The Wait Is Over: The Official MLB Predictions For The 2011 Season

Eli ChesnerCorrespondent IFebruary 13, 2011

The Wait Is Over: The Official MLB Predictions For The 2011 Season

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    ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 16: Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits an RBI double against the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium on September 16, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Don't you feel like the Giants just won the world series just yesterday? Well, it was 4 months ago, but it felt like yesterday.

    But as we prepare for the 2011 MLB season, everyone makes their season predictions starting in mid-February. Thats just what I am doing.

    So here are my official MLB predictions for the 2011 MLB season.

    Hope you enjoy, and comment below your predictions.

AL East

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    BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 06:  Adrian Gonzalez (R) ooks on as General Manager Theo Epstein answers questions during a press conference to announce Gonzalez signing with the Boston Red Sox on December 6,  2010 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo b
    Elsa/Getty Images

    #1 Boston Red Sox-

    Key additions: Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Bobby Jenks

    Key losses: Adrian Beltre (TEX), Bill Hall (HOU), Victor Martinez (DET)

    Key Player: Josh Beckett

    The Red Sox had a fantastic off-season, acquiring Crawford and Gonzalez from Tampa Bay and San Diego respectively. They have a tremendous amount of talent. But in order for the Sox to have any chance of making the World Series, they need the starting rotation to have a bounce back year.

    #2 New York Yankees- wild card winner

    Key additions: Russell Martin, Pedro Feliciano

    Key losses: Lance Berkman (STL), Andy Pettitte (Retired), Kerry Wood (CHC)

    Key Player: Derek Jeter

    The Yankees were surprising shut out in their pursuit of any big free agents. If Jeter has a strong season, the Yankees could challenge Boston for the division title. But without Pettitte, it will be more challenging.

    #3 Toronto Blue Jays

    Key additions: Rajai Davis

    Key losses: John Buck (FLA), Kevin Gregg (BAL), Shaun Marcum (MIL)

    Key Player: Adam Lind

    Toronto had a surprising season last year, with Jose Bautista leading the way. GM Alex Anthopoulos is making the right decisions. They won't be able to bring down Boston or New York this year, but don't be surprised if the Jays compete in the next few years.

    #4 Baltimore Orioles

    Key additions: J.J. Hardy, Mark Raynolds, Derrick Lee

    Key losses: Julio Lugo (FA), Kevin Millwood (FA), Ty Wigginton (COL)

    Key Player: Brian Roberts

    When Buck Showalter took over last year in August, the Orioles got more wins in mid-August to the end of the year, then they had before Showalter took over. The Orioles had a good offseason. They will suprise many this year, and are a couple more years away from serious contention.

    #5 Tampa Bay Rays

    Key additions: Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez

    Key losses: Carl Crawford (BOS), Carlos Pena (CHC), Matt Garza (CHC), Rafael Soriano (NYY)

    Key Player: Desmon Jennings

    To be honest, I could have put them in 4th place. But the Rays lost to many pieces, mainly in Crawford and Garza. They could beat Baltimore in the division, but overall, Evan Longoria, Damon, and Manny won't be enough to contend.

AL Central

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    SEATTLE - AUGUST 27:  Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins bats against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on August 27, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. The Twins won 6-3. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    #1 Chicago White Sox

    Key additions: Adam Dunn, Jesse Crain

    Key losses: Freddy Garcia (NYY), Bobby Jenks (BOS), Andruw Jones (FA), Manny Ramirez (TB)

    Key Player: Carlos Quentin

    The addition of Adam Dunn is going to really help Ozzie and co. If the pitching can stay healthy, this team will contend for the AL crown.

    #2 Minnesota Twins

    Key additions: Tsuyoshi Nishioka

    Key losses: Jesse Crain (CWS), J.J. Hardy (BAL), Orlando Hudson (SD)

    Key Player: Justin Morneau

    Justin Morneau is finally healthy again. If the team can overcome key offseason losses, they will once again win the division. Its then just a matter if they can win a game in the playoffs.

    #3 Detroit Tigers

    Key additions: Victor Martinez

    Key losses: Johnny Damon (TB), Gerald Laird (STL)

    Key Player: Magglio Ordonez

    The addition of V-Mart and having MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera will definitely help the offense. Its the pitching that will hold them from a playoff spot.

    #4 Kansas City Royals

    Key additions: Melky Cabrera, Jeff Francoeur

    Key losses: Brian Bannister, Yuniesky Betancourt (MIN), Zach Greike (MIL)

    Key Player: Joakim Soria

    The loss of Zack Greinke is really going to hurt this team. The team has talent. They just have to play like they have it.

    #5 Cleveland Indians

    Key additions: Adam Everett, Austin Kearns

    Key losses: None

    Key Player: Carlos Santana

    Poor Cleveland. The Browns suck, the Cavaliers suck, and the Indians suck. If they lose less then 100 games, Manny Acta should be in consideration for Manager of the year.

AL West

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    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers bats against the San Francisco Giants in Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on November 1, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. The Giants won 3-1. (Photo by Ro
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    #1 Oakland Athletics

    Key additions: David DeJesus, Rich Hardin, Hideki Matsui, Josh Willingham

    Key losses: Eric Chavez (NYY), Ben Sheets (FA), Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)

    Key Player: Kurt Suzuki

    Oakland has one of the best young starting rotations in the league. If they can live up to expectations, and the offense can find its way, this team won't be taken lightly anymore.

    #2 Texas Rangers

    Key additions: Kevin Cash, Endy Chavez, Brandon Webb

    Key losses: Jorge Cantu (SD), Jeff Francoeur (KC), Vladimir Guerrero (FA), Cliff Lee (PHI), Bengie Molina (FA)

    Key Player: Michael Young

    Texas does have the best lineup by far in the division, but the losses of Cliff Lee and Vladimir Guerrero will hurt the club.

    #3 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

    Key additions: Scott Downs, Hisanori Takahashi

    Key losses: Hideki Matsui (OAK), Scot Shields (FA)

    Key Player: Mike Napoli

    The Angels have the pitching, but the whole team is getting old, and will have to rebuild after this year.

    #4 Seattle Mariners

    Key additions: Jack Cust, Miguel Olivo

    Key losses: Russell Branyan (FA), Casey Kotchman (FA), Jose Lopez (COL), Ryan Rowland-Smith (HOU)

    Key Player: Milton Bradley

    It will be another long year in Seattle, but new manager Eric Wedge does have the best young pitcher in the league and the Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez, and he also had future HOF Ichiro Suzuki.

NL East

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    PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 15:  Pitcher Cliff Lee (R) #33 of the Philadelphia Phillies is introduced to the media and presented his jersey by the Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. during a press conference at Citizens Bank Park on Decembe
    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    #1 Philadelphia Phillies

    Key additions: Cliff Lee

    Key losses: Jamie Moyer (FA), Jayson Werth (WAS), Pedro Feliz (KC)

    Key Player: Domonic Brown

    After the Phillies jumped out of nowhere and got Cliff Lee, they now have the best rotation in the league by far. They have the pitching, but the lineup is getting old. If they can all stay healthy, this team will not only win the division, but win the NL title.

    #2 Atlanta Braves

    Key additions: Dan Uggla

    Key losses: manager Bobby Cox, Melky Cabrera (KC), Troy Glaus (FA), Derrick Lee (BAL), Billy Wagner (retired)

    Key Player: Chipper Jones

    The loss of manager Bobby Cox will obviously hurt them. But the addition of Dan Uggla and Chipper Jones not retiring, the Braves will still contend even without one of the best managers in history.

    #3 Florida Marlins

    Key additions: John Bucks, Omar Infante, Javier Vazquez

    Key losses: Cameron Maybin (SD), Ronny Paulino (NYM), Dan Uggla (ATL)

    Key Player: Omar Infante

    The Marlins are an up and coming team for the future. But the loss of Dan Uggla to division rival Atlanta will really hurt their chances of contending this year.

    #4 New York Mets

    Key additions: Ronny Paulino

    Key losses: Pedro Feliciano (NYY), John Maine (FA), Fernando Tatis (FA)

    Key Player: Jason Bay

    New Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he won't spend a lot of money in the offseason. He was right. The Mets had a very quiet offseason, hoping the players they have now will help them contend with new manager Terry Collins. But with Johan Santana not coming back until June or July, and Carlos Beltran always an injury concern, and Jason Bay coming off a horrible season, even though he was injured, the Mets have to many concerns. I am a die hard Met fan, but I know this team will have an issue keeping up with the Phillies and Braves,

    #5 Washington Nationals

    Key additions: Jayson Werth, Matt Stairs, Rick Ankiel

    Key losses: Adam Dunn (CWS), Josh Williangham (OAK)

    Key Player: Jayson Werth

    The Nationals are definitely on the rise. But they won't contend this year. Stephen Strasburg isn't coming back this year, maybe September. This team has alot of young talent, but they don't have the pitching they need the whole year.

NL Central

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    ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 11:  Zack Greinke #23 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on August 11, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    #1 St. Louis Cardinals

    Key additions: Lance Berkman, Gerald Laird

    Key losses: Pedro Feliz (FA), Aaron Miles (FA), Brendan Ryan (SEA)

    Key player: Lance Berkman

    The Cardinals have everything in place, except for Albert Pujols. The distraction of Pujols contract might cause a problem for the Cardinals through out the year if they cant get a deal done by February 16th. The Cards have the best rotation in the division, and will use that as their strength.

    #2 Milwaukee Brewers- wild card

    Key additions: Zack Greinke

    Key losses: Dave Bush (FA), Trevor Hoffman (retired)

    Key player: Prince Fielder

    The additions of Zach Greinke and Shawn Marcum will help the Brew Crew try and reach the postseason for the 2nd time in 27 years. Ouch.

    #3 Chicago Cubs

    Key additions: Carlos Pena, Kerry Wood

    Key losses: Xavier Nady (ARI)

    Key player: Alfonso Soriano

    You might be saying I'm crazy for putting the Cubs ahead of the Reds. But Chicago had a good off season overlooked by the Brewers offseason. The Reds are a great team, but the Cubs are on their way up.

    #4 Cincinnati Reds

    Key additions: Dontrelle Willis

    Key losses: Orlando Cabrera (FA), Aaron Harang (SD), Arthur Rhodes (FA)

    Key player: Jay Bruce

    See Cubs.

    #5 Houston Astros

    A solid rotation carried Houston for a long time. Now its an inexperienced rotation, with Roy Oswalt out. A couple of moves can help their contention though.

    Key additions: Bill Hall, Ryan Rowland-Smith

    Key losses: Matt Lindstrom (COL)

    Key player: Brett Wallace

    #6 Pittsburgh Pirates

    Key additions: Garrett Atkins, Matt Diaz, Lyle Overbay

    Key losses: Zack Duke (ARI), Andy LaRoche (FA), Lastings Milledge (FA)

    Key player: Pedro Alvarez

    Ahh the Pirates. 18 straight losing seasons. What else is their to say? Well they had a nice offseason. But expect no more then 65 wins this season.

NL West

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    SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 03:  Pitcher Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants runs down the street during the San Francisco Giants victory parade on November 3, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    #1 Colorado Rockies

    Key additions: Matt Lindstrom, Jose Lopez, Ty Wigginton

    Key losses: Clint Barmes (HOU), Miguel Olivo (TOR)

    Key player: Todd Helton

    A very good offseason adds players to a team already with 2 franchise players in Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki.

    #2 San Francisco Giants

    Key additions: Miguel Tejada

    Key losses: Edgar Renteria (FA), Juan Uribe (LAD)

    Key player: Pablo Sandoval

    The defending champs have the pitching. But the offense won't lead them back to the postseason.

    #3 Los Angeles Dodgers

    Key additions: Jon Garland, Juan Uribe

    Key losses: Russell Martin (NYY), Ryan Theriot (STL)

    Key player: Rod Barajas

    The Dodgers have a new manager now that Joe Torre left. Don Mattinglys team though, lost to much in the offseason.

    #4 San Diego Padres

    Key additions: Orlando Hudson, Aaron Harang, Cameron Maybin

    Key losses: Jon Garland (LAD), Adrian Gonzalez (BOS), Chris Young (NYM)

    Key player: Brad Hawpe

    The Padres made aton of changes in the offseason, most notably trading star 1B Adrian Gonzalez. They lost to much, so they go back to the bottom after their Cinderella season last year.

    #5 Arizona Diamondbacks

    Key additions: Henry Blanco, Zach Duke, Juan Miranda, Xavier Nady

    Key losses: Ryan Church (FA), Adam LaRoche (FA), Mark Reynolds (BAL), Brandon Webb (TEX)

    Key player: Melvin Mora

    Arizona faces a major rebuilding challange. The farm system was drained by the previous regime with questionable drafts.

American League Awards

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    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 25:  Jon Lester #31 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the New York Yankees during their game on September 25, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
    Chris McGrath/Getty Images


    1. Carl Crawford (Red Sox

    2. Miguel Cabrera (Tigers)

    3. Josh Hamilton (Rangers)

    4. Joe Mauer (Twins)

    5. Adrian Gonzalez (Red Sox)

    Cy Young:

    1. Jon Lester (Red Sox)

    2. Felix Hernandez (Mariners)

    3. David Price (Rays)

    4. C.C. Sabathia (Yankees)

    5. Trevor Cahill (Athletics)

    Rookie of the Year:

    1. Desmond Jennings (Rays)

    2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka (Twins)

    3. Mike Moustakas (Royals)

    Manager of the Year:

    Bob Geren (Athletics)

    Team that could surprise: Angels

    Team that could disappointment: Twins

National League Awards

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    PHOENIX - SEPTEMBER 22:  Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Colorado Rockies at bat during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 22, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images


    1. Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies)

    2. Albert Pujols (Cardinals)

    3. Prince Fielder (Brewers)

    4. Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies)

    5. David Wright (Mets)

    Cy Young

    1. Adam Wainwright (Cardinals)

    2. Roy Halladay (Phillies)

    3. Zack Grienke (Brewers)

    4. Josh Johnson (Marlins)

    5. Tim Lincecum (Giants)

    Rookie of the Year

    1. Aroldis Chapman (Reds)

    2. Domonic Brown (Phillies)

    3. Freedie Freeman (Braves)

    Manager of the Year:

    Ron Roenicke (Brewers)

    Team that could surprise: Mets

    Team that could disappointment: Braves

Playoff Predictions:

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    DENVER - OCTOBER 28:  Relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon #58 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates with Jason Varitek #33 after defeating the Colorado Rockies in Game Four of the 2007 World Series at Coors Field on October 28, 2007 in Denver, Colorado  The Red S
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    ALCS: Red Sox defeat Yankees in 7 games

    NLCS: Phillies defeat Rockies in 6 games

    World Series: Red Sox defeat Phillies in 7 games

    World Series MVP: Adrian Gonzalez