The Wait Is Over: The Official MLB Predictions For The 2011 Season
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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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
#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.
#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
1. Carl Crawford (Red Sox
2. Miguel Cabrera (Tigers)
3. Josh Hamilton (Rangers)
4. Joe Mauer (Twins)
5. Adrian Gonzalez (Red Sox)
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
1. Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies)
2. Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
3. Prince Fielder (Brewers)
4. Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies)
5. David Wright (Mets)
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
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