LAKELAND, FL - MARCH 02: Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the Spring Training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 2, 2017 in Lakeland, Florida. The Pirates defeated the Tigers 11-1. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

While there will be a few more parrots strolling around the AL Central next season. That’s not the only reason to be excited for what it has to bring in 2017. We count down the top five reasons to be excited about the AL Central Race this season.

5 Reasons to be Excited About the 2017 AL Central

5. Cleveland’s rotation returns

With Corey Kluber bound to be named the Opening Day Starter for the Indians this season. His supporting cast also returns. After an injuries did their toll on Cleveland last season with Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar missing a good chunk of time during the 2016 season. With both of them being back it’s hard to see Cleveland’s rotation not being complete.

4. Verlander’s return to form

Justin Verlander returned to form during the second half of the 2016 season. A rough first half which saw his ERA up to 4.07, Verlander excelled in the second half with a record of 8-3 with a 1.96 ERA. However, the snubbing of the Cy Young Award, which was well noted by Verlander’s girlfriend Kate Upton, will give Verlander the chip on his shoulder to continue his second half dominance into 2017.

3. Brian Dozier‘s era in Minnesota

With Brian Dozier seemingly staying in the Twin Cities for the time being. Twins fans will be able to watch their franchise second baseman for at least 81 games this season. Whether or not he stays with the Twins past the trade deadline remains to be seen, but he is coming off a 42-home-run season. Twins fans should at least be excited to see a continuing legacy, or at least half a season.

2. Return to Royalty

The Kansas City Royals didn’t have the year they had planned in 2016, and their off-season hasn’t gone much better. With the loss of the now late Yordano Ventura the starting five for the Royals is not as strong as it was. Yet, the Royals still have a strong team on paper. With a full season expected from Mike Moustakas at the hot corner Kansas should be well prepared to attempt another run at the playoffs.

1. Let the parrot walk

With Edwin Encarnacion finding a new home at Progressive Field in Cleveland there is only one thing missing… his parrot cage. Encarnacion joined a team in a division with relatively big ballparks in Kaufman Stadium (not to mention Progressive is pretty big itself). He will be a legitimate power threat even in a larger ballpark division.

 

There are so many exciting things to watch for in the AL Central this upcoming season, so buy yourselves some peanuts or cracker jacks, and take yourself out to a ballgame this summer.