Baseball Preview Edition

Everyone and their brother do baseball previews and considering it’s my favorite sport, I am going to unapologetically do likewise. However, I’ll be going a little bit further than most pundits (Sports Illustrated not withstanding) and I’ll be putting out my final standings for each division as well. Why? Because sometimes it’s just as hard to predict 4th place as it is to pick 1st, and why be wrong only 6 times when you can actually do it 32 times!! Now, without further ado:

 

American League East

The darlings of the baseball media. And yes, it’s hard to argue when teams from this division constantly show up in the World Series. So was last year the changing of the guard, or will we be back to the old standbys? Well… a little bit of both. As many have said this will be a three-way battle probably resulting in three teams with 90+ wins and one of them missing the playoffs. At this point I’ve got to go with youth and pitching, thus the Yankees will come up short yet again, and Joe Girardi will actually find himself jobless after the season. But pitching is more important than youth and the power of the bullpen cannot be underestimated, so I’m going to have to go with Boston winning the division and Tampa Bay winning the Wild Card for the American League. Oh, and watch the Orioles as they could start moving toward becoming a threat in the coming years. I look for Nick Markakis to continue his rise to prominence and Adam Jones and Matt Wieters to have breakout seasons as well.

 

  1. Boston Red Sox (96-66)
  2. Tampa Bay Rays – wc (94-68)
  3. New York Yankees (92-70)
  4. Baltimore Orioles (77-85)
  5. Toronto Blue Jays (68-94)

 

American League Central

This is truly the one division where there are good arguments for all 5 teams being able to win the division, and probably good arguments for 3 or 4 of them being in last place. I generally find it impossible to count out the Twins and with their young pitching I was leaning that way again, but already having injuries to Scott Baker and prized catcher Joe Mauer, I believe that they may not have enough magic to make it happen this go-around. The Tigers are a team that seems poised to be in the hunt in September or be out of it by June. Based on pitching and injuries…I’m betting on June. Though Miguel Cabrera should be toward the top of the league in all 3 triple crown categories. The Royals seem to be a lot of people’s “Cinderella” pick this year, thus jinxing them and making all Kansas City residents groan. That being said, I believe that the Royals will contend for a good while and hit the .500 mark this season fueled by big years from Zack Greinke & Alex Gordon. As for the rest… well, I just think that Cleveland is going to pull this thing off.

 

  1. Cleveland Indians (93-69)
  2. Minnesota Twins (88-74)
  3. Kansas City Royals (82-80)
  4. Chicago White Sox (74-88)
  5. Detroit Tigers (62-100)

 

American League West

Here is where you will realize that I am clearly not attempting to make the math work out on the total number of games won and lost in baseball. The AL West is a mess. Most pundits say that it’s Anaheim (I will never call them LA) that will pull it off, but a growing number are beginning to argue that Oakland will be back in contention. Which clearly leads me to believe that it’s either going to be Texas or Seattle. And yes, I believe this is a massive toss-up and that none of these teams will outclass the rest of the American league. But it could be a fun division none-the-less. Oh, and I’m completely abandoning my youth and pitching defense from the East. For Texas I will be arguing that pounding the snot out of the ball in a weak division is crucial. And for Seattle I’ll be arguing that pitching and clubhouse chemistry is more important. That’s right… I don’t hold to anything when it comes to producing winners. Because I think you could argue that each of them have been right at least one time this decade, so why put everything in a box. So anyway, I think that Texas is going to destroy the ball night in and night out and I think that Seattle is going to bounce back in a way that can’t be explained. Oh, and Anaheim is getting old and keeps downgrading defensively. And I don’t like Oakland.

 

  1. Texas Rangers (84-78)
  2. Seattle Mariners (82-80)
  3. Anaheim Angels of Anaheim (81-81)
  4. Oakland Athletics (79-83)

National League East

The division I grew up on. I have strong biases here. I hate the Mets. I have a soft spot for Ryan Howard and Jamie Moyer. I love the Braves. I find the Marlins to be the most exciting team in baseball. And the Washington Expos are irrelevant. So here is where the wacko-meter is going to go to 50 (Not to 50!!! Sorry…Princess Bride reference…). Everyone and their brother are picking the Mets and the Phillies in one combination or the other. And keep in mind that I hate the Mets and have a soft-spot for the Phillies. So naturally I have the Mets, led by Santana & the pen, winning the division and the Phillies dropping precipitously in the standings (I am counting on some injury factors in this as well). But don’t sleep on the Braves and Marlins either.

 

  1. New York Mets (95-67)
  2. tie – Florida Marlins (90-72)
  3. tie – Atlanta Braves (90-72)
  4. Philadelphia Phillies (83-81)
  5. Washington Nationals (60-102)

 

National League Central

The more I look at this season the more I think either I’m crazy or people are just far too comfortable picking based off history instead of off this season. The Cubs have been living a charmed existence and they are now, since the Phillies, White Sox, & Red Sox have all shaken off their past shackles, everyone’s darling that they dream of having win the series next. However, as much as I like Sweet Lou I think that the loveable losers are going to take a step back into their more historical roll this season. In addition, I think that we will get to find out that Cincinnati is the NL youthful team on the rise and also that no one should sleep on the Brewers. And finally… the boldest prediction of them all. I don’t think the Pirates finish in last!!! We believe!!

 

  1. St. Louis Cardinals (94-68)
  2. Cincinnati Reds (84-78)
  3. Chicago Cubs (83-79)
  4. Milwaukee Brewers (81-81)
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates (75-87)
  6. Houston Astros (72-90)

 

 

National League West

Ok, so now that we are past the crazy-talk, I think we get to the easiest division to call in baseball.  I can’t pick against the Dodgers. They have good, young starting pitching. They have some solid guys at the back of the bullpen. They have youth, athleticism, and Manny in their lineup. Wow, do they look good. Then you get to Arizona and Colorado who are still good young teams. But don’t sleep on the Giants either as their starting pitching, Barry Zito CLEARLY excluded, could have them in the hunt. Oh, and the Padres will be very…very…very bad. At least the weather is gorgeous there. Did I mention that the Dodgers look REALLY good?!

 

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers (101-61)
  2. Arizona Diamondbacks – wc (92-70)
  3. Colorado Rockies (89-73)
  4. San Francisco Giants (80-82)
  5. San Diego Padres (62-100)

 

Playoff Preview:

 

National League:

Based on this model our playoff matchups in the Division Series’ will be:

Los Angeles v. St. Louis – Winner: Los Angeles

New York v. Arizona – Winner: New York

 

LCS: Los Angeles v. New York – Winner: Los Angeles

 

American League:

Division Series matchups determined above

Boston v. Texas – Winner: Boston

Cleveland v. Tampa Bay – Winner: Tampa Bay

 

LCS: Boston v. Tampa Bay – Winner: Boston

 

World Series: Los Angeles vs. Boston – Winner and World Series Champions: The Los Angeles Dodgers

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Categories: Baseball

1 reply

  1. Great job. Your the best. I only have one correction on your predictions. See you saturday in my ——- blue.

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