Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rest Of Baseball Predictions

AL CENTRAL:
1. MINNESOTA - Great offense in a division that looks to be weak. No Nathan hurts but this team usually finds a way to win. Biggest concern is if they'll lose a home-field advantage no longer being in the Metrodome.
2. CHICAGO WHITE SOX - One of the best, and perhaps most underrated, rotations in baseball. Would not surprise even a little bit if they won this division.
3. DETROIT - Tough to get a feel for exactly what type of team - win now or rebuild - they are right now after off-season renovations. Could have great pitching and if Austin Jackson plays as well during the season as he did during the spring they could be right there in this division as well. These three teams are pretty interchangeable.
4. ROYALS - At least they get to watch Zack Greinke and Billy Butler, both of whom are stars. Remains to be seen how much of a hit their production and clubhouse takes with the loss of perennial All-Star Coco Crisp.
5. INDIANS - Hard to not feel bad for this team. Their market has seemingly gone from mid to small, and it has nothing to do with anything they have or haven't done. Put their management in a mid, let along big, market and they'd be winning year over year. Still run intelligently as an organization, on an admitted down cycle, but they'll find a way to minimize that and have an up cycle soon.

AL WEST
1. SEATTLE - With no complete teams in the division, Felix and Lee is a dominating top of the rotation in a pitcher's ballpark.
2. LAA of A of CA of USA of WORLD of UNIVERSE - Really kept here out of respect for their consistency. Not a team that excites entering 2010, but again not one you can count out, and certainly not one I want to face. I'm sure they'll sweep the season series against the Yankees this year and eliminate them from the playoffs if they get the chance.
3. TEXAS - Definitely a team to watch, could make this division interesting with the way they swing the bats.
3. OAKLAND - Although this is not a strong division compared to the rest of baseball, there is a lot of parity. A's could easily move up this list, and are probably a year away from making another serious run at things. Lots of young talent on this team. If they can find a way to keep Coco Crisp around to play the role of future Hall of Fame veteran to anchor the talent they should be good for years to come.

NL EAST:
1. PHILADELPHIA - One of the five best teams in baseball, Halladay could post an ERA under 2.00, AL offense, should contend for another World Series. We've been saying most of these things for a while about this excellent club. Just need to get the bullpen ironed out, and they could be the best in 2010.
2. ATLANTA (Wild Card) - Best rotation in the National League, and should be in the mix for the best in baseball. If they can get Glauss and Jones to give them full seasons surrounded by McCann, McLouth, and Escobar, there is a lot of offensive potential on this team. Especially if Heyward can be anywhere close to as advertised in his rookie season, and I think he's quickly on his way to being one of the ten best players in baseball.
3. NY METS - They've had so much go wrong, something has to go right eventually. Should have plenty of offense if everyone is healthy, but the pitching is in disarray after Santana and Rodriguez, and with one coming off a shoulder surgery and the other off a shaky season, neither of them are locks either.
4. FLORIDA - Nice to see them spending a little money. Could jump the Mets and very well may, but will be tough to get in the mix with the Phillies and Braves.
5. WASHINGTON - The Big Ticket is convinced they win more games than the Mets. Not just yet. Zimmerman is one of the most underrated and unknown players in baseball, and Lannan has been a consistent piece in the rotation early in his career. Maybe they can build around that? I am rooting for Strasburg bigtime. Not only is a guy with stuff that nasty fun to watch if he succeeds, but having a team like the Natioanls spend big to get a talent like his is good for baseball, so I hope this works out so more teams are likely to do it.

NL CENTRAL
1. ST. LOUIS - Join the Phillies as the only other team amongst the top five in baseball that is not in the AL East. Wainwright and Carpenter at the front of the rotation, Holliday and Pujols in the middle of the lineup, good support cast around them. Solid recipe for success.
2. CINCINNATI - My sleeper pick this year. Votto is in the Zimmerman club of top flight players few people talk about. Lot of talent in that lineup, including Phillips and Bruce. If they can get a few things to go their way, mostly in the rotation, namely Volquez coming back when expected, Cueto continuing to improve, and Chapman coming up and giving them production, they could be in the mix.
3. CHICAGO CUBS - I look at this team almost every year and say this should be a pretty good team, and they usually end up falling short of my expectations. Not sure why that is the case, and if that changes this year they have the talent to play with anybody in this division, even the Cardinals.
4. MILWAUKEE - Fielder and Braun is as good a 1-2 punch as you are going to find anywhere, probably two of the 10 best players in baseball. Pitching looks could be average, could be below average, could be totally scary, but it's tough to imagine it being good enough for this team to win.
5. HOUSTON - I just sat here for 30 seconds and couldn't think of one thing to say about this team. They seem like a pretty blah team. No matter what, at least they should be better than the Pirates! They usually find a way to play themselves into finishing higher than that as well.
6. PITTSBURGH - Goodness gracious.

NL WEST
1. SAN FRANCISCO - Pitching, pitching, and more pitching. Improved the offense too with DeRosa and Huff, and Sandoval is an absolute monster in the making.
2. LOS ANGELES - Best young core of position player talent in baseball. Between them and the Braves for the Wild Card, and the Dodgers pitching is just a little to shaky right now for me. I like Kershaw, and I like Billingsly to bounce back, but still not sure that's enough. That could change in-season with a promotion or acquisition.
3. COLORADO - Tulowitzki is one of my favorite non-Yankees in the game, and is an absolute stud. Lots of other good and underrated talent around him young and old. If Ubaldo Jiminez and Jorge De La Rosa can front the rotation like their talent indicates they can, the Rockies should be right there again.
4. ARIZONA - Looking at this team's potential makes me think this could be a really good division. Lots of potential pitching, lots of potential offense. We'll see if they can put it all together. My guess is most of it hinges on how effective Brandon Webb can be coming off injury, and if he can join Haren and Jackson to make that a forceful 1-3 in the rotation.
5. SAN DIEGO - Can I use goodness gracious twice? At least with them we get to watch and see what they decide to do with Adrian Gonzalez. I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens there and following all the coverage. I hope we can be at the forefront of discussion about this topic here at HYD Baseball.

PLAYOFFS:
DS - TAMPA BAY over SEATTLE. BOSTON over MINNESOTA. PHILADELPHIA over SAN FRANSISCO. ATLANTA over ST. LOUIS.

CS - TAMPA BAY over BOSTON. BRAVES over PHILLIES.

WS - TAMPA BAY over ATLANTA.

7 comments:

the gm at work said...

Dear President Obama,

It's spelled "San Francisco." It's spelled "Cincinnati." It's spelled "Milwaukee."

The predictions make sense, and you out-wiseassed me. For that, I commend you. The Coco Crisp commentary is among the wittiest stuff you've written in a long time.

Anonymous said...

PF

Anytime you can put 'Coco Crisp' and 'perennial All-Star' in the same sentence you know you're going to create some comedic moments.

One thing that stood out though is that Chris Carpenter is considered an ace. With the Blue Jays he was mediocre. One game under .500 for his career with them (99 decisions, no small sample size) with an ERA+ just south of 100 I believe. You put him in the NL and he's a Cy Young, top of the rotation guy. Really telling stuff.

Lastly, I know that some people are thinking that the Seattle Mariners are being oversold, and I can understand why. But the point that needs to be made is the one you noted--they may have the best 1-2 starting pitching in the game. And in a division where nobody is really that good, I think that's a huge advantage. Ultimately though, the only team that would surprise me if they won would be Oakland.

--the Gunn

PF said...

i'm surprised you two in particular didn't show any love for my adrian gonzalez dig at dv, and his request for us not to discuss a very relevant topic to the 2010 baseball season.

gunn -

i'm sure you know how i feel about chris carpenter at this point. if not, dv can vouch for me, because i've been talking about him for years. he is the epitome of what the difference is between the AL and NL. the bottom line, however, is that he is in the NL and he can really pitch in that league. his AL/NL splits are even more pronounced than the average, so my guess is something else happened, be it him making adjustments, dave duncan getting his hands on him, or otherwise.

totally agree on seattle. you look past their top 2 starters and their defense and you wonder what is there. but that division is pretty weak this year. i do think there is a lot of parity though. and in that situation i'm going to roll with a team that has two of the ten best pitchers in baseball in their rotation, while admitting it's pretty much wide open.

Anonymous said...

PF

In all honesty I stopped reading after I read the prediction about the Cardinals because I wanted to get that bit out about Chris Carpenter before I forgot. But clearly, we agree that Adrian Gonzalez is a relevant (and interesting topic) that we'll be hearing more about this summer, especially if the Padres crawl out to a seemingly inevitable record of 17-53.

--the Gunn

the gm at work said...

The Chris Carpenter effect is really something stunning in baseball right now.

Coco Crisp should be a perennial All-Star.

And can we start a few discussions about trading Boof Bonser to St. Louis for Pujols, too?

Anonymous said...

DV,

What do you think about Colt McCoy's pro day?

Bandi

the gm at work said...

Bandi,

I have no opinion on it. But I know who does: ESPN. When they are not broadcasting any programming about nerds sitting on their computer projecting baseball stats, they devote 20 hours a day to 7th-round picks who will not even make the practice roster.