Nobody I know owns a crystal ball that can see into the future. If someone does own one, I’m pretty certain they’re not writing blogs about their predictions, so I know many of these predictions will be wrong. However, I do feel that all of these have merits and that they reflect some pretty good intuition about what is about to occur in 2010. I decided to post these before game 1 begins, so that they could be as valid as possible.
NL East: Atlanta, Philadelphia, Florida, Washington, New York
- Atlanta’s gains (Hudson, Wagner, Saito, Heyward, Hinske, Glaus, Prado) and a full season of Hanson will be too much for others to overcome. Although I love the Phillies and their addition of Halladay, the addition of Polanco and back end of the pitching staff and horrible pen will combine to put them in the Wild Card competition. The Mets will anchor the East after Strasburg and Storen lift the Nats out of the depths of misery.
NL Central: St-Louis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Houston
- How can you beat the duo of Wainright and Carpenter when combined with Pujols, Holliday, and Rasmus? ‘Nough said. Chicago has issues with their pitching that continue to plague them. I have a feeling they’ll wait too long to make the moves they should of made this off season (getting Marmol some help and getting a #5 starter) and will lose out on the playoffs as a result. Milwaukee will be in play for the Wild Card due to the stronger pen and additions of Wolf and Escobar. I am a bigger fan of Pittsburgh than Houston, but I think it will be a real battle between the two as they fight for the bottom of the Central. I put Houston at the bottom because I think Oswalt and Berkman will have health issues all year, which doesn’t leeave them with much after that.
NL West: Colorado, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Arizona
- Jimenez will lead Colorado over the Giants because he and other Rockies pitchers will have such a potent and deep offence behind them that they’ll run away with the West. Arizona was placed at the bottom here because they have too many holes in their rotation and an unsettled pen. I also feel that other than Upton, their outfield is lacking. SF should have landed Jason Bay. Imagine that, Bay in the Bay area. As it is, they didn’t go get that last needed bat and added DeRosa instead, huge mistake in my opinion, but what can you do? Los Angeles was too busy watching the divorce to apply any strategy to this season. They’re pretty much hoping that Kershaw and Billingsley can be so dominant that they pull off an upset. With Kemp and company that’s a possibility, but not one I’d bet on happening.
AL East: Tampa Bay, Boston, New York, Toronto, Baltimore
- Rotation, rotation, rotation, that’s what wins championships and I love what both TB and BOS have done with theirs. Top down, they both have 5 very strong starters, supplemented by a couple of options from the pen or minors that can step right in and make a difference. I think Longoria will have a career year, and that Upton has something to prove in TB. Pena will help them out since he’s in a career year, and I love the addition of Sean Rodriguez to an already powerful middle infield depth. NY, meanwhile, has the worst addition to the rotation – Javier Vazquez. Sure, he did very well in Atlanta, but I’m very skeptical he’ll do the same in NY, as he proved the first time he was there. Although Hughes gets a shot in the rotation, I think they’ll be too inpatient to leave him there until he’s effective, and Burnett is due for an injury year. Add CC’s luke warm spring, and the Yanks have a ton of issues with their rotation. I’m also one of the few that thought they gave up way too much when they let Damon and Matsui go. Both loved the limelight of NY and played great there. Both were also excellent clutch hitters. Now that they’ve been replaced, look for a lack of end of game wins from NY, as they’ll have a harder time driving in runs in key situations. I put Baltimore lower than Toronto because I think other teams will show up more so against Baltimore than against Toronto. They both have similar potential / makeup.
AL Central: Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Kansas City
- Liriano will return to form, Morneau will break out, and Span is the most under rated CF in MLB. Even with the loss of Nathan, I believe the Twins will open their new park and rule the Central. Chicago has one great rotation, but their offensive capabilities are not as consistent as Minnesota’s so I place them 2nd. Detroit could always surprise if Bonderman and Willis return to form, but those are two giants ifs. I don’t need to go into why Cleveland and KC bring up the rear….do I?
AL West: Los Angeles, Texas, Seattle, Oakland
- Everyone continues to under rate the LAA. Matsui will do as well there and Aybar will excel. Whether Wood breaks out if the biggest question, but one they don’t really need to win in the AL West. Texas will do well, but they’ll have rotation issues all year long with Harden leading the injury bug brigade. Seattle was doing great, until they brought in Bradley instead of Bay. Come on now, why would you do that? It’s idiotic when you think about it. He even admitted that part of the reason he did so horribly in CHC is because they expected him to be a cleanup hitter…..exactly where Seattle put him this spring. History does tend to repeat itself I guess. Oakland has big offensive holes, some of which will be filled late by Carter and Taylor, but way too late to make a run at the division.
The rest of my predictions are self-explanatory. Enjoy!
Wild Card NL: Philadelphia
Wild Card AL: Boston
Playoffs AL1 – Tampa Bay versus Los Angeles, Tampa Bay Wins
Playoffs AL2 – Boston versus Minnesota, Minnesota wins
AL Championship – Minnesota versus Tampa Bay, Minnesota Wins
Playoffs NL1 – Atlanta versus Colorado, Atlanta Wins
Playoffs NL2 – St-Louis versus Philadelphia, Philadelphia Wins
NL Championship – Philadelphia versus Atlanta, Atlanta Wins
World Series – Minnesota versus Atlanta, Atlanta Wins – Bobby Cox retires,
Chipper Jones named WSMVP
NL Cy Young – Tommy Hanson, SP ATL
AL Cy Young – Brian Matusz, SP BAL
NL Rookie of the Year – Jason Heyward, OF ATL
AL Rookie of the Year – Austin Jackson, OF DET
NL MVP – Hanley Ramirez, SS FLA
AL MVP – Evan Longoria, 3B TB
Comeback player of year NL – Tim Hudson, SP ATL
Comeback player of year AL – Eric Bedard, SP SEA