Unlike YF or SF, I have complete confidence in my powers as a prognosticator. You won’t be reading any caveats from me about how this is just guess-work, that best laid plans can be easily dashed by flukey injury (eg. Schilling cutting his hand after slapping himself five in the mirror), or that historical inevitability is an impossibility. This is the definitive word. After four months of intensive research; 22-hour work days; careful studies of every projection system under the stars; and a trip to a psychic conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I’m ready to say that this is absolutely what’s going to happen. You might as well not watch a game this year after reading these predictions.
First off, as Laura pointed out in one of her comments, the AL wildcard is not going to come from the AL East. Toronto has improved, Tampa is on the rise, and Baltimore has Kris Bensen without Anna (without the distraction of the fair sex, Mr. Bensen is going to emerge as an elite pitcher. Please refer to the classic Seinfeld episode, wherein George becomes a genius during a prolonged period of celibacy, to understand the effect of Anna’s departure from the scene.). Thus, the AL East is more competitive than ever, and the two kings of the division will show it in their records. I’m going with the Yanks to beat out the Sox by a game. The teams are so close and I’m a homer. The revelation here is that the Sox ain’t making it to the post-season. Looks like Pats season is starting even earlier this year in New England. The rest of the AL is also very strong. The A’s are loved by most projection systems, and it’s hard not to see why. The staff, from starting to relief, is probably only second to the ChiSox, while the line-up is solid all-around. If there’s a potentially dominant team in baseball this year, it’s Oakland. And, of course, the A’s are followed by the Angels, which feature strong pitching and defense and Vladimir Guerrero. The Central will be a dog-fight and you gotta feel bad for the Tigers for being born into such as situation. Cleveland features probably the most exciting young talent in baseball, the Sox are coming off a world-series victory, and Minnesota’s got Johan, Radke and Liriano.
The NL, which is much weaker than the Junior Curcuit, will once again be lead by the Cards. St. Louis has taken a step back, but look at the rest of the league, what team’s going to compete with Pujols and Rolen? I’m saying this is the year the Braves are dethroned. I like Philly and the Mets more than Cox’s crew in Atlanta. And the NL West will be won by a team that will be swept in the first round of the post-season.
My predictions are below the jump:
AL East: NY, Bos, Tor, TB, Bal
AL Central: Cle, Min, Chi, Det, KC
AL West: Oak, LA, Tex, Sea
AL WC: LA
NL East: Phi, NY, Atl, Fla, DC
NL Central: StL, Mil, Chi, Hou, Cin, Pitt
NL West: LA, SD, Az, SF, Col
NL WC: NY
AL Champ: NY
NL Champ: Phi (upsets StL in the NLCS)
WS Champ: NY
AL Cy: Harden
AL MVP: Vlad
AL Man: Macha
AL ROY: Verlander
NL Cy: Peavy
NL MVP: Wright
NL Man: Yost
NL ROY: Hermida
And the all-important come-back players of the year are: Sidney Ponson (NL) and Jorge Posada (AL)