Sunday, April 02, 2006

Completely Unfounded Baseball Predictions

I didn't try any predictions last year, but I'll go ahead and do them...quickly, and without any real thought.

Yes, in baseball you can count on certain teams always being there, but I still maintain that you can say that about any sport, salary cap or no. Yet, I still wish there was a better way to do the cap, like make it strictly for free agents and not players you drafted (or got in a trade). Anyway, we're talking baseball, and there's no cap, so get ready for the Yankees to make their playoff run

Last year, after the White Sox won the World Series, thereby making two of the three most notable loser franchises winners in the past two years, and I proclaimed the Cubs to be this year's winners, joining both Sox. After Mark Prior and Kerry Wood went down before the season, I wondered if my skewed, mostly joking, logic had any chance. There are a lot of teams that come out of nowhere to win, and the Cubs could be that team this year.

Onward to the quickie predictions:


1. Yankees
2. Blue Jays
3. Red Sox
4. Orioles
5. D'Rays

The most expensive division ever has a lot of teams that I don't think have any chance of winning the World Series. The Yanks have old pitchers who aren't nearly as good as they once were--we know they're going to score a thousand runs a game and give up nearly as many.

The Blue Jays upped their pitching staff with A.J. Burnett but he's been iffy in the past--I think their moves put them ahead of the Red Sox, who got another Marlin--Josh Beckett, another guy who has been iffy even though he had a great postseason in 2003. The loss of Damon hurts, of course, because tablesetters are the most underrated aspect of winning any sport.

The Orioles had a good run last year, but were exposed, and the Devil Rays have no freaking chance, which means they'll be the toast of baseball when they start out 14-7 or something.


1. White Sox
2. Twins
3. Indians
4. Tigers
5. Royals

The White Sox are still in prime position to destroy this division, and now they have Thome as a DH. And even if he gets hurt for some reason, they're still pretty stacked. The Twins and Indians could make a run at the Sox--remember that the Sox had a huge meltdown towards the end of the season before the Indians challenged them--it probably kickstarted their World Series run. But now the Indians have no Millwood, and he was a horse for them last year. The Royals and Tigers nearly put me to sleep when I see their names, especially when they're playing each other.


1. Rangers
2. Angels
3. A's
4. Mariners

This competitive division could go either way. I like that the Rangers got Millwood and Adam Eaton, plus they have a hell of an offense. You might even get something from Vicente Padilla. The Angels will hover around with their solid team. The A's--there's been a lot made of some of their acquisitions but I'm not buying that Frank Thomas and Milton Bradley are going to be answers. Esteban Loaiza is one of those guys I think has already had his best years--but he might help out a rotation I feel underachieves. The Mariners, well, I think they get buried.


1. Mets
2. Braves
3. Phillies
4. Nationals
5. Marlins

I like the Mets a lot for one main reason--Billy Wagner. Their closer situation cost them numerous games last year. Now they have Carlos Delgado to help with the offense--which includes David Wright, Cliff Floyd, and Carlos Beltran, who I think might break out from his underachieving last year. That's a potent offense. The Braves are always there for a reason--consistency. As always, they will be at or near the top and they find a way to win even though their team often has glaring holes, usually exposed in the playoffs unfortunately. The closer situation is unbearable for this Braves fan, who will be living in Mets country come May.

The Phillies lost Billy Wagner and replaced him with Tom Gordon, which isn't as good but it's stable. And they got Aaron Rowand from the White Sox. This should be a potent team that makes a run. If Jimmy Rollins plays like he did at the end of the season and Bobby Abreu comes through along with Chase Utley, they'll be solid.

The Nationals got Alfonso Soriano, who apparently no one ever wants to keep despite enormous talent. This guy is going to lose a lot playing in Washington. He might disappear into former star status. The Nats played well enough to get first place for a while last year. Not this year. Oh yeah, the Marlins don't have much of a chance. They will need extreme youthful exuberance to make it out of this division.


1. Cardinals
2. Cubs
3. Brewers
4. Astros
5. Pirates
6. Reds

This division, I feel, will once again have the Wild Card rep. And this year, it will be the Cubs. Considering recent history for the Wild Card, that's good news for the Cubbies. The Cardinals are stacked and get Scott Rolen back. They added Sidney Ponson but you can already see numerous people giving the jack-off sign on that one. It doesn't matter, Ponson will give them innings and they'll win most of his starts.

The Cubs added Juan Pierre and Jacque Jones for a lineup that will give MVP candidate Derrek Lee some major RBI opportunities. Todd Walker stays. Aramis Ramirez will provide more pop. Good offense. Pitching--Zambrano is the man, but I like the Cubs more with healthy Prior and Wood--which they may never get. Glendon Rusch and Greg Maddux will give them 10 wins or so. Dempster's the closer--I don't really like that. I like the Brewer offense. They need to keep Sheets healthy, but he starts the season on the DL.

The Astros have to fill in Clemens spot, although that's still in the air. I don't like how they start slow out of the gate and then get hot--I think that's going to be a problem. But with a healthy Lance Berkman and the emergence of Chris Burke, they might be a Wild Card again. There's a lot of aging guys surrounding young guys, and it's not exactly the best combo.

Pirates and Reds...well, the Reds are starting on the right track, but will be lucky to win 65 games. The Pirates got Sean Casey so they'll have him for 100 or so games before his knees blow out or something. It's going to be hard for these two teams to emerge in this division.


1. Dodgers
2. Giants
3. Padres
4. D'Backs
5. Rockies

Yeah, I'm jumping on the Dodger bandwagon here because they got a lot better. They should have Gagne all year but it'll be interesting to see if he can recover from last year. If he doesn't, they still have a good bullpen.

I would pick the Giants here but Bonds is the key--I think he'll either get hurt or get banned from baseball before the season is over. If he's there the whole season it's going to be a tight race.

The Padres barely made it to .500 and the playoffs last year, not good considering the other two teams I've mentioned got better. And the D'Backs and Rockies aren't very good, either. Hard for them to rise, much like any other team in divisions with two or more real good teams.

Playoffs...NL: Cards over Dodgers, Cubs over Mets, Cubs over Cardinals. AL: White Sox over Yankees, Rangers over Blue Jays, White Sox over Rangers. World Series: Cubs over White Sox.

I told you I was making unfounded predictions. But it could go that way, so it's not like I'm pulling it out of my butt here. Really, my gut says that the Cardinals win it this year. I don't care. I just want to see damn good baseball.


At 4/02/2006 08:33:00 PM, Blogger Amy said...

I like your thought process for who wins it all. Hell, if the Red Sox and White Sox can win it all after hanging out in the basement of mediocrity (sp)than Go Cubs!

I used to watch the Braves years ago but found that they typically choke when it counts.

At 4/03/2006 09:14:00 AM, Blogger Mike said...

How can you put the Reds in last place. I mean, we've got Bronson Arroyo! Come on!

At 4/03/2006 10:47:00 AM, Blogger Amy said...

Mike, it will be okay. For you, I change my prediction of the Cubbies winning it all and will say, Go Reds. Just wear that Red's hat that you have had since you were little while watching every game. I think that maybe the key. . .

Okay, I am way too amused by this site. Must. Do. Math. Assignment.

At 4/03/2006 12:28:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Bronson Arroyo is the answer; Reds fans keep telling themselvs that. I remember when Cubs fans in the early nineties thought Danny Jackson was the answer; dead last that year, by the way.

At 4/03/2006 12:47:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Arroyo can part the Ohio River with his fastball, I swear.


Post a Comment

<< Home