This is the last of my seven-part series of predictions on the upcoming MLB season. In this part of the series, I will give my playoff predictions and award winners for the year.
National League Rookie of the Year: Cincinnati Reds RHP Johnny Cuerto
This guy shows real promise on a below-average team. He will put up good numbers in his first year and will be a cornerstone of the organization for years to come.
American League Rookie of the Year: Boston Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz
After only pitching in four games last year, Clay looks to improve on last year's no-hitter and help the Red Sox back into the playoffs and possibly the World Series.
National League Manger of the Year: New York Mets Willie Randolph
After last year's epic collapse, the pressure is on Willie to win in New York this year, especially with new addition Johan.
Randolph will help lead the Mets back to a division crown, the playoffs, and a possible World Series appearance.
American League Manager of the Year: Seattle Mariners John McLaren
Sure, the Tigers, Red Sox, and Yankees will have better records, but that is expected. The Mariners will sneak their way into the playoffs behind their pitching and their first-year manager.
National League Cy Young: New York Mets LHP Johan Santana
Santana has shown in the American League that he is worthy of winning Cy Young's.
This year he will prove himself in the National League, especially with at least eight starts against the Marlins and Nationals. He will be a big part of the Mets making their way into the playoffs.
American League Cy Young: Seattle Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez
With new starter Erik Bedard now as the ace of the staff, Felix Hernandez will not have all the pressure on him to perform and carry the team.
Without all the stress, the 21-year-old will have a career year. He will help lead the Mariners into the playoffs.
National League MVP: New York Mets 3B DavidWright
For the Mets, the past is past. Look for the line-up to come around and for Wright to be a big RBI man and have a career year in home runs. With plenty of protection in the line-up, Wright will see good pitches and lead the Mets to the playoffs.
American League MVP: New York Yankees SS Derek Jeter
Even with all the attention being put on A-Rod, Jeter was still a big reason the Yankees made the playoffs. After being snubbed more than once by not getting the award, this will be the year he finally gets it.
National League Wild Card Round
New York Mets 3, Arizona Diamondbacks 1
The Mets line-up will be too much for the worn-out arms of the D-Backs, and the Mets will advance to the next round.
Chicago Cubs 3, Philadelphia Phillies 2
The Cubbies have too much hitting and pitching for the Phillies to handle in the playoffs.
American League Wild Card Round
Boston Red Sox 3, Seattle Mariners 0
The Red Sox are just too strong for the young M's to handle this year.
New York Yankees 3, Detroit Tigers 2
The Yankees just have too good a line-up for the Tigers pitchers to deal with, and now with Hughes and Joba in the starting rotation at the end of the year they will be hard to beat.
National League Championship Series
New York Mets 4, Chicago Cubs 3
The Mets have the better bullpen in this match-up. Once playoff time comes, having a good bullpen becomes key, and that’s what will get the Mets into the World Series.
American League Championship Series
New York Yankees 4, Boston Red Sox 3
In yet another classic between the Sox and Yankees, this one will go down again to a game seven showdown with the Yankees get a clutch hit finally from A-Rod to win the game and the series.
New York Mets 4, New York Yankees 3
In part two of the “Subway Series,” the Mets will finally get the upper hand on the Yankees. They will use their better bullpen and speed to beat the powerful Yankees in seven games.
World Series MVP—New York Mets SS Jose Reyes
Reyes will provide a much-needed spark to their line-up by getting on base and into scoring position. He will create runs for the Mets and lead them to victory in the World Series Championship.