Results tagged ‘ predictions ’
AL East: We all know everyone is discounting the Yankees completely and already trying to anoint the Blue Jays as World Series favorites, but for what exactly? I have been saying since December that Reyes and Buehrle didn’t exactly do much to create wins in Miami and Dickey & Johnson give them a nice 1 – 2 at top of the rotation (provided Johnson stays healthy) but this is still a team that needs its previous players to take that next step.
Nope, it is going to be a tight race with all five teams in the mix but I like teams with great starting pitching…and that ain’t Toronto.
1. New York 2. Tampa 3. Toronto 4. Boston 5. Baltimore
AL Central: Tigers – Do I even need to explain this one? Unless the Royals see HUGE leaps forward by three or four guys AND find a legitimate No. 2 & no. 3 starter between now and opening day nobody will come within a half-dozen games of them this year. And don’t be surprised if it is more like 10 games.
1. Detroit 2. Chicago 3. Kansas City 4. Cleveland 5. Minnesota
AL West: The Angels made a big splash this off-season by signing Josh Hamilton away from their division rivals, but none of that is enough to overcome the fact that their pitching is just not good. Weaver is fantastic, though he comes up short versus better teams (his ERA versus Yankees, Rangers, Rays & Tigers is in the mid-4.00′s), but beyond that they have a lot of hopes & dreams. Wilson is a stat compiler who owns an abysmal playoff record and has even worse numbers than Weaver versus the cream-of-the-crop. Blanton & Vargas are cast-offs. Bottom line, this team’s pitching just isn’t good enough.
1. Texas 2. Anaheim (I refuse to call them anything else) 3. Oakland 4. Seattle 5. Houston
AL Wild Card Numero Uno: Rays
AL Wild Card Numero Dos: Angels
AL Champion: It’s a crapshoot but I’ll say Yankees over Rays. It’s all about the pitching and these teams have the deepest staffs from their ace to the closer.
NL East: The Nationals have tons of pitching and just enough offense to get it done. The Braves will keep them honest, but their outfield is so over-rated it hurts. You have a young group full of potential but also full of questions about attitude, work ethic and mental fortitude. Side note: B.J. Upton has his first full blown “idiot” moment by Memorial Day.
1. Washington 2. Atlanta 3. Philadelphia 4. New York 5. Miami
NL Central: It’s hard to bet against the Reds. They have decent pitching, Chapman is a monster as a closer and they can put up runs in bunches. Cardinals will, as always, be in the mix but I don’t think they can hang over a full season.
1. Cincinnati 2. St. Louis 3. Milwaukee 4. Pittsburgh 5. Chicago
NL West: The Dodgers have spent a ton of money but I think they have done little more than line themselves up for a metric truckload of ridicule when it is all said and done. Crawford, League, Eithier, Beckett & even Adrian Gonzalez are all grossly overpaid. Kemp needs to show he is A. healthy and B. the monster of a player he has only been for about one & a half seasons.
1. San Francisco 2. Los Angeles 3. Arizona 4. San Diego 5. Colorado
NL Wild Card Numero Uno: Atlanta
NL Wild Card Numero Dos: St. Louis
NL Champion: Washington over San Francisco in a close NLCS.
World Series: Yankees over the Nationals in a pitching fan’s paradise.
Surprise surprise, the Red Sox seem to be the favorites (again) over at ESPN. One of the clowns, Rob Neyer, has them picked to win it all even though he chose the Yankees to win the division and the Rays to win the Wild Card. For those that don’t follow the sport…it is impossible to pull that one off. Literally impossible.
I seem to recall hearing the same raving reviews about the Red Sux pitching carrying them to a World Series title last year. Dice-Gay bla bla bla. Wakefield is so versatile and an innings eater (what a myth that is lol) Smoltz at mid-seaon bla bla bla. A resurgent Brad Penny bla bla bla. Bucholz will finally be consistent bla bla bla.
The Red Sox will be a great pitching team this year. Their starting pitching, esp 1-3, is some of the best in baseball. Beyond that though, you have huge question marks. Dice-K is horrible..again. Even when he shuts a team down it is for 5 innings and nothing more. Wakefield is marginally better than average. Has been that way his entire career. Bucholz can’t be trusted until he actually shows he can be trusted. Bonser is a reclamation project that is already looking like “Brady Penny Part Deux”
Don’t get me started on the bullpen. Okijima has been in a steady decline since his first 6 months in 2007. Daniel “I send it in 100 mph and you send it out 120 mph” Bard gives up way too many HRs to be considered effective at this point in his career. Manny Delcarmen has been, well, Manny Delcarmen. To borrow one from Crash Davis in Bull Durham “From what I hear meat you couldn’t hit water if you fell out of a f@#$in boat”. Billy Wagner, however short his stint with the team was, was their most effective guy out of the pen and he is in Atlanta now.
Paplebon will undoubtedly have a better year than last year, but who is going to be the bridge to him? Right now, that bridge looks a tad bit rickety. And make no mistake, this is the key to things. You keep hearing about the new found Red Sox devotion to defense and “run prevention”. They know they can’t just run roughshod over you etc…
Well if you are scoring less and relying on your starters to keep you in-games etc…it does you absolutely no good to hand the ball over to your 7th and 8th inning guys who then start serving up walks and gopher balls. Because, lets hear it class, there is no defense against the Homerun or the base on balls.
The Yankees will boast a deep rotation with Hughes emerging as a future ace. He added a cut fastball & a change-up to his arsenal and is primed to have a break out year. Even if one of the 5 starters underperforms it is no huge deal simply because they ALL have top 3 starter stuff. The bullpen is insanely deep and crazy good. They stole Phillies best BP guy, Park (who’d have ever thunk one would say that haha?) and have put Joba in the pen for the entire year. His last few appearances out of the BP have been nasty. We have seen what they kid can do when he is allowed to just come in and go balls out, expect close to that again.
A staff that eats innings, allows a limited amount of runs and an offense that is just unrelenting. All of that adds up to a long, long year for those who think the Yankees are somehow in “tough shape”.