Monday, March 31, 2008

2008 MLB Predictions

Though the 2008 regular season has technically commenced, a majority of openers will be played today starting at 1:05pm EDT when the Toronto Blue Jays visit the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals travel to Detroit to take on the Tigers. The Blue Jays/Yankees game will be the last home opener in Yankee Stadium history.

Fans and the media tend to believe there are a few dominant teams in baseball this year (Red Sox, Tigers, Mets). This seems to be the thought every year. My how quickly we forget. While the Sawx did win it all last year and were thought by many to be the best team, there were many surprises in 2007. Seriously, how many people had the Diamondbacks winning the N.L. West and the Rockies storming back to claim the N.L. Wild Card and then make the World Series? Maybe 2% of the population, maybe less? I think the same will happen this year. There will be one or two dark horse teams that no one thinks can go anywhere but they will challenge for a division championship...or even a World Series. To show you what I'm thinking, here are my 2008 MLB Predictions:

Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles

Detroit Tigers
Cleveland Indians (Wild Card)
Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Texas Rangers
Seattle Mariners
Oakland Athletics


New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies (Wild Card)
Atlanta Braves
Washington Nationals
Florida Marlins

Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers
Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals
Pittsburgh Pirates
Houston Astros

Los Angeles Dodgers
Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants

American league
Los Angelese Angels of Anaheim

National League
New York Mets

American League
Texas Rangers

National League
Cincinnati Reds

Rookie of the Year - American League
Clay Bucholz, SP, Boston Red Sox
Another Possibility - Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays

Rookie of the Year - National League
Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds
Another Possibility - Jay Bruce, OF, Cincinnati Reds

Cy Young - American League

Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers
Another Possibility - Erik Bedard, SP, Seattle Mariners

Cy Young - National League
Johan Santana, SP, New York Mets
Another Possibility - Brandon Webb, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Most Valuable Player - American League
Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Detroit Tigers
Another Possibility - Grady Sizemore, CF, Cleveland Indians

Most Valuable Player - National League
Chase Utley, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies
Another Possibility - David Wright, 3B, New York Mets

So there it is. Let me clarify some picks. I think the Red Sox will run away with the A.L. East and have it tied up by mid-September. The A.L. Central is the best division in baseball. The Tigers and Indians are my favorites but I would not count out the White Sox or the Twins. The A.L. West is kind of dreadful (like the N.L. Central). The Angels are clearly the best team but that isn't saying too much. I think the Rangers will start to gel nicely and could make some noise if their pitching staff is worked out and performs. In the N.L., the East and West have at least three teams capable of winning the division. I think the Mets will rebound from last year and squeak by both the Phillies and the Braves. I don't think the Mets win the division by more than three games and I expect one through three in the East to be separated by no more than five games. Like the A.L. West, the N.L. Central has one strong team in the Cubs who should take the division. I see the Brewers regressing slightly in 2008 allowing the Reds - my most improved team - and Cardinals to challenge for second in the Central. Out West I see an Andruw Jones renaissance, coupled with great play from youngsters Ethier, Kemp, Loney, and LaRoche (once he is healthy), that propels the Dodgers to the division crown. However the Diamondbacks, with the best pitching staff in the majors, will always be lurking. The Rockies will drop back down to earth in 2008 and the Padres just can't muster any offense and ruin Jake Peavy's chances at the Cy Young.

So apparently I don't have any faith in the Phillies either. Well that's not true. I really believe that they will push the Mets all year and it wouldn't surprise me if the Phillies are in first for a large portion of the summer. But unfortunately I think the Phillies pitching is too weak to win a second straight N.L. East championship. But they will make the playoffs! Yay wild card! Also, I think the Braves are being overvalued. They are talented but not as much as some of the "experts" say. At least, in my opinion. It should be a GREAT seven months. Welcome back baseball, welcome back.

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