Thursday, March 31, 2011

Paulzilla's Crystal Ball

I will basically re-posting the predictions I made when I did my AL At a Glance blogs. I'm not going to change what I said then unless something major has changed, which in the AL not much really has changed.

Here we go:

Predictions: AL West I see the Rangers running away with this division and battling the Red Sox for home field advantage in the AL playoffs. I believe the Angels pitching will propel them to the wild card over the White Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees and Tigers.

AL Central: Twins will find a way once again to win the division with the White Sox nipping at their heals. I believe this comes down to the final days of the season. Detroit will also stay in mix until early September. Pitching is too weak in this division so no Wild Card teams here.

I believe Boston will win by 10 games and Toronto and New York will be in the hunt for the wild-card all season with Toronto edging out the Yanks by two games, but losing out on the wild card. Baltimore will also finish the year at around .500 a marked improvement. The Rays will be back where they spent the first decade of their existence, in the AL EAST cellar, don't worry the Orioles kept it warm.

AL: West: Rangers
AL East: Red Sox
AL Central: Minnesota
AL Wild Card: LA Angels

The Wild Card will be interesting with a fight between the White Sox, Angels, Blue Jays Yankees and Tigers. The division with only one team of these 5 will ultimately get in with a weaker schedule, thus the Angels are your wild card winner. The East is easily the best division from top to bottom as the Central has the Royals and Indians and the West has Seattle.


National League:

NL West: Colorado
NL Central: Cincinnati
NL East: Philadelphia
NL Wildcard: Milwaukee

The West will be similar to last year with 4 teams in the mix until late in the season and not performing well outside of the division. I think the Rockies have enough pitching to support their two stud bats in Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitski.

The Central will be a three team race. The Cardinals, Brewers and Reds will all hang around, and with Houston and Pittsburgh to beat up on, they will win a lot of divisional games. In the long run, which MLB certainly caters too, the Reds will emerge as the most balanced and talented squad. The Cardinals pitching is less potent then usual, and they are also missing quality at some positions. The Brewers will outlast the Cardinals for the wildcard behind a team that is motivated to perform for their leader Prince Fielder in what is likely his last season with the team.
The East is a one horse race. ALTHOUGH I think the Marlins will be in the hunt for the wildcard with the Braves, Brewers and Cardinals. If the Marlins squeeze in, they could once again make one of their historic runs to the series.

World Series: Angels and Rockies!

I admit the odds on favorite is Boston and Philly as Bill's crystal ball listed....I am going out on a limb as no one thought the Giants or the Rangers would be in the last Series in 2010. The Rockies have a nice staff and a solid middle of the order, all you need is three quality starters in the playoffs, with Jimenez, Chacin and DeLaRosa they are on there way. They will need help from their bats, but as stated they clearly have two of the top ten hitters in MLB, so I would not count them out.

With the Angels it all depends on injuries. If Morales returns healthy and their front end starters (VERY UNDER-RATED front 3 of J Weaver, E. Santana and D. Haren) avoid the injury bug, this could very well be their year. Time will tell! Although the Red Sox will be a giant hurdle, I don't like the Sox staff after you get past Lester. I don't think it is strong enough to win in the post season. They might hit their way to the WS, but the past has shown that that does not happen too often.

Champ? Tap the Rockies in 7 games. Vegas here I come!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Deadhead Bill's 2011 MLB Crystal Ball

With the season starting tomorrow it's a perfect time to throw out my 2011 predictions. I do expect to see some of the usual suspects, however, there will be blood--NEW blood that is!!

In the National League we will still see the Giants finish on top in the NL West & the Phils should be able to hold off the Braves in the east. My question is can the Reds repeat in the Central even with the much improved Brewers and always dangerous Cards nipping at their heals? Now, a month ago it would of been a tougher call, but the injury to perennial Cy-Young contender Adam Wainwright has pushed the Cards off my playoff bubble. So I basically have five teams vying for four spots(Phils, Giants, Reds, Braves and Brewers). I think the Reds CAN do it again, so it will come down the a wild card between the Brew crew and the Braves--Atlanta's addition of Uggla aside, I think the Brewers do have what it takes.

In the American League we have an unprecedented upheaval in the East--for the 1st time in a long time it isn't just the Yanks, and everyone else. The Red Sox have made great strides and the Rays are still very much in the discussion--I do believe the AL wild card will come out of this division. The Central is all about the White Sox and Twins--this could be THE best divisional rivalry in 2011, as it has all the ingredients of a battle to the final weekend of the season. The West is still gonna come through Arlington as the Rangers need only hold off the Angels and A's to repeat as division champs. I think Oakland is an up and coming team, but offensive issues(why, oh why would you trade Carlos Gonzalez just to rent Matt Holiday for a season??)will hold them back from being the Giants of the AL--as good as the staff is the offense is almost as poor. The Angels are an interesting case, but issue's with depth could derail them like last season, where one key injury changes the entire outlook of the team--that being said they do have enough bullets to contend with Texas, but they certainly cant afford too many misfires!! I'm gonna go out on a limb and say Texas will hold on in the West again, but the White Sox will have just enough to stay ahead of a very talented Twins ball club.


PREDICTIONS:

NL EAST: Phils
NL CENTRAL: Reds
NL WEST: Giants
NL WILD CARD: Brewers

AL EAST: Red Sox
AL CENTRAL: White Sox
AL WEST: Texas
AL WILD CARD: Yankees

WORLD SERIES

Phillies vs Red Sox

WORLD CHAMPION

RED SOX!!