YFSF Predictaroo, Election-Year Style

Now is no longer the winter of our discontent. Well, at least no longer than now lasts, which will be for a couple of days once the season kicks off in a couple hours, until those intrepid Sock and Athletic travelers return for a few more [fake] pre-season games state-side after their [real] battles in The Land of the Rising Sun. I’m rooting for Ghidorah.

As is customary on the cusp of a new season, we have spent dozens of minutes preparing predictions for your enjoyment, in(di)gestion, and prime bookmark material come October. Please note that YFSF staff predictions should be used for entertainment value only and should not be used for investment purposes. Or for entertainment value.

AL East
YF SF Paul Nick John ag
NYY BOS BOS NYY BOS BOS
BOS* NYY NYY BOS* NYY* NYY
TBR TOR TOR TBR TBR TBR
TOR TBR TBR TOR TOR TOR
BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL
AL Central
YF SF Paul Nick John ag
DET DET CLE CLE DET DET
CLE CLE* DET* DET CLE CLE*
MIN CWS MIN CWS CWS MIN
CWS MIN KCR MIN KCR KCR
KCR KCR CWS KCR MIN CWS
AL West
YF SF Paul Nick John ag
LAA LAA LAA LAA SEA SEA
SEA SEA SEA SEA LAA LAA
OAK OAK OAK TEX OAK OAK
TEX TEX TEX OAK TEX TEX
NL East
YF SF Paul Nick John ag
NYM NYM NYM NYM ATL ATL
PHI* ATL ATL* ATL NYM* NYM
ATL PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI
WSN FLA WSN WSN FLA FLA
FLA WSN FLA FLA WSN WSN
NL Central
YF SF Paul Nick John ag
CHC CHC CHC CHC MIL MIL
MIL HOU MIL MIL* CHC CHC
CIN MIL STL HOU CIN CIN
HOU STL CIN STL STL STL
STL CIN HOU CIN HOU HOU
PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT
NL West
YF SF Paul Nick John ag
ARI ARI ARI ARI ARI SDP
SDP SDP* COL LAD SDP ARI*
LAD LAD SDP COL LAD LAD
COL COL LAD SDP COL COL
SFG SFG SFG SFG SFG SFG
ALDS
YF SF Paul Nick John ag
NYY DET BOS NYY BOS DET
def def def def def def
BOS DET LAA SEA BOS
CLE CLE BOS NYY CLE
def def def def def def
LAA LAA CLE DET SEA
NLDS
YF SF Paul Nick John ag
NYM NYM NYM NYM ARI ATL
def def def def def def
SDP CHC MIL NYM ARI
ARI ATL CHC MIL MIL
def def def def def def
CHC ARI ARI ATL SDP
ALCS
YF SF Paul Nick John ag
NYY DET BOS NYY BOS DET
def def def def def def
CLE CLE BOS NYY CLE
NLCS
YF SF Paul Nick John ag
NYM NYM ATL NYM ARI MIL
def def def def def def
MIL NYM CHC MIL ATL
WS
YF SF Paul Nick John ag
NYY DET BOS NYY ARI DET

Intriguing but ultimately meaningless individual honors

AL MVP
YF: David Ortiz
SF: Alex Rodriguez
Paul: Miguel Cabrera
Nick: Alex Rodriguez
John: Miguel Cabrera
ag: Alex Rodriguez

AL CYA
YF: Erik Bedard
SF: Justin Verlander (I really, really want to pick Daisuke Matsuzaka but just can’t pull the trigger)
Paul: Josh Beckett
Nick: Felix Hernandez
John: C.C. Sabathia
ag: Fausto Carmona

AL ROY
YF: Joba Chamberlain
SF: Evan Longoria
Paul: Clay Bucholz
Nick: Evan Longoria
John: Evan Longoria
ag: Jacoby Ellsbury (grr)

AL MOY
YF: Joe Girardi
SF: Joe Maddon
Paul: Terry Francona
Nick: Joe Girardi
John: Jon McClaren
ag: Jon McClaren

NL MVP
YF: Albert Pujols
SF: David Wright
Paul: Troy Tulowitzky
Nick: David Wright
John: David Wright
ag: Prince Fielder

NL CYA
YF: Johan Santana
SF: Johan Santana
Paul: Johan Santana
Nick: Johan Santana
John: Brandon Webb/John Smoltz
ag: Jake Peavy

NL ROY
YF: Jay Bruce
SF: Kosuke Fukudome
Paul: Jay Bruce
Nick: Geovanny Soto
John: Jay Bruce/Brandon Jones
ag: Cameron Maybin – oof.. no clue really

NL MOY
YF: Lou Piniella
SF: Willie Randolph
Paul: Willie Randolph
Nick: Lou Piniella
John: Bobby Cox
ag: Ned Yost

SF’s comments:

This year I had a very difficult time concocting these predictions. A couple of reasons for this. First, I have paid almost no attention to baseball since the end of October. Events, both global and personal conspired to cause this. Because the Red Sox won the World Series and because I have stopped participating in rotisserie baseball my knowledge of tangential players has gone to squat, and the urgency with which teams make transactions is no longer mirrored in my own desire to scour the waiver wire. Second, I finally realized that any knowledge I picked up during the offseason was of little use, such is the wrongness with which my predictions are typically littered. So there’s the disclaimer. Now on to my explanations for the AL East.

The AL East poses a great dilemma for me. Last year I overestimated the Yankees. I picked the Sox to make the Series, but lose. So I underestimated them. I’d like to say that I learned my lesson, that I have turned over a new leaf as a front-running Sox fan, but that just can’t happen. The Sox, a darn good team, have big question marks that I cannot get past. It mostly starts and ends with the rotation. I simply don’t see Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and Tim Wakefield contributing enough to make me comfortable speaking of winning the division as a fait accompli. In fact, when you add a Bad Beckett Back (BBB) into the mix, the Sox are left with one proven top-of-the-rotation starter (TORS), Daisuke Matsuzaka, and even that assertion, that Daisuke is a TORS, might be reasonably argued. The bullpen is also a worry. Hideki Okajima will surely regress (how can he not?). Jonathan Papelbon may regress. Mike Timlin is hurt, though that appears to be superficial. Color me worried, at least a little. The saving grace? Offense. I expect a great deal from this team. I expect Kevin Youkilis to be less streaky. I expect David Ortiz to be David Ortiz. I am excited to see Manny Ramirez mash this year, perhaps his last in Boston. I am really looking forward to seeing JD Drew play, making me one of seven Sox fans to hold this sentiment. I expect Jason Varitek to infuriate me. I expect this offense to help this team stay in the mix, but to equivocate I would also not be surprised to see the Sox really struggle at times, to acquire three-game losing streaks at an alarming rate. I am excited to see the young pitchers learn, develop, grow, same with Jacoby Ellsbury. But these guys will have their frustrating moments, guaranteed. Young pitchers just don’t come in and dominate a league, particularly not the AL East. We should expect struggles this season. I can see this team winning 88 games. I can also see this team winning 96 games.

The only good thing is that the Yankees have the same dilemma. Hughes and Kennedy in the rotation, who both appear to have tremendous upside but who are also on a learning curve (I expect big things from Hughes this year). Moose. Mariano another year older. Pettitte another year older. Chien Ming Wang solid but not scary solid. The offense mirrors the rotation: Cano, developing into one of the great hitters in the league. Alex and Derek likely to do their thing. But Jorge Posada has another year in the books and can’t possibly repeat last year’s accomplishments. Johnny Damon better stay healthy, and first base is basically something of a mess particularly if Jason Giambi is not productive. Abreu, Matsui. This offense is OLD. So I can see the Yankees also winning in the mid-to-high 90s, but also in the high 80s. It makes predicting the division a great dilemma, and I am inclined to say that the teams will win the same number of games, with the division settled in a one game winner-take-all playoff game in what will be the last game in Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox doing a closure dance on the heart of the Yankees and their fans. They will shutter the House that Ruth Built in bitter, losing fashion for the Yankees and their fans, bookending the Game Seven celebration from 2004.

But the celebration (and schadenfreude) won’t last long, as the Sox will bow out to Miguel Cabrera and the eventual World Series champion Detroit Tigers.

And I, of course, will be mostly wrong. - SF

Paul’s comments:

Standings: The rich got richer and the poor got poorer, leading to what amounts to predictions that closely rival the year-end standings of 2007 … The Red Sox may or may not have a better pitching staff, but they will have a better offense than last year. Watch Bartolo Colon win Comeback Player, nearly mitigating the loss of Curt Schilling, and Jon Lester figure out the strike zone as he goes through the year. One last party: Ortiz and Manny have monster years, and they’ll never match them again. Add rebounds from Drew and Lugo (offsetting regressions from Lowell and Pedroia), and this could be an ’03-’04-esque offensive revival … Can Joe Girardi survive after skippering the first Octoberless Yankee team in nearly 15 years? I don’t expect Mussina to be useful by the All-Star break, or Pettitte by September. The Big Three may or may not be great, but what happens down the stretch when they start bumping against their innings limits with no legitimate fifth starter or bullpen to support them? Will Girardi really pull Joba after 6 with no one but Rivera to trust out there? Not sure where the big offensive boost will come from to offset the regressions from A-Rod and Posada.

Toronto the sexy pick, as always, but remember: A blue jay is just a crow doing magic tricks … Everyone loves Detroit, but they won’t by July, when Willis is a flop and much of the lineup has regressed … Boston and Cleveland were the two best teams last year, and they haven’t done anything to give up their claims. They both have the arms to win the short series, and they’ll rematch for the pennant … In the NL, it’s a mess, and the winner is just playing for who will lose to the AL champ … That said, Pedro will be good, Santana will be great, and the Mets will sew it up easily — before being toppled by a hungry, late-charging Braves team.

Awards: If the Sox make the playoffs, Francona will win MOY — not for 2008, but for 2004 and 2007 … Cabrera will either struggle badly or have an MVP season; I’d actually put money on the former, but picking Ortiz would just be too homerish … Beckett may be last man standing in Cy Young race: Santana and Haren are both out of the league, Bedard is pitching in an even more obscure city, leaving Sabathia
and Carmona … ROY will be either a Sock (Buchholz, Ellsbury) or a Yank (Kennedy, Chamberlain); the final standings could well determine which. - Paul

Nick’s comments:

Hey, I’m a Yanks fan, and I might as well be optimistic about the Bombers going forward. Yes, I’m a bit worried about the pitching, considering that three spots in the rotation are taken by two very inexperienced prospects and a guy who can’t hit 88 on the radar gun (Wait, am I talking about the Yanks or the Sox?), and I’m nervous about the bullpen and those long, depressing Kyle Farnsworth summer night meltdowns, BUT…I believe in Science, Progress and Reason. And I believe in PECOTA. And PECOTA says the Yanks are the team to beat. So there!

Elsewhere, I am intrigued by the Tigers, but I still feel the Indians core line-up and exceptional top of the rotation will hold them off. I also flirted with the idea that the Royals will jump past the Twins this season, but figured Mauer and Liriano are still worth something. And while the Angels are dinged up early, I still think they have enough depth to win the AL West. Oakland is going to be good in 2010.

Anyone else notice how difficult the National League is to call? There are about 4 teams (Nats, Marlins, Giants, Pirates) who I think have no shot at the post-season, and then there is everyone else. I, of course, predicted what I want to happen, and that means a big year for the Cubbies and Mets, who I think are the class of the league.

It sucks that most of this will be proven wrong. - Nick

John’s comments:

  • I think the Tigers offense and pitching depth will prove to be too much for the AL Central. Record wise they will finish ahead of everyone else, but unfortunately for them they will be taken out in the ALDS by the Yankees.
  • The Mariners rotation is deep. It’s not sexy after 1 and 2, but Washburn, Silva and Batista round out a very solid group. Add to that the best closer in the West in J.J. Putz and you can pencil the Mariners in as AL West champs.
  • The Red Sox will play the regular season like a team that has been there before. No need to have the best record overall when you have the best money pitcher in the game today. Sox will finish behind the Tigers, but will end up representing the AL in the World Series.
  • The AL East will be the best division in baseball EVEN WITH the Orioles posting the worst record in the AL for 2008. The Yankees will be in a dog fight all the way down to the wire with the Indians for the WC, but will prevail in the end.
  • The Braves are back. Look for Brandon Jones to challenge Jay Bruce for the ROY in the NL and John Smoltz to challenge Webb for the NL Cy.
  • The Brewers are for real. Their everyday lineup is very much an AL style lineup. Rickie Weeks breaks out (Finally!), Ben Sheets throws 200 innings and Corey Hart is so good he gets to wear his sunglasses whenever the heck he wants!
  • Ahhh the Diamondbacks. Everyone will pick them to win the NL West and everyone will end up being right. Youth, deep bench, great starting pitching (Micah Owings will be very good) and a much underrated bullpen push them to the head of the class in the NL and a second World Series title.
  • Adam Dunn will hit 50 HR’s. Put that in the books! - John

    attackgerbil’s comments:

    What? Two seasons in a row I pick the Yanks out of contention? What kind of a fan is ag anyway? Well, my friend, my concern with the Yankees this year is the same as last year (and every year): where’s the beef wait.. there’s plenty of beef. Where’s the pitching? It ain’t with the Yankees. The beef looks great right now, probably good enough for five-point-five to six runs a game, reggalarly, but how many is this pitching roster going to give up? The song goes "It don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing", and the Yanks have plenty of it. What they don’t have is a solid reason for me to think they will get 210+ mostly better than average innings out of Wang/Pettitte, and though I love the thought of being wrong (I frequently love myself that way .. NO not THAT way) how do I rationally believe that IPK/Hughes/Mussina/??/??/?/?/???????? are going to fill the void? Maybe they will fill it up to about 90 wins, but against divisional rival Boston’ roster that looks frankly fantastic? And Detroit? Now that is just now a terrifying organization right now, for now and later, and later than now. And the Tribe? Awesomeness. And I’ll throw another tip in the jar of the flannel Seattle panhandlers because I think they are much, much better than last year, as silly as that sounds when I say it out loud. Gosh, I truly, utterly hope I am a moron who is completely, utterly wrong as opposed to one who is just unlucky enough to be right regarding the Yanks’ pitchers.

    I don’t really care about the NL. Wait, there is some care. I get to watch up-and-coming Padres play at PGE Park, which is why I wrong-headedly pick them in the West again. And I care to watch my best friend, a life-long Cubbie, fall into a pit of self-despair when they flail at my perennial favorite minor-league team, The Beermakers.

    Reading through my picks when putting this post together with everyone else’s, John looked really smart, because his were similar to mine. Or wait, I’m maybe really really dumb, considering my tourney bracket and last year’s picks as case law.

    For the individual honors, there is no reason to pick against RoboRod. I picked C.C. last year and got it right (boggle) so let’s give a nod to Fausto this time (I actually feel very good about this pick). Ellsbury is bonafied. And if Seattle actually does take the ALW, McClaren is a lock. Prince is pissed about his money. Arrgh! Prince SMASH! Peavy? Like the post said, it’s an election year; vote for the incumbent .. oh wait .. you mean Bush can’t win a third time? Why didn’t someone tell me that? I have no idea about the NL ROY, so Maybin is a Maybe? And who doesn’t love them some Ned Yost?

    Now I’ll just sit back with a beer-flavored beer while watching and waiting for IPK/Hughes/Moose/Rasner/Karstens/Hawkins/Igawa/Pavano to fail at filling in those many question marks. - ag

    Okay… YOUR turn. Who ya got?

  • 37 comments… add one

    • For the record, just so everyone knows, I pick the Sox to win the series every year. Even in 1997. It’s terribly homerish, but I can’t help it.
      The only difference is that nowadays I can make the case without laughing at myself, as opposed to saying things like, “No, no. This is the year Aaron Sele puts it all together!”

      Paul SF March 25, 2008, 5:13 am
    • Since no one else has called it, I’m going to be the first to say the Sox won’t make the playoffs. Chalk it up to the injury bug.
      AL East
      NYY
      BOS
      TBR
      TOR
      BAL
      AL Central
      DET
      CLE*
      MIN
      CWS
      KCR
      AL West
      LAA
      SEA
      TEX
      OAK
      NL East
      NYM
      PHI*
      FLA
      ATL
      WSN
      NL Central
      MIL
      CHC
      CIN
      HOU
      STL
      PIT
      NL West
      ARI
      SDP
      LAD
      COL
      SFG
      ALDS: NYY over DET; CLE over LAA
      ALCS: CLE over NYY
      NLDS: NYM over MIL; ARI over PHI
      NLCS: NYM over ARI
      WS: CLE over NYM
      AL MVP: Manny
      AL CY: Verlander
      AL ROY: Joba
      AL MOY: Girardi
      NL MVP: Wright
      NL CY: Santana
      NL ROY: Andrew Miller
      NL MOY: Ned Yost
      Yankee Notes:
      - Giambi and Abreu will both have back to the future walk years. Giambi will have one 15 day DL stint (hamstring) but otherwise will get 60 games at 1B and 75 at DH, putting up 1.000 OPS in 550 ABs. Abreu will go 30-30 while just inching over .900 OPS.
      - IPK will have the better season between him and Hughes, winning 16 games (3.90 ERA). Hughes won’t be a total disappointment (13-9; 4.50 ERA), but will struggle with control at times (150 K, 90 BB in 160 innings).
      - Joba will start a few games in July and August (4-2; 4.30 ERA) while Mussina and Pettitte swap DL stints. When both return, he’ll go back to the pen through the end of their playoffs.
      - Brett Gardner will be stealing playing time from Damon by July. His inspired play will lead to a 20 win August before he falls back to Earth in September. Melky will post just enough of an improvement (.830 OPS) for the Yanks to avoid signing a new RF.
      - Kei Igawa fills in with league average innings across 15 starts.
      Sox Notes:
      - An injury riddled year with Beckett, Wakefield, and Buchholz spending time on the DL. Schilling doesn’t return but isn’t ready to retire. Papi also misses significant time.
      - Dice-K emerges as the staff ace and mostly holds the rotation together (21-9; 3.25 ERA, 230 K in 220 IP). Only a ridiculous year from Verlander (23-7, 3.05 ERA) keeps him from winning the CY.
      - Ellsbury struggles more than expected over the long year, with flashes of brilliance (50 SB, 50 XBHs) but his average (.275) and plate discipline (.340 OBP) show he still needs time.
      - Manny has an MVP season (.335, 51 HR, 160 RBI) helping to keep the Sox in the race despite the rash of injuries.
      - JD Drew bounces back to decent numbers (.850 OPS) while Lugo continues to struggle (.720 OPS).

      A YF March 25, 2008, 5:54 am
    • I notice that in your predictions absolutely NOTHING goes wrong for the Yankees in 2008, other than the obvious “aged pitchers can’t pitch 200 innings” thing. I assume this should immunize Paul (or me, I guess, even though I don’t have such a rosy view of the Sox this season) from any charges of homerism, should you ever be inclined to make them.

      SF March 25, 2008, 8:37 am
    • (that is, other than the Yankees not winning the World Series, of course)
      ;-)

      SF March 25, 2008, 8:38 am
    • Few Additional Notes:
      *I think D-Train will be awful, but he will win 15 games with that monsterous offense. Robertson will pass Willis and Rogers in that rotation. He’s a solid pitcher.
      *I don’t see how the Mets can win the East unless they make a trade for a SP’r. Pelfrey is awful and the new improved El Duque is even worse. Even in the NL you need a #5 and the Mets don’t have it.
      *Prince Fielder’s wife converted him to a vegetarian in the offseason. Now I know there is no direct correllation between red meat and HR’s BUT…

      John - YF March 25, 2008, 9:05 am
    • What homerism? I’ve given a SFs a built-in excuse for their disappointing season! :)
      Also, me having the Yanks lose the ALCS (not even making the Series) sort of works heavily against your theory. If you asked why I’d tell you because their pitching is still not good enough. But their offense is plenty good enough to get them there (especially with very good seasons from Giambi and Abreu).
      Perhaps your accusation of homerism is a deflection from Paul’s perfect example of it? All good things for the Sox (including a Series win) and nothing good for the Yanks. I’ve at least called excellent seasons for Dice-K and Manny.
      And Gardner stealing time from Judas tells me something’s gone wrong with him. :)

      A YF March 25, 2008, 10:08 am
    • AL East: Sox
      AL Central: Tigers
      AL West: Mariners
      Wild Card: Indians
      MVP: Manny
      Cy Young: Dontrelle Willis
      ROY: Evan Longoria
      MOY: Whoever coaches those Mariners (too lazy to look)
      I think D-Train has a massive comeback year.

      Atheose March 25, 2008, 10:33 am
    • Perhaps your accusation of homerism is a deflection from Paul’s perfect example of it?
      Wait, don’t I imply pretty directly that Paul’s prediction might be exactly that? What deflection?
      As for Paul, in the first comment he calls himself a homer, I didn’t notice you acknowledging the same despite the rosy picture you paint. For example: great years from guys – Abreu and Giambi – who are past your happily and oft-cited age of 28, in their decline as you have loved to point out w/r/t players on other teams. Funny how that principle doesn’t apply when it is guys on your own team that are in the discussion.

      SF March 25, 2008, 10:35 am
    • “I think D-Train has a massive comeback year.”
      I hope you didn’t put any $ on that prediction Ath!

      John - YF March 25, 2008, 10:40 am
    • You were implying that my version of homerism was somehow worse. Far from it.
      “Funny how that principle doesn’t apply when it is guys on your own team that are in the discussion.”
      It’s an interesting prediction – to me – exactly because it’s unlikely. Almost as unlikely as Manny putting up the numbers I said he’d put up.

      A YF March 25, 2008, 10:41 am
    • I think the Tigers are going to do significantly worse than expected. I predict a first-round exit from the playoffs at best. After Verlander, there’s nothing particularly good in the starting pitching there (I predict a decent to bad year from Willis) and their bullpen is weak without Zumaya. They might be able to bop their way to the playoffs, but they can’t bop through them, as they say.

      Devine March 25, 2008, 10:41 am
    • The only thing all 6 of us agreed unanimously on were the Orioles, Pirates and Giants finishing last. What does that say about those 3?

      John - YF March 25, 2008, 10:43 am
    • “Kei Igawa fills in with league average innings across 15 starts.”
      Hehe.

      LocklandSF March 25, 2008, 10:44 am
    • Count me as one that thinks Dontrelle won’t be much better but that offense will help (16-11, 5.25 ERA).

      A YF March 25, 2008, 10:45 am
    • I didn’t John, but I considered it!

      Atheose March 25, 2008, 10:45 am
    • The Tigers rotation isn’t overpowering by any means, but it’s simply good enough to win. Verlander, Bonderman, Robertson make up a pretty strong 3. The bullpen is a bunch of no names, but they are still decent. Bobby Seay, Grilli and Jones closing is enough to win 95 games. I agree with you that they won’t go far in the playoffs. That’s where you can’t bash your way to victories just ask the Yankees.

      John - YF March 25, 2008, 10:51 am
    • “Count me as one that thinks Dontrelle won’t be much better but that offense will help (16-11, 5.25 ERA).”
      It’s a banner day A YF and I agree on something!

      John - YF March 25, 2008, 10:53 am
    • The Tigers are interesting to me. I think they’re like the recent Yankee teams. Tons of offense – maybe 1000 runs – and decent but not great pitching (apart from Verlander). That feels like a very good regular season team but one that loses to better starting pitching in October. It all depends on the guys after Verlander. They need one of Willis, Robertson, or Bonderman to be a legit #2 and the rest to be at least league average.

      A YF March 25, 2008, 10:54 am
    • I think Dontrelle will get off to a fast start before crashing when people gets second looks at him.
      Bah, why are “good” Yanks tickets so hard to get..

      Lar March 25, 2008, 10:54 am
    • “It’s a banner day A YF and I agree on something!”
      Is it a fireworks day when we agree twice in one thread?

      A YF March 25, 2008, 10:55 am
    • That’s two things we agree on! Hold on I need to pinch myself.

      John - YF March 25, 2008, 10:55 am
    • I see what you’re saying John, but I think categorizing Bonderman and Robertson as part of a strong 3 is pretty generous to them. They’re pretty average, I think.
      But I agree with A YF that if one of Bonderman-Robertson-Willis steps up this year (say to a sub-4.00 ERA) and the others can hold serve AND Verlander is as good as ever, the Tigers have a good chance. I just don’t think that’s going to heappen.

      Devine March 25, 2008, 11:06 am
    • I don’t think Willis or Robertson post a sub 4 ERA. I do think that Bonderman can certainly be somewhere around 4, with a real chance to come in under that.
      Think about last year’s Sox only Beckett and Schilling (3.87) came in under 4 and their staff was considered to be very good. Bonderman has the ability, now it’s a question of staying healthy and finally living up to his capabilities.

      John - YF March 25, 2008, 11:13 am
    • Just so we’re clear, I think the Tigers offense carries them, with average pitching, to 95-100 wins. It’s what happens then I think the pitching will be exposed, just as John put it too.

      A YF March 25, 2008, 11:14 am
    • An average AL starter last year had about a 4.50 ERA last year. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch for Bonderman and Robertson to be that good – for both about 10% better than last year. And we know Willis was once capable and is still very young.

      A YF March 25, 2008, 11:18 am
    • I’m just not at all sold on the Tigers’ lineup, particularly when you’ve got Cabrera needing to adjust to a much tougher league, and a host of players likely to regress. I think Detroit, given their hype, will be one of the disappointments, even as they make the playoffs.
      As for charges of homerism: Predicting a league-average performance for Kei Igawa stretches the bounds of credibility (never mind a 1.000 OPS for Giambi, when he hasn’t hit that mark in five years now); picking the Red Sox to win the World Series does not.
      My most optimistic prediction for the Sox is a decent turnaround for Bartolo Colon.

      Paul SF March 25, 2008, 12:06 pm
    • Yeah, I like the Bartolo factor as well, could really be an amazing pick up.

      LocklandSF March 25, 2008, 12:15 pm
    • ok guys, before this thread goes south in a hurry, we’re all homers to some degree, that’s what makes us fans…a little wishful thinking about our respective teams is what keeps us coming back…all in all, i found the predictions entertaining and informative…you all make good cases for your picks…let’s see what happens…

      dc March 25, 2008, 12:26 pm
    • http://gothamist.com/2008/03/25/lots_of_suite_v.php
      Pretty pictures.
      What are the odds of Sox winning it all again? 20% at most? What is the probability of Igawa doing league average? (Or league average for a 5th starter, more likely)? Can’t be off by that much..

      Lar March 25, 2008, 12:27 pm
    • “My most optimistic prediction for the Sox is a decent turnaround for Bartolo Colon.”
      That’s about as likely as Kei Igawa pitching league average! Besides the chances of Dice-K and Manny improving like I’ve predicted sort of balances out the same “optimism” for him and Giambi. After all, the last time Manny had 50 HRs and 160 RBIs is, well, never.
      Here’s a challenge:
      SFs – What good predictions do you have for the Yankees?
      YFs – What good predictions do you have for the Sox?
      :)

      A YF March 25, 2008, 12:31 pm
    • I think Phil Hughes is going to have a very good year, and believe A-Rod will win the MVP (that’s not daring, in all honesty). Both might qualify as “good things” for the Yankees. I also believe they will tie for first.

      SF March 25, 2008, 1:41 pm
    • I love the tie for first prediction, that’s just classic.
      I think that Arod, Jeter and Posada will not suck. There are my good things.

      LocklandSF March 25, 2008, 1:54 pm
    • > good predictions .. for the Yankees

    • Ticket prices turn out to be a boon for the tri-state mortgage business
    • Edwar Ramirez develops new, nearly unhittable stealth delivery by throwing while turned sideways, which causes him to disappear
    • Joe Girardi wins a Tony with a stunning turn as Sgt. Hulka in Stripes! The Musical!
      > good predictions .. for the Sox
    • By adopting the Beckett/Matsuzaka Pound-Packer Plan™, come mid-season Dustin doesn’t have to wear ankle weights on windy days anymore
    • Proving they are not a construction of ESPN, Red Sox Nation sends thirty-seven swing superdelegates to the DNC. And then invades and occupies White Plains.
    • Dancing With The Stars gets cancelled before Papelbon’s agent gets called
    attackgerbil March 25, 2008, 2:23 pm
  • ag- thanks for being you. people are starting to take themselves way to seriously around here of late.
    positive yankee projections:
    -billy crystal’s option picked up after a slow start.
    -joba’s line of fashion forward bee keeper masks becomes this years “white belt” among indie hipsters.
    -after a thrilling mid game announcement that a former yankee has returned to help the team, YES cameras pan to georges box only to find a surprised jeff weaver getting high.
    positive sox projections:
    -no more riverdance.
    -no more riverdance.
    -no more riverdance.
    general baseball projections:
    -after being incensed by congress, clemens pitches team Al Qaeda into the championship game of the ’09 WBC.
    -the orioles are duped into a $40 million posting fee for a 1989 suzuki samurai.

    sf rod March 25, 2008, 4:09 pm
  • By adopting the Beckett/Matsuzaka Pound-Packer Plan™, come mid-season Dustin doesn’t have to wear ankle weights on windy days anymore
    Oh my god AG that’s the funniest mental picture I’ve had since imagining Julian Tavarez starring in the x-rated Shaving Ryan’s Privates.

    Atheose March 25, 2008, 4:19 pm
  • Have to agree with everyone who isn’t on the Tigers bandwagon. Their offense will be good, with Jacque Jones/Marcus Thames being an improvement on Craig Monroe/Marcus Thames, especially on defense (Went to several Tigers games at Comerica in the last few years, and Monroe looks like he needs a GPS system out there, not that Thames is much/any better). Cabrera will improve upon Inge’s production to almost immeasurable amounts, as well as making up for inevitable regression from Maggs from what was a ridiculous year. Renteria will produce more than Casey, who he’s essentially replacing in the lineup.
    The bullpen is crap. Crap crap crap. I think I read an article mentioning some of the high-risk/high-reward pitchers they’re hoping to get something out of. That’s great, but only when they’re being looked at as backup (*cough* Aardsma *cough*) than to be your everyday 8th inning reliever. Fernando Rodney never looks comfortable on the mound, Todd Jones is eh, and Joel Zumaya will either be rushed back too soon because of all these issues, or his recovery will end up taking longer than projected.
    Also, everything the Sox need to happen will, and nothing the Yankees need to happen will. Eh, just kidding.

    QuoSF March 25, 2008, 5:53 pm
  • Positive Yankee projections: They won’t forfeit a single game.
    Manny now on pace for 648 RBI. Why are you so negative in projecting him, A? ;-)

    Paul SF March 25, 2008, 6:16 pm
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