Predicted Order of Finish
Giants: I’m going on a limb here and predicting the Giants. They don’t have much but then again in this division much is not is needed. What they do is the best staring rotation in baseball. Linceum, Cain, Johnson, Sanchez. If they’re young hitters like Sandoval take off this year, they could be very dangerous. And every team in the Nl West has holes. So it wont take much to win.
Diamondbacks: Another team with great pitching, Webb Haren and questionable hitting. They be counting on Upton and Drew to carry their offense. If they do they’ll could win the divison easily.
Dodgers; the good news Manny singed. Bad news Lowe and Penny are gone. There young pitching like Billgsneys and Krewshaw look really good but I don’t think their young pitching in a post season run . And other than Manny who can hit?
Rockies; Hollday is gone. Atkins will be joining him soon. And this team is disjointed and will struggle. In shocking irony they have actually have decent pitching and could make a run if things fall their way.
Padres: The owner get divorced has to cost payroll and this team is a mess. Well it was a mess before that. Everything from Matt bush and other cost cutting mistakes have driven this franchise into the ground. At least they’ll get new ownership soon
predicted order of finish
Cubs : Best team in baseball on paper. Their pitching in incredibly deep. Their lineup is strong. Even with the loss of wood, they still have Marimol and Gregg. They should win a lot of games. If the Cubs can not win with that have they will never win.
Brewers: They lost CC and Sheets. They don’t have much pitching, they will score runs though and lots of them. With Hart, Fielder, Hardy, and possibly Gamel they will score runs. The problem is who will pitch after Gallardo. But in a weak division they still have enough to make a run.
Cards: talk about a team that sat of their hands in the off season. They made no steps to improve in their team. They have good players. But can Ludwick and Anikel repeat career years. This a team on the decline to me. I mean do we even know who’s going to play 2nd base.
Reds: this a team a lot people like. I’m not sold yet. They have a lot of young players in Volquez, cuteo, Votto and Bruce. But I think their chances are not as good as people like. I think their young hitting is suspect and Inconsistent. And of course they manged by a man who single handle y took the world series from the Giants and ruined the Cubs pitching staff. Why does he still have a manger job? Please someone tell me.
Astors: they’re older and have very help from their farm system on the way. They can mash. With Berkman and Lee but after oswalt they have much pitching…. and their bullpen is a mess
Pirates : One of the worst teams in MLB, Bad decision after bad decision. Poor Draft after poor draft has hurt this franchise. There hop’s now rest rest with Pedro alaverz, the savior of the pirates. However they will need a lot more if they ever want to compete for a playoff spot.
Predicted order of finish
Mets : they’re biggest problem last year was their bullpen, that was fixed by the singing of krod and trade for Putz. The question will be there starting pitching after Santana. However they cant fault like that 3 times in a row can they. This is the year the Mets get over the hump and win the division.
Phillies : Its hard to pick against the world series champions. They haven’t lost that much, they picked up ibanez. The loss of Romero will hurt getting to Lidge. This team is just to way good to fall compelty off. They can hit. Have a legit ace in Hamels and have a solid rotation. If they don’t win the east they’ll grab the wild card.
Marlins: the sleeper in this division. The might just have the best starting rotation in this division and if guys like Maybin, and Sanchez contribute this could a tough team. Not to mention they have the best player in baseball playing for them. They could surprise a lot people
Braves : its hard for me not to cheer for them. They were once the proud the franchise that still boasts one of the best scouting departments in the game. Out of baseball America top 100 prospects 8 of them singed with the Braves originally. (Nefatli Feliz and Elvis Andrus are with Texas now) They have help on the way. And the underrated singing of Lowe and trade of Vazquez will help them. But I still think their a year away from contention
Nationals; worst record in baseball last year. Worst attendance . Worst TV ratings. This team is a mess and an Adam Dunn will not solve their problems. The two best things this team has is that they just got rid of Jim Bowden who ran that team in the ground. In June they get to draft Steven Strasburg. Other than that it will be a long season
AL WEST PREVIEW
Predicted Order of Finish
Angles: They took some major hits in the off season. The discount they got on Aberu will be huge. They still have strong pitching and a decent enough Lineup to win in a Improving division they just wont win by as Much as they did last time.
A’s: Oakland is much improved. Giambi. Holiday and if they sign Carberra they could be really good. With one of the best farm systems in baseball (ranked 3rd by baseball America) IF can Cahill and Anderson show their talent early they could be a contender. I just don’t see that they’re young pitching will be ready. Should be dangerous in 2010.
Rangers: If they could only pitch. They will again have one of the best lineups in baseball. But unless they sign a Ben Sheets ot trade one their cacthers for some picthers, they still have noone who can get anyone out. Feliz and Perez are not quite ready yet. Like the A’s could be very dangerous in a year.
Mariners: Welcome to the Matt Harvey Contest. They will be bad real bad. They only thing they’ll contend for will be the number 1 pick in the 2010 draft. Their Lineup should struggle and King Felix just does not enough help. It says a lot of about a team when their best off season move was bringing former Brewers Scouting Director to be their GM.
Now its time for the AL central
Predicted order of Finish
Minnesota Twins: I try and look at others season previews. It seems that all the hype is about Cleavland and the Whiter Sox once again. People see to forget that Twins came with in a great throw by Ken griffey Jr from the making the playoffs. Now their young team of Blackburn, Span and others will be a year better. They didn’t sign anyone.. all dough they might grab Crede if he comes cheap enough. But they didn’t take any major losses either. Can we stop taking about how the twins are the surprise team every year and just realize their legit?
Cleveland Indians: Signed Kerry Wood. But theres still too many questions here. Can Hafner and Martinez rebound from bad years? Probably. Was Cliff Lee’s amazing season a fluke? Yes and No. While I don’t he going get shelled, its hard for any pitcher to put up the numbers he put up last year. Will be improved enough from their second half run last year. Enough to contend for a wild card but ill believe they will just miss the playoffs.
Chicago White Sox: In an Attempt to get younger, the white traded bunch of their players. And its unlikely they resign Cabrera or Crede. Vasquez is gone. And while I don’t think Quentin was fluke I don’t think he can the year he had last year. This is going to be down year for the Sox.
Tigers; This is the hardest team to call, they have all the high priced talent. But I still think they have too many holes. No one knows who’s closing for them. Can verlander return to form? Even with Edwin Jackson their starting pitching isn’t very deep. So they struggle again perhaps even becoming sellers at the trade deadline/
Royals: their last few drafts they spent the Money and got some great talent. Homser, Melievvle and Motauskus, but those guys are still a ways away from the big leagues. And the Royals just don’t have the talent to scare anyone right now.
With Pitchers and Catchers reporting I thought it was time to do my season preview I will preview each division Staring with the AL EAST.
Predicted Order of Finish
Tampa Bay Rays: Last year was not Fluke. Now they get David Price for a full season. They added Pat Burrell and made a very underrated trade for Matt Joyce. Not to Mention that they also were injury plagued last year. With Upton, Crawford and Longria getting full seasons, theres no reason they cant take the title again.
Yankees: The Empire has reloaded/. Spending 441 Million this off season and getting read of some dead weight. (yes im talking about you Carl Pavano) They should be much improved from a team that wasn’t all that bad last year. Epically with Burnett’s Injury risk I don’t see them over taking the Rays yet. But they should grab the wild card with CC and Tex.
Red Sox: Not your typical red Sox off season, took flyers on Smotlz and Penny. Missed out on Tex> If everyone is healthy they could be a power again. With the age of that team Varteik, Lowell, Ortiz and the pitchers. Its a huge IF to say they’ll stay healthy. They’ll miss the playoffs but should win 80 plus games.
Orioles: There making all the right moves. Matt Wieters will Contend for Rookie of the Year. Their Outfield will be fanatic and with the young players in thier farm system, they should be much improved. There biggest problem is the division they play in. I give their scouting department lots of credit for their recent drafts and Trade(they stole from Seattle) but they don’t have enough to contend in a highly talented division.
Blue Jays: They lost Burnett and their young pitchers may be spending most the year on the Dl. Add to it they didn’t sign one Major Loge free agent. Their big moves have been trading for Matt bush and taking a bunch flyers on minor league guys. They should be last as the even the orioles are improved.
I was shocked today at some the backlash against the Orioles for locking up Nick Markakis Who just got a huge payday, to the tune of 66 million dollars. The O’s made a very smart locking up on their best hitters, not to mention if it wern’t for Ichrio he might best the right fielder in the Al. Last year he hit .306 with 20 homers and 87 RBIs. Hes only 25. This is a smart move and coupled with the trade for Pie. If Pie ever shows the potential that made the Cubs top prospect for two years this could be a dangerous outfield. After some horrible seasons the O”s are making the right moves. With Witers, Tillman, Artietta and Matusz on the way they have a good young uncles. Their only problem is the play in AL East. Where the red sox, the Yankees and the Rays are loaded. However the O’s fans are actually able see some light on the end of the tunnel.
There has been a lot talk this off season about the Yankees and their 423 million dollars for three players. I for one as fan am sick of it, and I cant stand the Yankees. For all the talk of fairness and salary caps theres a few to consider. One and most imporantly the YYankees actually cut spending. With Pavano, Giambi. Mussina, Andy, and Aberu all coming off the books, the Yankees had some free money to big some big time free agents. Two in the last eight years seven different teams have won the world series. None of the smart sports with salary caps can claim that. Just because a owner can spend doesn’t mean he will. A salary cap wont fix things. All a salary cap really does is protect the owners profit margins. When Tex singed with the Yankees I was at work, as one my friends commenting might as well give the championship to the Yankees now. Then I read an article by a guy who gets paid to do this who stated that the singing makes the Yankees the undisputed best team in the Al. Hold on a minute. The Rays haven’t got worse in fact they got better,. A very underrated trade for Matt Joyce, they got Pat Burrell for dirt cheap and they’ll have David price for full season, and everyone is discounting them again. They did win the AL title last year and it was not a fluke. The Red Sox haven’t made any big splashes yet but they again if they get a catcher they’ll be fine. Cleavland and Minnesota should both be involved. While the Yankees are vastly improved they not unstoppable and are beatable. Arod is yet to prove he can produce in the post season. Burnett has a huge injury history and Phil Hughes is yet to show the potential. Jeter and Posada are older. So before we going cry foul and salary, remember theres 162 games to be played and the Yankees are not the undisputed best team in the Majors or even the Al.