The 2008 MLB season is right around the corner, literally and figuratively. There is less than 24 hours until the season begins.
My take on both the American League and National League:
In the American League West there won't be much going on especially since Angels ace John Lackey is out until mid-May.
The Seattle Mariners are my pick to win the American League West—especially with gaining Erik Bedard as their ace and Felix Hernandez as the number two. Hernandez and Bedard are two young emerging stars in the MLB.
My pick to win the American League Central is the Detroit Tigers.
Many people say they aren't really sure where their bullpen is, but when you are bringing in Joel Zumaya and Todd Jones at the end of the game, that's an unstoppable force. The big acquisition for the Tigers was Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. The Tigers should have the top offensive team in the MLB.
The Cleveland Indians will finish a close second due to their great depth in starting pitching and All-Star centerfielder Grady Sizemore.
The Yankees and Red Sox have dominated the American League East for a while now.
My pick in the division is last year's World Champions, the Boston Red Sox.
Both Manny and Big Papi had off years last season, this year they will not. Around the trading deadline "Manny will be Manny," but don't worry he is not leaving Boston.
Red Sox have great pitching as long as they stay healthy, plus having Bartolo Colon in your minor league system is not bad, if needed he can be called up.
Now, Yankee fans, don't worry you're still going to be in the playoffs as the Wild Card—the Red Sox are too strong in my opinion.
The National League will be just as good as the American League.
The National League West is always close because one team can never pull away from another. This is the hardest division to choose from because anything can happen.
My pick is the Los Angeles Dodgers, due to Joe Torre. You can't bet against Joe Torre and the acquisition of power to their lineup, Andruw Jones.
In the National League Central, I believe that the Chicago Cubs will win the division by a very slim margin. Either the Brewers or the Cardinals could give them a run for their money.
In the National League East, my champion for the division is the New York Mets.
Acquiring Johan Santana was a huge move in replacing Tom Glavine. But one thing to watch out for will be the play of Carlos Delgado. He will need to step up from last season to help propel the Mets further throughout the playoffs.
For the Wild Card, I have my winner being the Philadelphia Phillies. They have good pitching and great hitting from Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, but do not sleep on the Atlanta Braves sneaking in there with quality starting pitching and a good hitting lineup.
While we're talking playoffs, I believe this year is the year when the American League will be represented by the hard-hitting lineup of the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. By this time they will have all their pitching figured out and their lineup will be perfect.
For the National League, my team is the New York Mets. I believe this year is their year. Johan Santana and Pedro Martinez will be the reasons for the Mets success. With them being the key to the Mets success, I also cannot forget about the offense of Jose Reyes and David Wright.
My World Series MVP will be Jose Reyes, which means the New York Mets will be your 2008 World Champions.
Fans will be celebrating in Queens, not the Bronx.