MLB 2008: Preview and Predictions

Robert LoranContributor IMarch 30, 2008

So, after weeks of listening to the so called experts on ESPN, Fox Sports Net, and so on make their stabs in the dark for how things were going to turn out for each team six months from now, I decided to offer my expertise to them... because they need it..

 So, in the American League, there's a lot of banter going on about the Central and the West, so let me set the record straight...

AL East (Red Sox Land)

1. Boston Red Sox    91-71    Sorry Buster Olney, your beloved yanks can't touch them.

2. Toronto Blue Jays  86-76    One of the surprise teams of the year, if Frank Thomas can stay healthy, I'd take their 1-5 over almost anyone in baseball.  And if McGowan is really what he's played up to be, this team could be a real shocker, almost as shocking as seeing Star Jones at an all you can eat buffet.

3. New York Yankees 85-77      The only thing keeping this team alive is the bats and part of the bullpin.  Lets just hope that these social security collecting over-rated has beens can stay healthy enough to still swing it life Hef.

4. Tampa Bay Rays    78-84      One of the most athletic teams in baseball with a decent pitching staff.  Continue to add bats and let the young prospects develop, and this could be a team to reckon with in the coming years.

5. Baltimore Orioles    69-93    Worst team in baseball.  This will say it all- Projected Lineup- 3. Nick Markakis 4. Kevin Millar.  I'd rather have the Olsen twins hitting 3,4.  At least we wouldn't have to worry about performance enhancing drugs.     

AL Central (The new AL East)

1. Detroit Tigers        89-73    In one of the more highly contested races in baseball, the Tigers barely pull it out thanks to their sluggfest known as a line up.  With Bonderman struggling to develop a third and fourth pitch and the Gambler isn't getting any younger, trading away the young pitching prospects for Dontrelle Willis might not have been the best idea come postseason.

2. Cleveland Indians    87-75    By far one of the best teams in baseball.  The only weaknesses in my eyes are that they have to convert on scoring opportunities because they have a possibility to have 5 guys with over 110 strikeouts and a closer by the name of Joe Borowski.

3. Kansas City Royals  81-81   With a much improved starting rotation and bullpin, if Billy Butler and Alex Gordon can anchor the lineup with Jose Guillen, it could be an interesting year for Royals fans, much deserved if I do say so myself.

4.  Minnesota Twins   80-82    Hopefully the Twins can benefit from the fact that Carlos Gomez has more tools than Lowe's, because with their pitching staff, their going to need the defensive help.  It's sad when 4 out of 5 of the starting pitchers from Opening Day last year are gone via trades and free agency, and you're anchored by Livan Hernandez.   

5. Chicago White Sox 75-87   With no proven lead off hitter and the possibility of more strikeouts than Rosie O'Donnell at a straight bar, I don't see how they're going to move out of the statistics from last year when they were last in the league in batting average, on base percentage, and runs scored.  

 AL West

 1. Seattle Mariners   84-78   With 5 players going to hit over 20 homeruns, this lineup is stacked for success, and when all 5 pitchers in your starting rotation will win over 10 games, this could be a banner year for the Mariners, as long as they can stay healthy because depth may be an issue.

2. Los Angeles Angels 83-79  Until Escobar went down, this was the team to beat in the West.  The lineup is dynamite, it'll just depend on how fast Lackey and Escobar can return.

3. Oakland Athletics 79-83     Nice bullpin but Harden and the rotation is always more of a question mark than when the next time Paris Hilton will get arrested is.  

4. Texas Rangers    74-88     Hopefully Nolan Ryan can still play, because just having him in the front office isn't going to do them much good this year.

 In the National League, I can see 9 teams fighting for 4 spots, and some of them may surprise you...

NL East 

1. New York Mets    88-74    With 3 30+ homerun hitters and a dynamite rotation, this could be a team to contend with, as long as they can get over the end of season collapse from last year.  Maybe they can talk with Dr. Phil like Britney??

2. Atlanta Braves    87-75     One of the best all around teams in baseball, with a solid lineup, defense, speed, rotations, bullpin, and depth.  Nothing spectacular stands out about this team, but there also are no holes.

3. Philadelphia Phillies 83-79   Great team speed and offense, if they made the playoffs Ryan Howard would've had a shot at MVP.  

4. Washington Nationals 77-85  New field, New uniforms, too bad they can't get a new team.

5. Florida Marlins    69-93    Worst team in the NL.  They traded away more than Whitney Houston in the 90's.          

NL Central

1. Chicago Cubs   87-75   One of the best team in the league if they can find some more pop in the lineup.  100 years and they're trying to keep it from 101 this year.

2. Milwaukee Brewers 84-78 Best young hitters in the game and a solid rotation.  They're hoping that Gagne goes back to his old form.

3. Cincinnati Reds  80-82    Another surprise team this year.  Good team speed and defense, and if Griffey can stay healthy it'll be a good year for Cincinnati fans.

4. St. Louis Cardinals 78-84 They've got more people in rehab than the Billboard Top 40 charts.   

5. Houston Astros    75-87  Lots of holes in this team.  Lucky they're in the NL Central.

6. Pittsburgh Pirates 74-88  An unproven bullpin and a lineup without any pop.

NL West

1. Arizona Diamondbacks 88-74  One of the most complete lineups in baseball if they can find some pop and of the deepest pitching staffs in MLB.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers 85-77   Solid lineup with a solid rotation, we'll see how Torre ball works in LA.  

3. Colorado Rockies   82-80  Their Cinderella season last year may be a one and done.  Still a good team, but no pitching depth hurts.

4. San Diego Padres   78-84  A sub par lineup with a nice rotation if healthy.  

5. San Francisco Giants  74-88  At least Barry could hit some home runs.  No player will hit over 20.  They're not as bad as they look though, they're worse.  



Cleveland Indians at Boston Red Sox- Cleveland wins 3-2

Seattle Mariners at Detroit Tigers- Detroit wins 3-1

Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers- Cleveland wins 4-2


Atlanta Braves at Arizona Diamondbacks- Atlanta wins 3-1

Chicago Cubs at New York Mets- Chicago wins 3-2

Atlanta Braves at Chicago Cubs- Chicago wins 4-3


Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago Cubs- Chicago Cubs win 4-3

Maybe there's a little bias there...

We'll see... Let me know what you think...



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