaheim

AL wild card — Baltimore

NL East — NY Mets

NL Central — Houston

NL West — Los Angeles

NL wild card — Atlanta

World Series: Cleveland over Los Angeles

AL Central:

1. Cleveland

2. Detroit

3. Minnesota

4. Chicago

5. Kansas City

On the Tigers: It will take the Tigers a couple of months to sort out their pitching — especially the rotation. This is a team that should get better as the season progresses, and has a legitimate shot to finish .500 or better for the first time since 1993.

JOHN LOWE

AL East — NY Yankees

AL Central — Cleveland

AL West — Anaheim

AL wild card — Toronto

NL East — Atlanta

NL Central — Houston

NL West — Los Angeles

NL wild card — San Francisco

World Series — Cleveland over Los Angeles

AL Central:

1. Cleveland

2. Detroit

3. Kansas City

4. Chicago

5. Minnesota

On the Tigers: With perhaps the best series of off-season moves of any American League team, the Tigers have the core they hope can contend in the new ballpark next season. But none of their moves involved a starting pitcher. A team seldom can win without reliable staring pitching; having a good rotation is the same thing as having a good team. The best thing that can happen this season is for young starters Justin Thompson, Brian Moehler and Seth Greisinger to continue growing into pitchers who consistently can win low-scoring games when they have their best stuff, and who can keep the Tigers in games when they don’t.

DREW SHARP

AL East — NY Yankees

AL Central — Cleveland

AL West — Texas

AL wild card — California

NL East — Atlanta

NL Central — Houston

NL West — Los Angeles

NL wild card — Arizona

World Series — New York Yankees over Los Angeles

AL Central:

1. Cleveland

2. Detroit

3. Minnesota

4. Chicago

5. Kansas City

On the Tigers: When you talk about the financial disparity in baseball, the American League Central is the poster child for the have-nots — as in not having the slightest chance of making the Indians sweat at least a tad. There is no honor in finishing second among this lightweight collection.

The Tigers would be in excellent shape if they didn’t have to pitch. Brian Moehler will become the ace of the staff, which might take some of the pressure off Justin Thompson. Some can’t wait until June, when heralded rookie Jeff Weaver is expected to arrive after a minor league tune-up. But most can’t wait until next season, when the new stadium opens and expected new revenues should turn the Tigers into one of the haves.

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