By Jimmy Hascup
AL East: Boston Red Sox – Reigning AL MVP, Ortiz, and Bay- they have the lineup to win with their bats. And if injuries strike, they have the depth that the Yankees really don’t have.
AL Central: Minnesota Twins – The pitching will lead the way and they add another potent bat to Morneau and Mauer as Delmon Young wakes from hibernation.
AL West: Oakland As – Don’t ever doubt their young pitching – and they’ll finally be able to score some runs this season.
AL Wildcard: New York Yankees – CC and Tex will lead the way… and they can always go out and get someone if they need to. We all know Yankee fans won’t deal with another early offseason.
NL East: New York Mets – The revamped bullpen makes the difference this year.
NL Central: Chicago Cubs – Most complete team in the division by far.
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers – Their pitching proves to be good enough and they have one of the few guys who can carry a team on his own, in Manny Ramirez.
NL Wildcard: Philadelphia Phillies – Rotation is iffy outside of Hamels and Myers, but they’ll be able to make due with their hitting.
Red Sox over Twins – The Sox are just too dominant for the Twins to keep up.
Yankees over Oakland – I agree with Ryan on the Bronx Bombers. Money will definitely talk in this series.
Red Sox over Yankees – Beckett, Dice-K, and Lester > CC, Burnett (maybe he’ll be injured?), and Wang. Pitching wins championships and I think the Sox will have it.
Mets over Dodgers – Lineup and pitching is better = victory.
Cubs over Phillies – All-around better team and pitching will be able to quell Phillies bats.
Mets over Cubs – Cubs make a run, but the Mets get over the hump and forget about the meltdowns of the past few seasons.
Mets over Red Sox – In the inaugural season of two new NY stadiums, Mets earn the first prize.
American League Awards:
AL MVP: Matt Holliday – I know I’m crazy, but he’s also in a contract year… and he’s the hitter who will prove most important to his team’s chances in the AL this year.
AL Cy Young: Roy Halladay – CC who?
AL Rookie of the Year: Matt Wieters – Too much talent, only if is arrival date.
AL Manager of the Year: Bob Geren – No recognizable pitcher at the beginning of the season, A’s turn heads this year!
AL Comeback Player of the Year: Victor Martinez – He outdoes Pronk, and his numbers rival 2007 campaign.
AL Batting Crown: Miguel Cabrera – Second half of last season is precursor as what’s to come.
AL Home Run Title: Miguel Cabrera – Did I mention? The guy can flat out rake.
AL RBI Title: Josh Hamilton – The comeback continues.
National League Awards:
NL MVP: Jose Reyes – Puts up monster season from the leadoff (or third) spot in the lineup.
NL Cy Young: Tim Lincecum – Repeats last season and continues to win games on his own, even without any offense.
NL Rookie of the Year: Colby Rasmus – 20/20 season if given the chance?
NL Manager of the Year: Bruce Bochy – Even if they don’t make the playoffs, I think they can be in the thick of things all year.
NL Comeback Player of the Year: Todd Helton – The guy knows how to hit and even after back surgery he shows he can still do it.
NL Batting Crown: Albert Pujols – One of these hitting categories he’ll win, it’s just a matter of which one.
NL Home Run Title: Ryan Howard – Too much natural power here.
NL RBI Title: Manny Ramirez – An RBI machine.