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!

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