This week I will make all my predictions for the baseball year. I will predict the regular season, the playoffs and the AL and NL awards.
AL Regular Season:
1. LA Angels: The Angels have too much offense and too much pitching to not come in first.
2. Seattle Mariners: The Mariners were outscored by 20 runs in 2007, so I don’t think that they’ll beat out the Angels for first.
3. Texas Rangers: The Rangers have a great farm system and a good young team, but I don’t think that they have enough to have a better record than the Angels or Mariners.
4. Oakland A’s: The A’s weren’t very good last year, and they should be even worse this year after trading Dan Haren to the D’Backs for prospects.
1. Cleveland Indians: The Indians have one of the best 1-2 punches in C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona, who both might be Cy Young contenders, and they don’t have a bad offense, either.
2. Detroit Tigers: I think that the Tigers will be better this year after getting Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, but I don’t think that that’s enough to put them over the Indians since their first two pitchers (Justin Verlander and Jeremy Bonderman) aren’t anywhere near as good as the Indians’.
3. Minnesota Twins: The Twins weren’t very good last year and they traded maybe the best pitcher in all of baseball in Johan Santana, along with losing Torii Hunter, so they should be considerably worse.
4. Kansas City Royals: I think that the Royals will be a little better this year and that the White Sox will be a little worse this year, allowing the Royals to take over fourth place.
5. Chicago White Sox: When your number one starter is Javier Vazquez, you probably aren’t going to do very well.
1. Boston Red Sox: Boston has pretty much the same team that won the World Series last year, so they should do pretty well.
2. New York Yankees: The Yankees are an older team and they should have a lot of injuries. Their pitching isn’t good enough to win the division over the Red Sox.
3. Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays have really good one and two starters in Roy Halladay and AJ Burnett, but after that there’s a huge drop-off, as their number three pitcher is Dustin McGowan. I think that’s too big of a drop-off to get ahead of the Yankees or Red Sox.
4. Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays (not Devil Rays anymore) are a better team this year, as there’s another year of experience for a young team and Jason Bartlett should help out.
5. Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles were awful last year and they lost one of the best pitchers in baseball in a trade with the Mariners. Their number one pitcher is now Jeremy Guthrie and their starting first baseman is Kevin Millar. Their back-up catcher is Guillermo Quiroz, who was fighting for the Rangers’ back-up catcher spot in 2007 Spring Training.
AL Wild Card:
1. Detroit Tigers: I think that the trade for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis gets them into the playoffs.
2. Seattle Mariners: I think getting Erik Bedard from the Orioles puts them ahead of the Yanks.
3. New York Yankees: The Yankees’ offense, especially A-Rod, should put them ahead of the Jays.
4. Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays’ 1-2 punch is just too good to be under the Rangers.
5. Texas Rangers: I think Josh Hamilton puts them where it would be a surprise if they fell under any of the teams below.
6. Minnesota Twins: The Twins aren’t good enough without Johan Santana to be any higher in my opinion.
7. Tampa Bay Rays: The Devil Rays should have improved enough to be out of the bottom three teams in the AL.
8. Kansas City Royals: Even though I think the Royals will do better this year, they still went 69-93 last year.
9. Oakland A’s: The A’s don’t have good enough hitting to be able to lose Haren and still do any good.
10. Chicago White Sox: I think the White Sox will do awful this year, but that they’re better than the Orioles.
11. Baltimore Orioles: I think that the Orioles are the worst team in all of baseball without Bedard or Corey Patterson. Their outfield consists of Luke Scott, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis.
NL Regular Season:
1. Arizona D’Backs: The D’Backs have one of the two best 1-2 punches in all of baseball, if not the best. Their starting pitching is incredible, consisting of 1. Brandon Webb, 2. Dan Haren, 3. Doug Davis (who will have surgery soon due to cancer, but will pitch until then and after his recovery), 4. Micah Owings, 5. Edgar G. Gonzalez, and Randy Johnson (once he gets back from an injury). Their pitching is just too good.
2. LA Dodgers: The Dodgers have a good 1-2 punch in Brad Penny and Derek Lowe and after a good year last year hurt by injuries, and they now have Andruw Jones. Also, it’s almost impossible for them to have that many injuries again this year.
3. San Diego Padres: The Padres should be good this year because of their pitching, but their hitting could represent big problems.
4. Colorado Rockies: The Rockies had a great run last year to go to the World Series, but that was just one big streak at the end of a good year, so I don’t think that they can do that again.
5. San Francisco Giants: The Giants are the only bad team in this great division, so they should be in last place by a very wide margin, maybe even 20 games back from fourth.
1. Chicago Cubs: The Cubs’ pitching isn’t great, but it doesn’t drop-off towards the end too much. But their hitting is very good and now that they have Kosuke Fukudome, it should be even better.
2. Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers have brilliant hitting, but their pitching is below average. To win the division I think Ben Sheets needs to stay healthy, but I don’t think that he will. Relying on Eric Gagne to close games is questionable.
3. Cincinnati Reds: I think the Reds should have a better year this year, because even though they lost Josh Hamilton, Edinson Volquez will help their rotation along with Johnny Cueto. A lot of their prospects, such as Homer Bailey, should come up and help them out later in the year.
4. Houston Astros: I think that the Astros will get fourth place this year by getting a little bit better, but mainly by the Cardinals getting worse.
5. St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals aren’t a very good team, but with Chris Carpenter and Mark Mulder injury problems making Adam Wainwright the Cardinals’ number one starting pitcher, it’ll be even harder to finish as high as fourth place.
6. Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates are not a very good team, but due to 9 Cardinals already being on on the DL, they might get fifth place.
1. New York Mets: The Mets were good last year until their end-of-the-year meltdown, but I think that they’ll recover and get better with Johan Santana.
2. Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies did really well last year and won the division and should be even better with a healthy Chase Utley, but I think that Johan Santana is too much for the Mets to not win the division.
3. Atlanta Braves: I don’t think the Braves will do all that well this year, but that they’ll do better than the Nationals and the Marlins.
4. Washington Nationals: I think that the Nationals will be in fourth because I think the Marlins are the worst team in all of the NL.
5. Florida Marlins: I think that the Marlins will have the worst record in the NL, and will be in competition with the Orioles for the worst in all of baseball.
NL Wild Card:
1. LA Dodgers: I think that the Dodgers have better pitching than the Phillies and so they will beat them out for a playoff spot.
2. Philadelphia Phillies: I don’t think the Phillies have the two great pitchers needed to get into the playoffs this year. They only have Cole Hamels.
3. San Diego Padres: The Padres have great pitching, but I don’t think that their hitting is good enough to get into the playoffs.
4. Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers have a good team, but losing Johnny Estrada will keep them out of the playoffs.
5. Colorado Rockies: The Rockies did really well last year, but were really streaky, and I don’t think that they can win 21 out of 22 games again this year.
6. Atlanta Braves: The Braves are a good team, but have injury problems and that should drop them down in the standings.
7. Cincinnati Reds: I think the Reds will do better this year, but when you have a lot of rookies on the team, you usually don’t do great.
8. Washington Nationals: I think that the Nats will do good enough to almost have a .500 winning percentage.
9. Houston Astros: The Astros probably won’t have a very good year, but I think they’ll do better than the Cardinals, Pirates, Giants, and Marlins.
10. St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals already have 9 players on the DL and will probably get more with their veteran team, and that should keep them from doing very well.
11. Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates had a 68-94 record last year and I don’t think they’ll do too much better this year.
12. San Francisco Giants: The Giants are in the toughest division in the NL and aren’t a very good team, so they should have a very bad record.
13. Florida Marlins: The Marlins, in my opinion, are the worst NL team and I think their record will show it.
Boston over Detroit: I think that the Tigers are good, but that the Red Sox top three pitchers in the rotation (Josh Beckett, Dice-K, and Tim Wakefield) will be too much for the Tigers to handle.
Cleveland over LA Angels: Cleveland has too good of a 1-2 punch in CC Sabathia and Fausto Carmona to lose this series.
Cleveland over Boston: I think it will come down to Carmona vs. Dice-K and I think Carmona wins that match-up.
Arizona over Los Angeles: When your first two pitchers in the rotation are Brandon Webb and Dan Haren, it’s pretty hard to lose.
Chicago over New York: I don’t think having a number two pitcher of Pedro Martinez (if he’s healthy) or John Maine (if he’s not) is good enough to beat the Cubs.
Arizona over Chicago: Arizona has better top-of-the-rotation pitching than the Cubs and I think that will win them the series.
Cleveland over Arizona: This would be a series with two great pitching teams. I think that it might come down to the All-Star game for home-field advantage and I think the AL wins the All-Star game.
AL MVP: Grady Sizemore, CLE
AL Cy Young: CC Sabathia, CLE
NL MVP: Jose Reyes, NYM
NL Cy Young: Brandon Webb, ARI
Results of last week’s poll:
Do you think that the Rangers’ trade for Nippert was a win, loss, or tie?
Win – 70%
Loss – 25%
Tie – 5%
Come back next week for an interview with Blake Beavan.