Every year sportswriters make their predictions. For years I have listened to the stupid remarks in Sports Illustrated and more without a word of protest except for "Yeah right!" However, this year I will make my predictions!
To be honest I am really liking the Red Sox on this one. They are the deepest team with pitching and have arguably three or so MVP candidates in Pedroia, Youkilis, and Big Papi (Finally!) They are definitely clicking together and should have a nice medium lead in the tough east.
I really don't know how but the Twins are good enough to earn my choice as the team to beat in the AL Central. They have high quality hitting, defense, and nice pitching. Their only questions going in seems to me is if the rotation will stay healthy and the pitchers leading to Joe Nathan.
The Angels have taken hits. They are all a year older. However, they still manage to have a great team. Torii Hunter and Vlad can still produce and their staff is very deep.
I have to pick the Rays because they are looking pretty good. However, they look like they might not be as affective now that teams are ready for them.
The Mets are gelling offensive wise and look to have fixed their heart-wrenching bullpen problems. However, their starting rotation is so-so after Santana and Pelfrey. Perez is inconsistent and Maine isn't overpowering. With their money they could do better. I also think their lineup should be changed to:
- Jose Reyes
- Carlos Beltran
- David Wright
- Carlos Beltran
- Ryan Church
- Daniel Murphy
- Luis Castillo
The Cubs are the most complete team in the NL Central and have few questions with their team and the few that exist are very small such as Kevin Gregg as closer or Carlos Marmol.
I believe this is the weakest division in baseball. (See previous article) However, I will pick Arizona. While their offense is weak I think their pitching is better overall than the Dodgers. This is a real dark horse pick but I think they have what it takes to buckle down and take the title.
The Dodgers and Cardinals both came to mind when picking this. To be honest, Manny really made me think. However, one man is a bit much. I am going to pick the Cardinals because of their nice staff and great offense anchored by Prince Albert.
Red Sox over Rays
The Red Sox seemed to only have lost last year because of their injuries. Theo addressed this with his acquisitions and everyone injured seems back to form. I will look forward to an exciting series with intense feelings (see Coco Crisp).
Mets over Cubs
The Mets seem to have a better overall team offensively complete on both sides of the dish and with practically lights out pitching.
Red Sox over Mets
The Red Sox have proved time and time again that clutch IS real and should be reckoned with. Ortiz, Varitek, Drew, Pedroia, Youk, the list goes on. When the going gets tough the Red Sox hit big. I see K-Rod struggling in the regular season with walks and homers in the World Series.
With Theo Epstien, a third trophy in Boston looks inevitable.