So far the 2009 MLB season has been very surprising. No one would have thought the San Francisco Giants would be leading the NL Wild Card or that Zack Greinke would have a 2.12 ERA at the All Star break. I think the second half of the season will be even crazier. So here are my five bold predictions for the second half of the 2009 MLB season.
I know the Blue Jays are interested in hearing offers for Halladay, but come July 31 he will still be in Toronto. The Jays are just asking for too much in return. People keep talking about a Halladay-Yankees deal but, not only are the Jays unlikely to trade within the division, but New York doesn't even have the prospects Toronto wants. The other teams rumored to be interested are St. Louis, Boston, Milwaukee, Los Angeles and Philly. Of these teams Philadelphia would be the most likely to land Halladay if he was traded.
Yes that's right, the Cubs will not make the playoffs. The team that was supposed to run away with the NL Central won't even win the Wild Card. So far this year the Cubs have been a huge disappointment. In the end, the Cubs will finish third in the division behind the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers.
Matt Holliday went from the 2009 Free Agent prize to barely having any trade value at the deadline. Billy Beane knows he can't get as much in return for Matt Holliday as he wants so he will hold onto Holliday for the rest of 2009. Then at the end of the year he will offer Holliday arbitration. This is a win-win for Beane. If Holliday accepts arbitration, which he might based on the economy and his below average season, then Beane has a quality hitter for 2010. Holliday can only get better with another year of getting used to AL pitching under his belt. If Holliday declines arbitration and signs with another team then the A's get two compensation picks in next year's draft. Both of these are a bigger return then anything Beane could get this July.
With the pitching of Lincecum and Cain the San Francisco Giants will win the NL Wild Card. In a close race for the Wild Card the Giants will beat out Colorado, Atlanta and Milwaukee. The Giants have what is possibly the best rotation in baseball and will even challenge the Dodgers for the division. I don't even like the Giants, but I have to admit that their pitching is good enough to make up for their poor offense.
Matt Wieters pretty much had this award wrapped up at the start of the season. All he had to do was play in enough games and he would win the award based on all the hype surrounding his potential. Instead this award will go to Andrew Bailey of the Oakland A's. Bailey has been one of the few bright spots for the A's this year. He was Oakland's lone representative at the All Star game and he deserved it. After taking over closing duties in Oakland he has 10 saves a 4-1 record and a 1.88 ERA. Plus, he has 62 strikeouts (most of any AL reliever) compared to just 19 walks.