MLB Preview 2011: Finalizing the On-Paper Series, Who Wins the World Series?
To me, Opening Day always marked the beginning of spring—despite what that silly groundhog says. A little bit after 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, the season officially begins, and I can't contain myself.
Everyone starts at 0-0, and fans from all teams remain optimistic. Even fans from the Royals and Pirates think they have a shot.
Baseball is back!!!!!!!
Division Series Picks
NLDS: Philadelphia (NL East winner) vs. Colorado (NL Wild Card winner)
These two foes met in the 2009 NLDS with the Phillies winning the series in four games. I don't see a different result here.
Phillies in three.
NLDS: San Francisco (NL West winner) vs. Milwaukee (NL Central winner)
This could be an interesting series, but I think the Giants' pitching is too much.
Giants in four.
ALDS: Boston (AL East winner) vs. Los Angeles (AL West winner)
If this happens, it would be the fifth time since 2004 that the Angels and Red Sox have met in the postseason. The Angels won the last meeting in 2009, but the Red Sox took the first three matchups.
Red Sox in three.
ALDS: Minnesota (AL Central winner) vs. New York (AL Wild Card winner)
For the last two years, the Twins went down to the Yankees in the ALDS, but I think the Twins are ready to overcome the Yankees. New York will miss Andy Pettitte this postseason.
Twins in five.
League Championship Series Picks
NLCS: Philadelphia vs. San Francisco
It's a rematch of last year's NLCS, but the Phillies have the better pitching staff this season.
Phillies in six.
ALCS: Boston vs. Minnesota
I think this would be an exciting, high-scoring series, but I think the Red Sox have too much firepower.
Red Sox in six.
World Series Pick
World Series: Philadelphia vs. Boston
So, I went with the conventional pick.
Barring injury, these two teams are head and shoulders better than everyone else in baseball. Of course, stranger things have happened, but this would be a dream World Series.
Pitching wins in the playoffs, and the Phillies have the best staff in baseball. I'm taking Philly.
Phillies in six.
World Series MVP: Roy Halladay.
NL MVP: Ryan Braun (MIL)
Braun has always has been a consistent hitter. I have the Brewers winning the NL Central with Braun as the main reason why. His teammate, Prince Fielder, is a dark-horse candidate, being in a contract year.
2. Troy Tulowitzki (COL)
3. Albert Pujols (STL)
4. Ryan Howard (PHI)
5. Buster Posey (SF)
AL MVP: Carl Crawford (BOS)
A lot of people have Adrian Gonzalez as the MVP, but I love Crawford this year. He's going to score a ton of runs, hit for a high average and cause havoc on the basepaths.
2. Robinson Cano (NYY)
3. Adrian Gonzalez (BOS)
4. Josh Hamilton (TEX)
5. Miguel Cabrera (DET)
Cy Young Predictions
NL Cy Young: Josh Johnson (FLA)
The Marlins are my surprise team this season, and Johnson will be the main reason why.
2. Roy Halladay (PHI)
3. Tim Lincecum (SF)
4. Cliff Lee (PHI)
5. Tommy Hanson (ATL)
AL Cy Young: CC Sabathia (NYY)
Besides Sabathia, the Yankees have very little depth in their rotation. There's a lot of pressure on him to carry the load in New York. I think he responds by having the best season of his career.
2. Jon Lester (BOS)
3. Felix Hernandez (SEA)
4. Jered Weaver (LAA)
5. Justin Verlander (DET)
Rookie of the Year Picks
NL ROY: Aroldis Chapman (CIN)
I think this will be similar to how Feliz won his ROY last year. Eventually, Champman takes the closer's job and runs with it. With a 100-plus MPH fastball and a Randy Johnson-like slider, he's awfully difficult to square up.
2. Brandon Belt (SF)
3. Freddie Freeman (ATL)
4. Craig Kimbrel (ATL)
5. Danny Espinosa (WAS)
AL ROY: Jeremy Hellickson (TB)
If last year was any indication, Hellickson could be due for a big year. Matt Garza will be missed, but I think Hellickson will make up for some of the lost production.
2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka (MIN)
3. Mike Moustakas (KC)
4. Ivan Nova (NYY)
5. Kyle Drabek (TOR)
To those unfamiliar with my "On Paper" series, I have provided links to all the previews below.