A Look At How The 2009 MLB Season Will Go, Team By Team

joel kirsteinCorrespondent IApril 3, 2009

CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 20:  Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies poses for a photo during Spring Training Photo day on February 20, 2009 at Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

So, this is how I think the 2009 MLB season will go, team by team and division by division. My playoff picks are at the bottom.

AL East

1—Red Sox: Here's a scary thought: They're even better than last year!
2—Yankees: Great pitching, older slower defense, less hitting, no A-Rod equals wild card.
3—Rays: Not likely to over-achieve like last season, and probably no postseason either.
4—Orioles: Getting better, but not enough to be a factor.
5—Jays: Playing in Canada means 25 percent exchange on wins; 81 is actually 60 wins.

AL Central

1—Indians: 90 wins will win it if Pronk, Carmona, and Wood come back big.
2—White Sox: If the Sox don't make the postseason, goodbye Ozzie!
3—Twins: Mauer and Morneau are All-Stars. The rest? Not so much.
4—Tigers: Ordonez and Cabrera will hit tons; the pitching will give up even more.
5—Royals: Not even close, but getting better.

AL West

1—Angels: The class of the division. It won't even be close.
2—Rangers: These guys will score lots of runs, but the pitching will give up even more.
3—A's: Giambi, Chavez, and Holliday won't be enough to get to .500.
4—Mariners: Jr. is back; Ichiro will hit, and the M's will still suck.

NL East

1—Phillies: They will repeat as division and NL Champs and go deep into October.
2—Mets: If they're lucky, maybe the wild card spot? Older and less hitting, though.
3—Marlins: The biggest obstacle to winning: Ownership.
4—Braves: Cox' legacy on the line. Get a mediocre team to play .500.
5—Nationals: They could have stayed in Montreal to stink this bad. I hope they rot!

NL Central

1—Cubs: I think the devil has run out of ways to torture and deny them a title.
2—Brewers: Not as good as last year, but enough to finish second.
3—Reds: Lots of good, young talent, but not good enough...yet.
4—Cardinals: Albert and not a whole lot more.
5—Pirates: The devil isn't quite done torturing the Buccos.
6—Astros: This is the year the wheels come off the cart for the 'Stros.

NL West

1—Dodgers: Second straight division title in Mannyland, but no further.
2—Diamondbacks: Good young pitching and, if the hitting clicks, wild card.
3—Giants: All pitch, no hitting, no fun.
4—Rockies: Not going in the right direction.
5—Padres: Great ballpark, better weather, but it will be a brutal season in SD.

Managers fired in 2009

Guillen, Leyland, Trembley, Gaston, Washington, Gonzalez, Acta, Cooper, Hurdle, Black—there will be blood, and lots of it!

NL HR Champ: Ryan Howard—51
AL HR Champ: Josh Hamilton—44

NL Cy Young: Cole Hamels
AL Cy Young: Daisuke Matsuzaka

NL MVP: Chase Utley
AL MVP: Kevin Youkilis

AL Champs: Red Sox
NL Champs: Phillies
WS Champs: Phillies repeat