The Ridiculously Early Baseball Playoff Predictions
Last year, I did a ridiculously early playoff prediction.
I picked the Blue Jays and Mets to meet in the World Series... The Blue Jays started off the season on fire and I got excited, but then failed... and the Mets were riddled with injuries.
However, I did get five out of the eight teams right -- the Rockies, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees, and Twins. Wrong were the Blue Jays, Rangers, and Marlins.
While free agents are still out there to be signed, and they will change the playoff potential of some teams (Matt Holliday, Jason Bay), here are the 2010 playoffs if the postseason started today...
AL East: Yankees
Let's get the obvious one out of the way.
They just won the World Series and Boston proved they couldn't keep up with Bronx Bombers and their pricey, but worthwhile free agent acquisitions.
AL West: Mariners
Um... the Felix Hernandez/Cliff Lee duo has got to be the scariest in baseball. Combine that with the acquisitions of Chone Figgins and Milton Bradley, and the Ms are the team to beat in the AL West in 2010.
AL Central: Twins
In the division race-to-the-bottom, the Twins have the fewest problems.
They've got the best heart of the order (Mauer, Morneau, Kubel) in baseball. The only question mark is the starting rotation.
AL Wild Card: Rays
What was the Rays' biggest problem last year? The bullpen. They've upgraded it with Rafael Soriano and are going to preserve more with non-innings eater Scott Kazmir out of the way.
Look for Desmond Jennings to come up, also.
Rookie of the Year Watch: Wade Davis
NL East: Phillies
What did the best team in the National League do? They got better with the acquisition of Roy Halladay.
They also brought in Placido Polanco to fill the hole at third. The offense will be the most potent again in the NL.
NL West: Diamondbacks
What? The D-Backs? Where'd that come from? Process of elimination. The Dodgers have done nothing but regress. The Rockies starting pitching has question marks.
The Giants still don't have a bat. And the Padres are, well, the Padres.
Haren-Webb-Jackson is a terrifying 1-2-3 punch combo to face.
NL Central: Cardinals
Does it really matter if Holliday comes back? Pujols will be playing in a contract year and the Cardinals currently have the best 1-2 punch in the National League with Carpenter and Wainwright.
Cubs fans, it is yet again not your year.
NL Wild Card: Astros
Again, another curveball. My logic? The pitching staff will be good. Wandy Rodriguez had a dazzling, underrated year last year and Roy Oswalt should be healthy and return to form. The key here will be the play of Bud Norris.
The offense remains potent, with the Big Puma, Hunter Pence, Carlos Lee, and Michael Bourn to set the table.
(1) Yankees over the (3) Twins
(2) Mariners over the (4) Rays
(2) Mariners over the (1) Yankees
(1) Phillies over the (4) Astros
(3) Diamondbacks over the (2) Cardinals
(1) Phillies over the (3) Diamondbacks
The Phillies over the Mariners
Yep, the Phillies will make it to a third straight World Series... and win their second out of three.
They've got the best pitcher in baseball and the best first-second-short combo in baseball. Their outfield is also spectacular.