Sunday, April 02, 2006

2006 MLB Season Predictions

In this week’s entry, I am predicting the final standings for the teams in the major leagues as well as the playoffs. Listed below are teams in each division along with my predictions for what place they’ll finish in.

AL West

1. Angels

Bartolo Colon
John Lackey
Jeff Weaver
Kelvim Escobar
Ervin Santana

Comments: The Angels have O.K. hitting to go along with one of the best rotations in the league. That should get them in 1st place unless the veterans’ skills start to wear off.

2. Rangers

Kevin Millwood
Vicente Padilla
Kameron Loe
R.A. Dickey
John Koronka

Other Potential Rotation Candidates:
Robinson Tejeda
John Rheinecker

Comments: The Rangers have the best pitcher in the A.L. as part of their good starting rotation. As long as the pitchers hold the opposing team to 5 runs or less, we should win the games because of our great hitting.

3. Athletics

Barry Zito
Rich Harden
Joe Blanton
Danny Haren
Esteban Loaiza

Comments: The A's don't have a good offense and their pitching has a downfall at the #3 spot.

4. Mariners

Jamie Moyer
Felix Hernandez
Jarrod Washburn
Joel Pineiro
Gil Meche

Comments: The Mariners hitting is O.K. but plays in a major pitcher's stadium to decrease the amounts of runs they score. Also, Seattle's pitching isn't very good and gets hit around plenty.

AL Central

1. White Sox

Mark Buehrle
Freddy Garcia
Jon Garland
Jose Contreras
Javier Vazquez

Comments: The White Sox won the World Series last year and might even have a better team this year.

2. Indians

C.C. Sabathia
Cliff Lee
Paul Byrd
Jake Westbrook
Jason Johnson

Comments: The Indians came on strong at the end of last year and didn't lose any big playmakers besides Kevin Millwood.

3. Twins

Johan Santana
Brad Radke
Carlos Silva
Kyle Lohse
Scott Baker

Comments: Even though Minnesota has good pitching, they will need to get good hitting if they want to win this tough division.

4. Tigers

Kenny Rogers
Jeremy Bonderman
Mike Maroth
Nate Robinson
Justin Verlander

Comments: The Tigers have Kenny and Pudge but other than that they don't have any stars. They struggle at offense and pitching, which will take a few years to overcome.

5. Royals

Scott Elarton
Joe Mays
Jeremy Affeldt
Denny Bautista
Runelvys Hernandez

Comments: The Royals only have 4 players I can name off the top of my head (David DeJesus, Angel Berroa, Desi Relaford, and Mike Sweeney) because the others haven’t made a name for themselves.

AL East

1. Blue Jays

Roy Halladay
A.J. Burnett
Ted Lilly
Gustavo Chacin
Josh Towers

Comments: I think with the additions of A.J. Burnett, James Baldwin, B.J. Ryan, Jason Phillips, and Benjie Molina, it will be enough to get them past the Yankees.

2. Yankees

Randy Johnson
Mike Mussina
Shawn Chacon
Jared Wright
Chien-Ming Wang/ Carl Pavano

Comments: Even with the signing of Johnny Damon I don't think they will do good enough to beat Roy Halladay and the Blue Jays.

3. Red Sox

Curt Schilling
Josh Beckett
Matt Clement
Tim Wakefield
David Wells

Comments: The Red Sox still have a good team but they lost a lot of good players: Johnny Damon, Chad Bradford, Kevin Millar, Bill Mueller, and Matt Mantei.

4. Devil Rays

Scott Kazmir
Mark Hendrickson
Casey Fossum
Seth McClung
Doug Waechter

Comments: The D'Rays finished their season last year on a good note and if they can keep that going for part of the year that should be enough

5. Orioles

Rodrigo Lopez
Erik Bedard
Kris Benson
Daniel Cabrera
Bruce Chen

Comments: The Orioles now have Leo Mazzoni but it still might not help this team enough to get back into 4th with the way the D'Rays finished last year.

NL West

1. Dodgers

Derek Lowe
Brad Penny
Odalis Perez
Brett Tomko
Jae Seo

Comments: The Dodgers have great pitching. The ERA for the pitchers last year were 3.61 (Lowe), 3.90 (Penny), 4.56 (Perez), 4.48 (Tomko for the Giants), and 2.59 (Seo). In hitting, they made several improvements, so they probably will finally be able to get 5-8 runs in their pitcher-friendly stadium. They added Rafael Furcal, Nomar Garciaparra, Kenny Lofton, and Bill Mueller, but they lost Milton Bradley. The Dodgers have a very good team that I think is better than the others in the division.

2. Padres

Jake Peavy
Chris Young
Woody Williams
Chan Ho Park
Dewon Brazelton
Comments: The Padres surprisingly struggle at pitching. They also struggle at hitting, leaving their only strength to be at defense.

3. Giants

Jason Schmidt
Matt Morris
Noah Lowry
Matt Cain
Jamey Wright

Comments: The Giants have a good first couple of starters. Their offense is about average if you take away Barry Bonds. They probably need to get a little more hitting and a little more pitching to get up to second place.

4. Rockies

Jason Jennings
Aaron Cook
Jeff Francis
Josh Fogg/Zach Day/Sunny Kim

Comments: The Rockies are in a major hitting ballpark but I think this year, the pitching is just good enough to get in front of the Diamondbacks.

5. Diamondbacks

Brandon Webb
Russ Ortiz
Orlando Hernandez
Miguel Batista
Claudio Vargas

Comments: The Diamondbacks struggle in all areas. They have two good pitchers (Webb and Ortiz) but other than that, there are no players that put up big numbers.

NL Central

1. Cardinals

Chris Carpenter
Mark Mulder
Jeff Supan
Jason Marquis
Sidney Ponson

Comments: The Cardinals aren’t the team they were last year but they are still a great team in a division that I think will struggle.

2. Cubs

Carlos Zambrano
Shawn Marshall
Greg Maddux
Glendon Rusch
Jerome Williams

Comments: The Cubs have very good pitching and decent hitting but I think that they will just slimly pass the .500 mark.

3. Astros

Roy Oswalt
Andy Pettite
Brandon Backe
Wandy Rodriguez
Ezequiel Astacio

Comments: The Astros still have good starting pitching, but it is not as good as the great starting pitching that they had last year. Losing Clemens will probably take their confidence down a notch. I think that they are about 1 game down from the Cubs.

4. Reds

Aaron Harang
Eric Milton
Bronson Arroyo
Brandon Claussen
Dave Williams

Comments: The Reds have better starting pitching than last year because they got Bronson Arroyo and Dave Williams. But they still struggle at pitching and will probably be under the .500 mark.

5. Brewers

Ben Sheets
Doug Davis
Chris Capuano
Tomo Ohka
Dave Bush

Comments: The Brewers struggle at pitching and offense and are around the middle in overall skill in the league.

6. Pirates

Zach Duke
Oliver Perez
Ian Snell
Paul Maholm
Sean Burnett

Comments: This team struggles very much at all cylinders. They are one of the worst teams in the league if not the worst.

NL East

1. Braves

John Smoltz
Tim Hudson
John Thomson
Jorge Sosa
Horacio Ramirez

Comments: The Braves still have great starting pitching and I just can’t go against them after they’ve won 14 straight division titles.

2. Phillies

Jon Lieber
Brett Myers
Cory Lidle
Ryan Franklin
Ryan Madson

Comments: The Phillies have a good offense and finally started to come through last year. I think with a lot of the National League teams going down in skills that the Phillies will finally make the playoffs again.

3. Mets

Pedro Martinez
Tom Glavine
Brian Bannister
Steve Trachsel
Victor Zambrano

Comments: The Mets have put together good teams but haven’t had a breakthrough year in a long time. I think this year they will do better but will still not meet their potential.

4. Nationals

Livan Hernandez
John Patterson
Ramon Ortiz
Pedro Astacio
Tony Armas

Comments: The Nationals have decent starting pitching to go along with a very good power hitter in Alfonso Soriano.

5. Florida

Dontrelle Willis
Scott Olsen
Jason Vargas
Sergio Mitre
Brian Moehler

Comments: The Marlins once again ruined a very good team and will go from a pretty good winning record to an awful losing record.

AL Playoffs

Round 1:
White Sox beat Angels 3 games to 2
Blue Jays beat Indians 3 games to 0

Round 2:
Blue Jays beat White Sox 4 games to 2

NL Playoffs

Round 1:
Cardinals beat Phillies 3 games to 0
Dodgers beat Braves 3 games to 1

Round 2:
Dodgers beat Cardinals 4 games to 3

World Series:
Dodgers beat Blue Jays 4 games to 2

Come back soon (early this week) for my thoughts on the Juan Dominguez and David Dellucci trades.


Ken Pittman said...

Loved the predictions, Grant. Thanks for posting them. Here are my thoughts on what you said.

1) I think your AL West predictions are very realistic - while the Rangers or A's could sneak higher, the Angels are definitely the team to beat.
2) For the AL Central, I'm not convinced by the Indians. I don't think predicting them for the wild card will be a common pick (most think the wild card will come from the East), but it could happen. They are a good team, but I don't see them as being much better than the Rangers and I definitely don't think they're as good as New York or Boston. However, they do play in a weaker division - so they could get the wins to be the wild card based on that.
3) Not having the Yankees or the Red Sox in the playoffs would be a shock to me and many others, but I'd LOVE to see that happen. I hope you're right there.
4) For the NL, I think your picks are almost exactly like mine - although I wouldn't be suprised if the Phillies win the division and Atlanta is the wild card, but it's hard to pick against Atlanta. The NL Central is a bit of a tossup to me - the Cubs or Astros could sneak in, but I'm with you in saying the Cardinals are the most likely winners there.
5) My quick pick would be the battle of LA for the World Series with the Dodgers beating the Angels in 6. But I don't mind being wrong as long as the Yankees and Red Sox are not involved.


grantlovesbaseball said...

Hi Ken-thanks again for writing a comment. I really enjoy reading them and appreciate you doing this.
1. I think the Rangers are back down in 2nd with Eaton injured.
2. I also agree with what you said but now I already have them in 3rd because Sabathia got injured. Now I have New York as the Wild Card.
3. I hope I was right but I now have NY in the playoffs.
4. I also changed my pick and put the Astros in 2nd instead of the Cubs now. For Atlanta, I just can't go against them after 14 straight division titles. I'm surprised you agree with the Dodgers.
5. I'm even more surprised that you agree with the Dodgers winning it all. The Angels could very easily sneak in there but I'm still going with the Blue Jays (by the way did you see the Jays vs. Rays game on the 7th.


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