Tuesday, March 25, 2008

2008 Predictions


AL East - I know it's a cop out, but I don't know if either the Red Sox or Yankees are really better than the other. Before the Schilling and Beckett injuries, I would have picked the Red Sox, just because the Yankees rotation scares me (in a good way). Pettitte's hurt already, Mussina's probably done, Wang's adequate (but what happened to him in the playooffs?). Throw in the "rookies" and there are just way too many question marks. And the bullpen without Joba is worrisome as well. The Red Sox are depending on a good amount of youth as well, especially with the injuries, which is why I can't confidently pick them either. I guess I'll give the Yankees the tie-breaker, just because they seem to hit Beckett and Matsuzaka well, so they should take the season series. That would leave the Red Sox as the Wild Card.

As for the rest, the Jays haven't done enough to put themselves into contention, unless waiting for Vernon Wells to play like the superstar that he isn't qualifies. Their season will depend on their young pitching, and losing Janssen for the season hurts. I love the Rays. I'm not crazy enough to think they can contend, like some people, but I think they can hover around .500. The Orioles finally realized that it was time to rebuild, so good luck with that.

AL Central - I worry about the Tigers' pitching just about as much as the Yankees, but more so their bullpen, which is hideous. Still, they're in a suddenly weak division, and their offense could be historic once Granderson comes back. I think they're the favorites. The Indians won't be as good as last year if only because I don't think Sabathia and Carmona can do it again after all the innings they pitched last year. The rest of their rotation is average, so they'll need Hafner to bounce back if the offense is going to carry them.

The White Sox made some nice pick-ups in Swisher and Quentin, but they overpaid (in years and millions) for bullpen arms, which is always a bad idea, and they didn't do anything to upgrade the crumbling rotation. After Vazquez and Buehrle, it's a replacement-level mess. The Royals seem to be heading in the right direction, finally, but I don't think they're as far along as Tampa Bay yet. The Twins... eh. Nice job getting the taxpayers to build you a stadium before getting rid of two of your best players. Even with the over-rated Delmon Young, their offense is weak.

AL West - Anaheim wins by default, honestly. This is the one team that should have done whatever it took to get Miguel Cabrera, and as usual, they were too chickenshit to make a deal. I will laugh hysterically when Nick Adenhart and Brandon Wood end up in the same dustbin as Ervin Santana and Dallas MacPherson. I still think Oakland can be decent, if only some of Harden, Crosby, and Chavez can contribute more than half a season, but mostly because I don't think much of the rest of the division.

I didn't like the Bedard trade for the Mariners only because they need more than one piece. Of course he's a big boost to their rotation, but he's been injury-prone in the past, and they still have more than a few weak spots in their lineup. They do have a nasty bullpen, though. Texas still can't pitch, as evidenced by their dumpster-diving acquisitions of Jason Jennings, Sir Sidney Ponson, and John Patterson. And yet they still traded one of their best pitching prospects for a center fielder who could relapse at any time. Sound business plan.

NL East - The Mets have to be the favorites after stealing Johan Santana - I don't care how many of their old, over-rated hitters get hurt. Philly's rotation isn't good, and Atlanta's is worse. If Pedro can re-capture some of that old magic, even for just stretches of a few weeks, it's going to be incredibly fun to follow the Mets this year. Philly reminds me of those late-90's Cleveland teams that could never get over the hump despite their sick hitting because their pitching was always substandard.

If I have to hear one more person say that Glavine rounds out a strong Atlanta rotation, I'm going to snap. Did anyone else see him pitch last year? Anyone? I'm falling in love with Manny Acta, but the talent just isn't there for the Nationals yet. You could give me 20 guesses, and I couldn't tell you the Marlins' starting rotation. Too many young, unproven, and/or injured guys in front of a bad defense spells trouble.

NL Central - I don't even think the Cubs are that good, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Milwaukee steal this division. Zambrano's not really a true ace, and the rotation behind him is uninspiring. Fukudome could be a huge help to the top of the order, but naturally, they're going to hit him fifth because they're in love with Ryan Theriot. I don't get Lou Piniella. Milwaukee needs Sheets and Gallardo to stay healthy, which can't happen because Gallardo's already on the DL and Ben Sheets is Ben Sheets.

The rest of this division is a mess. Dusty Baker brings his reign of terror to Cincinnati, where he's already buried Jay Bruce behind Corey Patterson and tried to alter Joey Votto's approach. The Cardinals have spent more money on similar risks in the pitching staff as Texas, and Pujols could be lost for the season at any moment. Pittsburgh brought in a whole new management team, and the new management team promptly did nothing to change last year's sixth place team. The Astros should be re-building, but instead traded all of their 40-man roster depth for injury-prone Jose Valverde and soon-to-be-indicted Miguel Tejada. Chicago and Milwaukee have no excuses for not finishing 1-2.

NL West - As usual, I have no idea what to make of this division. I think the Dodgers have the most talent, but they've proven that they don't know how to use it. Maybe Torre can change that, but he hasn't been very kind to rookies in the past. I picked Arizona knowing that they played over their heads last year, thinking that most of the young guys will only get better, Justin Upton will play a full season, and adding Haren to the rotation gives them a boost. The Padres are the team that I'm must unsure of. Great pitching in a great pitcher's park, but I'm not completely sold on their hitters (and why won't they give Chase Headley a shot?). Colorado is bound to regress - their pitching's just not that good. The Giants are a train wreck, pure and simple. I have no idea how Brian Sabean still has a job - he's been totally exposed by his Bonds-less teams.

Brewers over Phillies in one-game NL Wild Card playoff
Tigers 3, Red Sox 2
Yankees 3, Angels 2
Mets 3, Brewers 1
Diamondbacks 3, Cubs 2
Tigers 4, Yankees 2
Mets 4, Diamondbacks 2
Tigers 4, Mets 3

World Series MVP - Magglio Ordonez

AL MVP – Miguel Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez, Grady Sizemore
AL Cy Young – Justin Verlander, Scott Kazmir, Javier Vazquez
AL Rookie – Evan Longoria, Jacoby Ellsbury, Daric Barton
AL Manager – Jim Leyland, Joe Girardi, Terry Francona
AL Comeback – B.J. Ryan, Hank Blalock, Carl Pavano
AL Fireman – J.J. Putz, Jonathan Papelbon, Francisco Rodriguez

NL MVP – David Wright, Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Braun
NL Cy Young – Johan Santana, Jake Peavy, Roy Oswalt
NL Rookie – Geovany Soto, Kosuke Fukudome, Jay Bruce
NL Manager – Willie Randolph, Lou Piniella, Ned Yost
NL Comeback – Nick Johnson, Randy Johnson, Nomar Garciaparra
NL Fireman – Rafael Soriano, Chad Cordero, Carlos Marmol

And yes, Pavano and Nomar were jokes. I just couldn’t resist.


Sully said...

So I just realized this, but once again, I've picked my World Series champ to beat each one of our teams. Didn't work out so great for my predictions last year, but it worked out for the Sox, so I'm rolling with it.

Warren said...

At least no one can say you're biased.