A little late with this, but here are my predictions for 2008.
American League East Central West Boston Cleveland Los Angeles Toronto Minnesota Oakland Tampa Kansas City Seattle New York Detroit Texas Baltimore Chicago Breakdown:
Boston should walk away with the division. This team has too much depth, if that is possible.
Toronto has too many injury risks in their rotation.
Tamp will surprise, I can see them landing anywhere between 2nd and 4th in the division.
New York will end up somewhere between 2nd and 4th. Their Achilles Heel will be their rotation. Their is no middle ground, old or inexperienced.
Baltimore, well...enough said. That is bad coming from a Pirates fan. Their team highlight will be what they get for Roberts.
Cleveland Rocks! They have possibly the best 1-2 punch in their rotation and a lineup that can score some runs, when healthy.
Minnesota just finds a way to stay in the mix no matter how much they lose (talent wise) in the offseason.
Kansas City is another surprise pick. They have been slowly improving, this season they will see the payoff.
Detroit's bullpen is a disaster. They will score a ton of runs, but give up more. I still wonder why they traded pitching for offense when they were one of the top offenses already.
Chicago should be prepared for may outbursts from Ozzie this year. Look for a major shakeup at the top if/when the wheels fall off.
The Angels will win the division, more because of attrition than dominance.
Oakland has a young team that will stumble, but will find a way to be around .500.
Too much Hype has been attributed to Seattle. There is still too much missing for this team to make a run at LA. Their rotation will need to be flawless for this team to compete with the Halo's.
Group Texas in with Baltimore. Not much on the horizon outside of watching for the blockbuster trade.
Wild Card: Toronto
ALDS: Cleveland over Toronto, Boston over Los Angeles
MVP: Manny Ramirez
Cy Young: C.C. Sabathia
National League East Central West Philadelphia Milwaukee Arizona New York Chicago San Diego Washington Cincinnati Los Angeles Atlanta Pittsburgh Colorado Florida St. Louis San Francisco Houston Philadelphia is the defending champ. Pitching could hurt them but they have enough that the offense will overcome.
New York got Santana, but there isn't much beyond an aging Pedro in the rotation. Perez will run hot and cold like usual. Health is going to be a concern for this team. Oh, they traded nearly the entire farm to get Santana, so don't look to the minors for relief.
Washington will ride the high of finally having a home stadium. They are getting to the point they could start making noise in the division. Pitching will determine their fate.
Atlanta could finish anywhere in the division. Bringing back Glavine shows they are trying to relive past glory. Between Hampton's frailty and the age of Glavine and Smoltz, this rotation could implode quickly.
Florida, well you get what you pay for. But there is a lot of talent on the way, possibly by the time the new stadium is built they will make another run to the Series.
Ugly division, 85 games will likely win the division with all participants able to win 85 if the cards fall right.
Milwaukee is one of two teams I see with the best likelihood of winning 85. Their offense is good, can the pitching stay healthy. If all things go right for this team, they will run away with the division.
Chicago is the other team with the best likelihood of 85 wins. The Cubs have issues in the closer role. Any time it is closer by committee, it is not a good thing. I can't get excited over their rotation either. Lieber and Lilly scare me.
Cincinnati plays in a little league park for their home game. Much like the Tigers, they will score runs, mostly from the long ball. Pitching will still be an issue. Their 4 and 5 starters leave much to be desired. Fogg will get pummeled in Great American, a fly ball pitcher goes there to die.
Pittsburgh, this is the homer in me coming out. They could break the drought, they could lose 100. The big deal this year is who gets traded and what shape will the high minors be in at the end of the season.
St. Louis will do it with mirrors this year if they have a good year. After Pujols, they are counting on getting offense from inexperienced players and .250 career hitters. Their rotation will go under many overhauls this year.
Houston has some hope if Wandy Rodriguez learns to pitch away from home and Oswalt pitches every other day. They could have the worst team ERA by the end of the season. Offense will be their deciding factor. Can Lee, Berkman and Tejada make up for no depth and very little pitching?
Arizona on paper sticks out as the best team in the NL. Their rotation is solid. They will score more runs this year than their opposition.
San Diego may set a new record for lowest team ERA. If the offense can produce, or they can add some pieces, this is a team to recon with.
Los Angeles is Joe Torres' team. When he has managed outside of the Yankees, he has been a horrible manager. I wonder if he remembers how to manage in the NL? Talent wise, this team should compete.
Colorado had a Cinderella run last year, don't expect the same this year. their are only so many former Pirates starting pitchers they can go through and still survive in the West.
San Fran is in a rebuilding phase. They have some excellent young pitching, but when J.J. Davis is one of your top young position players. ACK!
Wild Card: San Diego
ALDS: San Diego over Philly, Arizona over Milwaukee
MVP: Chase Utley
Cy Young: Jake Peavy
Cleveland over San Diego
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