Well, I could not let my friend and at times baseball nemesis post his predictions without telling him he’s out of his mind! The best part of about letting someone post their predictions first is that I now get to comment on what Smitty wrote. This is going to be fun! I’m not quite as dorky as Smitty, I wrote my predictions on a notepad on March 28 the day after our fantasy baseball draft. Nerd Alert!
AL East Division Champions: Tampa Bay Rays
The Yankees winning the World Series and dominating baseball last year was an anomaly, and it will come back to bite them. The addition of Vazquez has only made a weak starting rotation even weaker. The Rays have better young talent that is maturing at a rapid pace and will make them the team to beat in the American League. Come on Smitty, you know it and I know it.
AL Central Division Champions: Chicago White Sox
I wasn’t predicting a 5-11 start and Jake Peavy looking more like “Boomer” Wells than the Cy Young winner he was with the San Diego Padres, but I have faith. The White Sox are the most talented team in the Central on paper, the only question is will it be reflected on the field. If not say good bye to the OZ MAN! GO SOX!!! Smitty, the Tigers, it’s like picking the Cubs to win the NL Central, oh wait you did that.
AL West Division Champions: Texas Rangers
The first thing we agree on, and I feel exactly the same way that the pitching had caught up to the hitting. The Rangers do not seem to missing Rudy Jaramillo all that much. Nelson Cruz has arrived as a stud both on the field and in fantasy baseball, as well as a bounce back season for Josh Hamilton is in the works.
AL Wild Card: New York Yankees
A solid hitting lineup will overshadow the holes towards the back end of the rotation. Phil Hughes will tire in the second half and “Big Game” Javy will be a nightmare all season long.
NL East Division Champions: Atlanta Braves
Talent galore on this roster from the pitching staff to young talent in the field, they will end up running away with the East. Bobby Cox’ last season will be a memorable one. Dammit we agree again.
NL Central Division Champions: Milwaukee Brewers
I’ve felt strongly going into the season that it’s Milwaukee’s time to win this division. They have the bats and just enough pitching to win the NL Central. They have no curses to deal with, no hitting coaches on steriods or a manager getting DUI’s. They have quietly assembled a powerhouse offensively and have given Ken Macha enough tools in the pitching department to win the division. Smitty, the Cubs, you’re such a dreamer…103.
NL West Division Champions: San Francisco Giants
This team is World Series bound with all the pitching and hitting on it, and no Dusty Baker to screw things up . Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Barry Zito will dominate most teams this season. Zito is poised to have a huge year feeling 100% healthy. This is going to be a laugher with the Gaints winning the division by 12-games.
NL Wild Card: Philadelphia Phillies
Too much power in their lineup not to make it, which could lead to just enough pitching to go far in the playoffs.
World Series: Chicago White Sox over the San Francisco Giants in six-games. Go ahead and laugh because right now this seems ridiculous, and I may be apologizing for this on May 15, but I think both of the teams are a bounce away from dominating baseball. Smitty definitely seems more of a realist with his World Series pick, and there’s a lot less to argue. On paper this match-up just makes sense. Talk about a homer pick, I’m kind of laughing at myself.
AL MVP: Nelson Cruz, TEX
AL Cy Young: John Danks, CWS
NL MVP: Prince Fielder, MIL
NL Cy Young: Tim Lincecum, SF