It's a weird season in that there's no favorite on paper from the gate like there's been in years past. Which makes the start of this season unique from the last few years of REDSOXYANKEEANDEVERYONEELSE billing.
Anyway...let's get some predictions wrong, shall we?
New York Toronto (WC) Boston Tampa Bay Baltimore
-The Yankees' pitching concerns me greatly from about the 3 spot to the 5th spot. -Josh Beckett has never managed to play a full year and god knows if ManRam is still in Boston come August. -AJ Burnett is on the DL already and I think Toronto is more a year away. But it'll be nice to see some atmosphere back in CableDome -Tampa Bay has improved but not to the tune of above .500 -Baltimore is just bad this year and seems stagnant and worse yet, have next to nothing to show for Peter Angelos' spending sprees.
Chicago Cleveland Detroit Minnesota Kansas City
-Chicago upgraded their lineup and better than that know they can win with what's on the field. -Cleveland is probably one transaction away from making a big leap. -Detroit will flirt with .500 this year as their young pitching that got waylaid in 2002 finally matures. -Boof Bonser may be the best baseball name ever. Just sayin' -The Royals have nothing.
Oakland The O.C. Texas Seattle
-Oakland is the only one of the four that resembles a complete team. The Slauson Cutoff Angels have pretty good pitching, but not enough lumber. Whereas the Rangers and the M's have a lot of lumber but not enough pitching. Plus this year Billy Beane actually got to spend money as opposed to having to cut back.
Florida New York Philadelphia (WC) Atlanta Washington
-Just seeing how many of you are paying attention. I think you know where Florida actually goes on this list. -Atlanta is rapidly watching their window seal shut and whereas New York and Phily have gotten better Atlanta has not. It catches up to them this year. -The formula for the Mets is simple: If Glavine/Pete/One other starter win a combined 50 games, they win the division going away. -Washington overachieved greatly last year and are about to come back to earth in the face of better talent this year. -If Philly misses the WC again, Charley M either will be fired or given a dire last warning.
St Louis Milwaukee Chicago Houston Pittsburgh Cincinnati
-St. Louis will enjoy like success, Ponson will enjoy the spare ribs. -On paper, I love this Milwaukee team. I realize it's a mistake to ever pick the up-and-coming sexy choice for the postseason, but if everything works for them, they have a lot of promise, especially next year. -Chicago and Houston are both shells of the last couple of years, and although Houston could go either way, both of them end up around or just below .500 this year. Meanwhile, the only thing Chicago has going for it is an attempt to Break off a Double-Whammied Ewing Theory, or what the rest of the free world would call injury-riddled. -And then there's the bottom two. Cincy is a sham of a baseball team, although Pittsburgh is in the unique position of just a smidge less prospectus than the Brewers but without the attention Milwaukee has.
San Diego Los Angeles Arizona San Francisco Colorado
Both of the SoCal teams have rapdly closing windows thanks to their roster age (ditto San Fran, but they have far less to work with this year) and the other two teams are too young to compete. Division's really no better than the year before. but San Diego has the most complete team of anyone.
ALCS Oakland over New York
NLCS St. Louis over New York
World Series St. Louis over Oakland
AL MVP: Vladamir Guererro, 405 NL MVP: Albert Pujols, St. Louis AL Roy Young Award: Roy Halladay, Toronto NL Roy Young Award: Roy Oswalt, Houston Best Pitcher this year not named Roy: Ben Sheets, Milwaukee
Originally posted by BigSteveToronto has the top two starters in the division with Burnett and Halladay so they'll challenge the Yankees.
I've read through this thread so many times and noticed this gem for the first time. I would agree that a healthy Halladay might be the best pitcher in the division....but could you not say the same thing about a healthy Randy Johnson, a healthy Schilling, and a healthy Beckett? With Beckett actually being healthy, might make HIM the best pitcher in the division. With Burnett, I am not sure how you'd make that assertion. The Unit struggled a lot of the year, but when he got his shizznit together, he picked up the ball from Halladay and ran with it - best pitcher in the division. This is not saying too much, since most of the pitchers in the AL East last year ate ass or were injured, but still...
I say Burnett should prove something on his new team before he's handed a sceptre. Beckett to me has a better pedigree (and no Tommy John surgery), and there does have to be something said for young pitchers from crappy NL teams coming to the AL (Vazquez, Pavano, and Clement; exception being Pedro). Its hard to hear all the Boston and New York rotations being called shaky and suspect, all the while hearing the trumpets blare for the Blue Jays. Overbay, I think, was a great trade for them. I don't know if he can hit for typical first baseman-type power, but solid nontheless. Molina had a decent year offensively last year, and is solid defensively, but he's hardly Pudge (Fisk or Rodriguez). I totally and completely agree with redsoxnation - BJ Ryan has shown little in big situations. The money they gave him....good thing it wasn't MY money. Glaus can be good for them and give them power, but he did hit .258 last year with 145 K's. I am not trying to say the Jays didn't help themselves, but to put them with the Yankees and Boston is, to me, kinda silly.
"Johnny Damon playing for the Yankees is like peanut butter selling out jelly in favor of mayonnaise." - StingArmy
To go to the playoffs, I'll pick NYY, ChW, and OAK (by a wide margin. the Angels will finish a distant second. if Zito does get traded, it will only be for major league ready players, not just a bunch of prospects.) Bos for the WC.
For the NL, I'll take Atl, StL (though I agree they are on a real downslide), and LAD. The WC is too hard to pick because the rest of the NL is so damn weak. It should be one of 3 teams (NYM - weak starting pitching, MIL - too young, and SF - needs both Schmidt and Bonds healthy.)
I like LAD over SD because on LA I like Kent, Drew, Furcal. SP - I like Lowe, Seo, Penny, and Od. Perez for good years.
ROY - AL: Granderson ROY - NL: Zimmerman Comeback player - AL: Thome Comeback player - NL: Drew
Big Trade if Clemens doesn't return to Houston is Pettitte to the Yankees in July.
Originally posted by jfkfcI would agree that a healthy Halladay might be the best pitcher in the division....but could you not say the same thing about a healthy Randy Johnson, a healthy Schilling, and a healthy Beckett? With Beckett actually being healthy, might make HIM the best pitcher in the division. With Burnett, I am not sure how you'd make that assertion. The Unit struggled a lot of the year, but when he got his shizznit together, he picked up the ball from Halladay and ran with it - best pitcher in the division. This is not saying too much, since most of the pitchers in the AL East last year ate ass or were injured, but still...
Halladay is absolutely the best pitcher in the AL East. The only guy in the AL who is in the discussion with him at this point is Santana (and maybe Harden by this summer).
Johnson is 42 and was significantly worse than Halladay was last year. He is not close to being better than Halladay at this point. Schilling is 39 and pitched less than 100 innings last year (to an ERA approaching 6.00) and has got to be a gigantic question mark. "Healthy" and "Josh Beckett" are pretty foreign to one another considering he's been on the DL 9 times in four years. He's the only guy that I can see being close to Burnett as the number two pitcher in the division, and his health question marks are a lot bigger than Burnett having TJ surgery three years ago.
totally and completely agree with redsoxnation - BJ Ryan has shown little in big situations.
But he's pitched extremely, extremely well for two and a half years. Two big time situations is an incredibly small sample size. He will be very good this year.
Glaus can be good for them and give them power, but he did hit .258 last year with 145 K's.
If he hits 37 HR, has a .363 OBP, and slugs .522 again every team in the league would be happy to have him at third base.
(edited by BigSteve on 30.3.06 2217)
(edited by BigSteve on 30.3.06 2218) He's got that hand-waving deal. He can become INVISIBLE! This means MONEY, Dawg! - AWARulz on Cena.
I think this is the only thing the Red Sox could do. Papelbon wants to close. They need him to close. Pineiro is attracting attention in the trade market and I expect him to be traded. The fifth starter is a lot less valuable than a solid bullpen.