The 2011 baseball season is about to start and it should be a good one. Here are my predictions.
As a Dodger fan its tough to pick the Giants as the NL West champion but with a over powering pitching staff its hard not to pick them first. The Dodgers come in second by the skin on their teeth. The distraction surrounding team ownership and the hope that the young talent step up big this season is going to take its toll. The Rockies have a strong team led by Ubaldo Jimenez but will fall short as the rest of the staff fails to impress me. The Padres are still a few years away from contending and can start young players, giving them much needed experience. The Diamondbacks, poor guys. Nothing good to say about them so I will leave it at that
The Reds and Brewers will be at each-others throat all season but the Reds will take the Central after putting up some very impressive offensive numbers last season. The Brewers come in second because of their pitching. 14th in NL ERA last year and it will again hold them back this season. The Cardinals like the Dodgers will battle off the field distractions and suffer for it, i.e Mr. Albert. In fourth place is the Cubs and lucky to be that high. If Kerry Wood is part of the bullpen then that should sum up the season for the Cubs. The good news for the Pirates is that they will not end up in last. The bad news is that its still only fifth. Last place will be reserved for the Astros. After finishing fourth last season did not nothing to get better while the other teams in the Central did.
No surprise here with the Phillies in first, backed by what could be the best starting five pitchers in baseball history. Now for the surprise. The Marlins not only come in second but will win the Wild Card. The Marlins always find the right mix of young talent and clutch players to round out a strong team and with Josh Johnson on the mound, the Marlins will turn some heads. The Braves will fight with the Marlins and Phillies for first place and the Wild Card but it will be to much for them to handle this season. The Nationals have strong hitting and great pitching. To bad its not part of their major league roster. 2012 might be their year but thats not this year so sorry boys. The Mets are still getting their act together and thats a tough pill to swallow when playing in New York but its a fact and New York fans will have to wait a few more seasons for the Mets to battle for first.
With the best team ERA in the AL last season the A’s are primed to take the title in the West. With the Rangers losing ace Cliff Lee to the Phillies and no replacement in site the Rangers, unlike last season, will watch the playoffs from home. The Angels end up in third as they continue to throw cash at players that will tie them up for years and do nothing to help them get into a playoff spot. Dont feel bad Angel fans, with a good pitching staff and young stars such as Trout and Bourjos the future may be looking up. No matter how good your pitching is, if you cant hit then you cant win and once again the Mariners will end up in last.
2. White Sox
The Twins will improve from last season because of one player, Morneau. You can see the difference in the Twins with and without Morneau in the lineup and with his bat back for a healthy season, the Twins will take the Central. The White Sox will once again wind up in second. They have a decent team but something tells me that Manager Ozzie Guillen will cost the team with his off the wall comments. After under preforming last season the Tigers still dont have what it takes to crawl out of third. The Royals may be the team of the future but the future is not this season. Give them a few years and the Royals will be on top. The Indians will keep getting worse and as if Ohio needs another losing team, they got one in the Indians.
1. Red Sox
5. Blue Jays
And now time for the best division, the AL East. It will be a highly entertaining race all season long but the Red Sox with their big bats will power the Red Sox over the Yankees. The Yankees will take the Wild Card while fighting off the surprising Orioles. The Orioles? Thats correct. They will have a better record then the Rays who I believe did nothing to keep up with the high powered East. The Rays will begin their downward free fall despite winning in the past few years. They will not be able to handle the mounting losses and that will effect the young team. The Blue Jays, like the Royals, are tooling up for the future. They shouldn’t look at last place in the AL East as a failure but as the experience they need to build a contender.
American League Champion – Red Sox
National League Champion – Phillies
World Series Champion – Phillies