Get Your 2010 Results Before the Season Even Begins
Notwithstanding the New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox made-for-TV opener Sunday night, the 2010 season gets underway today. Although they say the games are played on the field and not on paper, that's not about to stop us from making our paper — err, cyber-based — predictions right here and now. We recognize our predictions are bound to fail more often than not but, hey, we're gonna go on record anywhere.
Feel free to call us out in October should you wish (heck, feel free to call us out now if you are so inclined), but we're not going to pay attention unless you go out on a limb by listing your forecasts in the comments below.
Rich: I believe the Red Sox, Rays, and Yankees are the three best teams in the majors, yet only two of them will make the postseason. New York could just as easily finish first as third. Same goes for Boston and Tampa Bay. All three clubs will win at least 90 games with the division winner and the wild card exceeding 95. The AL and World Series champion will also come from this division. The rest of the teams in the league know they need to win their division in order to qualify for the postseason. Second place in the AL West or Central won't sniff an opportunity to compete in the ALDS.
Over in the NL, I believe the Cardinals will win the Central as handily as any division titleist. I'm not nearly as convinced with respect to the East and West, as both appear to be two-way races between the Phillies/Braves and the Rockies/Dodgers. One of these four teams will earn the wild card. It says here that Colorado will prevail in the NLCS and meet Boston in a repeat of the 2007 World Series with the Red Sox winning it once again but not via a sweep as before. One other thing: Mike Lowell will not be the WS MVP in 2010!
Sully: I don't have much conviction about my American League East or West picks. The top three in the AL East look like the top-3 in all of baseball to me, but Philadelphia could lay claim to a top-3 spot as well. I think the last place team in the AL West will be a lot closer to the division winner in terms of quality than the 2nd place team will be to the respective division winners in either the AL or NL Central. I believe St. Louis, Colorado, Philadelphia and Minnesota will all manage to win their divisions without much of a challenge.
Who knows on the post-season? Any number of teams could make a run if they qualify thanks to top-heavy pitching staffs. Would you want to face Seattle in a five-gamer? For a World Series prediction, I will call a 2004 Fall Classic rematch and say Boston takes their 3rd World Series title in 7 seasons.
Sky: Yes, I'm going with the rematch of the Phillies and Yankees in the World Series once again. I think it's hard to say that anyone will come close to the Yankees and Red Sox as the best two teams in baseball. The AL Central is a complete crapshoot, but I'm going with the Tigers, partly because they seem like they are trying to win now, and if they are in it they'll likely to acquire spend the pieces they need midseason. I could really be convinced to go with any of the four top teams in that division though. In the AL West, I like the revamped Rangers, and I think the Mariners were playing a bit over their heads last season. They've made some nice pickups, but I don't think it will be enough to carry them to the top. In the NL, time is running out for the Phillies' potential dynasty, but they should have enough to win the NL again this year. I like the Braves and their young pitching to win the wild card and contend for the East. I'm not real high on the Cardinals this season, because their two aces will regress, but I can't be convinced to go with any other NL Central team this year. Finally in the West, I'm betting that Manny Ramirez can hold up one more season and carry LA to another division crown. I don't see them getting past the Phillies in the playoffs however.
Jeremy: I mainly go against the grain by picking the Braves to win the NL East. I think the Phillies are getting old, and I think with Jason Heyward, the Braves are poised to go on another 14-division-title streak. After watching J.D. Drew take a called strike three last night, I just don't see how I could allow myself to put the Red Sox in the playoffs. And the Rockies seem to be a trendy pick, but the Dodgers have a guy I like to call Vin Scully. No big deal.
Dave: The Yankees are the best team in the league, but I went with an upset in the World Series to make things a little fun. Atlanta's two young phenoms will bust out and the team will have a great year. In the AL West things will break Texas's way, they will build on their 87-win season last year and win the division. The AL and NL Centrals play out similarily to how most see it, with the Minnesota and St Louis the classes of their divisions. I think the NL West will be close with Colorado narrowly edging out Los Angeles, but the Dodgers will pick up the Wild Card.
There you have it. Where did we go right or wrong? You decide.