Well, it’s finally time for me to share my two cents for the upcoming season. Saving the best for last, right? Feel free to let me know how crazy I am!
AL East: Boston Red Sox – They are just too good for me to bet against.
AL Central: Chicago White Sox – I know the Twins are the popular pick, but with Mauer hurt I’m not sure they are going to have the offense to get it done.
AL West: Los Angeles Angels – As their pitching continues to go down the gap continues to shrink, but their lead was too big to begin with. It may be closer then we originally expected, but I still see them taking home the title.
AL Wildcard: New York Yankees – When you spend like they did, if you don’t make the playoffs it would be a bitter disappointment. The Rays will push them, but unlike last season something is likely to go wrong. Someone will get hurt or the pitching will regress. Whatever it is, I just see them falling short.
NL East: Philadelphia Phillies – Until the Mets prove they can keep it together for 162 games, I just can’t pick them to win the division.
NL Central: Chicago Cubs – They could be the best team in the NL.
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers – The signing of a likely motivated Manny Ramirez makes them the top team in the division.
NL Wildcard: New York Mets – Yes, they have collapsed each of the past two seasons, but at least they don’t finish against the Marlins in 2009.
Red Sox over White Sox – The Red Sox have a rotation that could be scary in the playoffs, especially if Smoltz can get healthy.
Yankees over Angels – The Yankees pitching will give them the edge.
Red Sox over Yankees – I just can’t bet against the Red Sox, who have the payroll flexibility to add at the deadline if need be.
Mets over Cubs – The Cubs have the talent, but I can see their pitching suffering injuries (Harden anyone?), hurting them in a short series.
Dodgers over Phillies – Billingsley & Kershaw have the potential to be dominant in a short series.
Dodgers over Mets – Manny being Manny. He wants a pay day and has something to prove.
Dodgers over Red Sox – Joe Torre gets one last laugh against his old nemesis
American League Awards:
AL MVP: David Ortiz
AL Cy Young: Francisco Liriano
AL Rookie of the Year: Nick Adenhart
AL Manager of the Year: Ozzie Guillen
AL Comeback Player of the Year: Victor Martinez
AL Batting Crown: Matt Holliday
AL Home Run Title: Miguel Cabrera
AL RBI Title: David Ortiz
National League Awards:
NL MVP: David Wright
NL Cy Young: Brandon Webb
NL Rookie of the Year: Kenshin Kawakami
NL Manager of the Year: Joe Torre
NL Comeback Player of the Year: Rafael Furcal
NL Batting Crown: Albert Pujols
NL Home Run Title: Ryan Howard
NL RBI Title: Manny Ramirez
Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.