MLB Playoff Predictions: Division and Wild Card Winners

Mike BuzzeoContributor IJuly 14, 2009

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 28:  Third baseman Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees fouls off a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 28, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

AL East: Yankees

Although trailing by three games going into the break, the Yankees always have a strong second half. They should do so again, especially with the way the lineup has been hitting. A-Rod is heating which will help Tex start driving the ball again.  The pitching staff is having a good year too. Burnett has turned in great outings and CC and Pettite are not doing bad as well.  The bullpen looks as strong as ever with Hughes, Coke, and Mariano leading the way.

AL Central:  Twins

Honestly, any of the top three teams could win this division; however, I think the Twins will pull away with it.  They're pitching, although not as strong as it once was, is still pretty strong.  With Nick Blackburn leading the rotation, and Joe Nathan in the bullpen to shut the door, the Twins have a good pitching staff.  Any line-up that has Morneau and Mauer in it is good.  The lineup also has solid players like Denard Span and Michael Cuddyer.

AL West: LA Angels

Even though Texas is only a half, game back I think the Angels have this division easy.  Texas's pitching staff isn't strong enough to bring them in the postseason, and the Angels, who have one of the better pitching staffs in baseball, will cruise into October.  They have a strong lineup despite both Hunter and Vlad being out for a month, but that won't effect them as you saw in the Yankees series.

AL Wild Card: Boston

The Red Sox are too strong not to make the playoffs.  With two 11 game winners going into the break, plus the very solid Jon Lester, they have one of the better pitching staffs.  The Red Sox have a strong lineup with Dustin Pedroia and Jason Bay leading the way.  It also looks like Big Papi is turning it around.

NL East: Phillies

With the NL East looking weaker than it has been the Phillies should have no competition making it into October.  With a lineup that consists of five All-Stars (Howard, Utley, Victorino, Werth, and Ibanez) it's going to be hard to shut them down.  Their pitching staff is lead by Cole Hamels and Jamie Moyer, plus J.A. Happ pitching great, posting a 6-0 record with a 2.90 era.  Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero are great out of the bullpen.

NL Central: St. Louis

My reason why the Cards will win the Central is simple. Albert Pujols.   

NL West: Dodgers

The Dodgers were able to stay in first place and dominate without Manny Ramierez in the lineup.  Now that Manny is back I don't think there's a team in the NL West that could beat the Dodgers.  With Chad Billingsbey dominating along with solid pitching performances by Clayton Kershaw and Hiroki Kuroda, the Dodgers will make it to the postseason no problem.

NL Wild Card: San Fransisco Giants

Honestly, with a pitching staff that features two Cy Young candidates (Lincecum and Cain), it's going to be hard to beat out the Giants.  Their lineup is not bad with Kung-Fu Panda, Randy Winn, and Bengie Molonia leading the way.  The Giants will make the playoffs as long as they hit the ball.