Thursday, March 27, 2008

My "Eh, good enough." 2008 Predictions

AL East

1. Boston Red Sox: Probably another slugfest to the finish but they’re built for it. Expecting big years from both Mannys (Delcarmen and Ramirez.)
2. New York Yankees: The aging position players continue their decline. One or more of the young pitchers goes down. Morgan Ensberg hits like 15 home runs in a week in August just to make me nervous. This may be wishful thinking, but they miss the playoffs.
3. Tampa Bay Rays: Speaking of wishful thinking. I wanted to make this call weeks ago. Now it seems like Kazmir may be more injured than we thought, Longoria is starting the season in AAA so they can control him another year and Troy Percival is still bad. But the defense is better, the lineup is still good, and Kazmir/Shields/Garza seems like a pretty sweet top of the rotation.
4. Toronto Blue Jays: David Eckstein’s weak bat joins their already mediocre lineup and his terrible glove scampers behind a bunch of ground-ball pitchers. On the bright side John Gibbons will finally complete his mission to totally explode A.J. Burnett’s arm.
5. Baltimore Orioles: This is not a prediction. It is a future yet to be.

AL Central
1. Detroit Tigers: The back-end of the rotation and most of the bullpen makes me wonder. Then I remember the lineup.
2. Cleveland Indians (WC): Carmona could have a fine 2008. It’s just not likely. I don’t see them taking the division. But. The image of Lofton holding at third might be a little less painful when they edge the Wild Card like I think they will.
3. Minnesota Twins: Ugh. I wanted to pick the Royals here. I really did. But their non-Livan pitching is pretty good. They’ll probably rest easy in third.
4. Kansas City Royals: Big year for Greinke. Gordon starts stepping up. Jose Guillen probably doesn’t add much. Japanese reliever Yasuhiko Yabuta throws baseballs. Maybe this call will be wrong and I’ll be pleasantly surprised. How soon is now?
5. Chicago White Sox: Nah. I don’t think so.

AL West
1. LA Angels: Recipe: A pile of young pitchers. A pile of speedy but not very good hitters. A pinch of Vlad. Mix vigorously in a weak division. Dispense into a playoff spot. Division Series Exit.
(Note: I wrote this before Escobar went down but I stand by it. Swapping the O-Cab for Garland's league-average durabilityness is looking even smarter now.)
2. Seattle Mariners: Every year it’s the same thing. I’ll predict a mixed bag for King Felix to stay on the safe side. Bedard helps but they’re just not making the playoffs.
3. Oakland Athletics: I had this great joke about Nick Swisher but then they traded him.
4. Texas Rangers: Saltyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

NL East
1. New York Mets: (1) Wow this team is old. (2) Infield pop-ups are not exciting. (3) Wright was the MVP. (4) Zero depth. (5) None of this matters because of Santana.
2. Atlanta Braves: In the wild card hunt but they’ll fall short. Good lineup though.
3. Philadelphia Phillies: Hear that Rollins? Just mail your hardware to David Wright. The interblogs have spoken!
4. Florida Marlins: Maybe people will start noticing Hanley now that he’s the only reason to watch this team.
5. Washington Nationals: Welcome to Nationals Park, now presenting the Outfield of Broken Dreams.

NL Central
1. Chicago Cubs: Cash dollars!
2. Milwaukee Brewers: A whole year of Braun will be sweet. But pitching is important too and there are way too issues there.
3. Cincinnati Reds: Bruce and Bailey need some more time. Luckily in this division you start competing whenever you feel like it.
4. St. Louis Cardinals: Ugh. Just start Pujols’ surgery now.
5. Houston Astros: The most hilarious “win now” team of this decade. They won’t even compete in the garbage division.
6. Pittsburgh Pirates: I tried to name as many Pirates as I could but I fell asleep.

NL West
1. LA Dodgers: If Juan Pierre becomes an incredibly expensive pinch runner. If Kemp and Ethier play. If Andruw bounces back. If Kuroda has a great MLB debut and if Saito stays completely awesome.
The credit will still go to Torre.

2. Arizona Diamondbacks (WC): Billy Beane sold high on Haren. He is not a co-ace. But he’s still a big upgrade on Livan Hernandez and a good enough 1-2 punch with Webb. Progress from their young lineup and a breakout year from one or more should earn them the Wild Card.
3. Colorado Rockies: Some regression, but so much of this team is young and only getting better.
4. San Diego Padres: I like them so I hate this pick. In such a tight division race they’re the ones left behind.
5. San Francisco Giants: This lineup is a sabermetric night-terror.


Blogger John said...

no playoffs for the yankees eh, bold pick

2:32 PM  

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