With the Major League Baseball season fast approaching, I thought it'd be fun to post my predictions for the upcoming season.
NL East – New York Mets
With an improved bullpen the Mets should be able to fend off their National League East rival Phillies in late September
NL Central – Chicago Cubs
The Cubs have an all-around solid lineup, even with the loss of the versatile Mark DeRosa. Also, like the Mets they have a solid bullpen anchored by two proven closers for the eighth and ninth innings.)
NL West – Los Angeles Dodgers
There is no lineup in the West right now that can contend with that of the Dodgers.
AL East – Tampa Bay Rays
For the greater portion of this offseason, I would’ve picked the Yankees. However, I really think that A-Rod’s injury and off-the field antics are going to hurt the ball club a lot this season.
As for my projected division winners, the Rays offense will benefit from the additions of Pat Burrell and Matt Joyce.
AL Central – Minnesota Twins
The Twins have a surplus of very talented outfielders to go along with one of the most solid and consistent pitching staffs in the American League. The combination of these two should enable them to secure a postseason berth.
AL West – Oakland Athletics
With the addition of Matt Holliday and the return of Jason Giambi, this is the year for the A’s to win it. The only thing that stands in their way is a questionable starting rotation.
NL Wild Card – Philadelphia Phillies
This should make for an interesting October with the defending World Series champs making some noise in the fall.
AL Wild Card – Boston Red Sox
Boston should have a leg up over the division rival New York Yankees due to their extremely strong and deep pitching staff, as well as their young core group of players.
World Series – Red Sox
The Red Sox have practically two pitching staffs under contract. In October, they have quality and experienced big name hurlers like John Smoltz and Brad Penny at their disposal to use late in games, a luxury that no other team has.
NL Cy Young – Johan Santana
This is from a purely non-bias perspective, but I believe that with a better bullpen behind him, Santana will be a 20-game winner this season.
AL Cy Young – Francisco Liriano
This year Liriano is going to show Twins fans that he is fully recovered from Tommy John surgery, and dominate the American League.
NL MVP – Hanley Ramirez/David Wright
I have to give a slight nod, talent wise, to Hanley on this one, however the fact that Wright plays for a more competitive team in a bigger market makes him more likely to win most valuable player.
AL MVP – Josh Hamilton
Once again, the small market may hurt Hamilton’s chances of winning. However, he will be playing for a big contract so look for him to build upon his already impressive numbers.