The regular season begins tomorrow night. And what an opening night, Fenway Paak, Boston and NY going head to head, Yankees coming off their 28th Championship, while Boston is trying to re-make their team with the signings of Lacky, Cameron, Beltre and some others.
So what better time than now for predictions...
AL East: Yankees
Yes I'm bias, but I really think the Yankees are the class of baseball. Even the Red Sox added the big name pitcher, and improved defense, they won't be able to put up enough offense. And last year everyone was saying Boston's pitching was better than NY's despite the big signings the Yankees made and it seems the same thing is happening now, but guess what they're wrong again.
The race for second in the AL East is going to be real good this year and will most likely determine the wild card. I think the Rays are in position to get back to the post-season this year. They didn't make any major moves with the exception of getting a legit closer, which totally reshapes that bullpen. And with guys like Crawford and Pena in their walk year they could put up good years. They could be real good.
Orioles are moving in the right direction with a ton of young pitchers, with an offense that should be real good for several years. I think they should be improved but just under .500.
The Blue Jays just suck. They'll be lucky to get 60 wins.
AL Central: Tigers
The Twins will be good again, they always just find a way to win but losing Nathan really hurts them. The Tigers added Damon, Austin Jackson, and Max Scherzer. and just dealt Nate Robertson. The Tigers were in control for most of the season but lost in that one game playoff to the Twins. The bad taste in their mouth will work as motivation this year. I'm really undecided on the White Sox they could surprise people (either way, winning a lot or losing a lot), KC improves but not by much.
AL West: Texas Rangers
Texas hung around last year late into the season before fading to the Angels. Their pitching has really taken shape under Nolan Rolan and should be improved with another season if development under their belt. They have plenty of offense, a good closer, and young rocket arm kid Neftali Feliz to hand it off to the closer. They will go as far as their rotation takes them. Angels lost their #1 starter and key offensive guys, but I have too much respect for Mike Scocia to think they won't be in contention. Mariners were the talk to the baseball world adding Cliff Lee and Chone Figgins, and signing Hernandez to a long extension, but they'll need more than that. Should be a great race but Texas pulls it out. Oh yeah the A's are their just to play spoilers at the end. Sheets will be Sheets, half way decent numbers but will get hurt.
AL Wild Card: Tampa Bay Rays
Should be a battle till the end of the season between Boston, Tampa, and LA.
NL East: Phillies
Much like the AL East the NL East is at least 3 teams deep, with Phillies, Braves, and Marlins all fighting for the division. The Marlins pitching is real good and they can hit. Same with the Braves great pitching so much so they felt they could deal Javy Vazquez, who finished 3rd in the NL CY Young to the Yankees (thank you!!!) But to be the man you have to beat the man. Phillies are the team to beat. Nationals are definitely moving in the right direction it wouldn't surprise me to see them right around .500 this year. Sleeping in the basement that team from Queens.
NL Central: Cardinals
Cardinals are the team to beat in this division. Great pitching and the best hitter in the game, and they re-sign Matt Holliday to protect him. No brainer here. Pirates may be the worst team in baseball, Houston will be right above them. Team to watch out for is the Reds. I think they finish in second place in the division above the Cubs and will battle for the wild card.
NL West: Rockies
Rockies just looked real good last year, and I think they will continue to play solid baseball. They Jeff Francis back in their rotation, and that will help them a lot. I think they may need a closer though, Street is not looking good and may be on the DL. Dodgers are a mess because of the owners divorce and Manny's side show will get tired real quick this year. I really want to like the D-Backs but without Brandon Webb they just don't have that solid pitching. This means new comers Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy need to move up a spot, I like them better as #3 and #4 starters, not #2 and #3, respectively. The surprise team may be the Giants. The Padres are in the basement.
NL Wild Card: Braves
This will be a real battle between a bunch teams that include the Braves, Marlins, Giants, Dodgers, and possibly the Reds and/or Cubs. I look for a nice send off for Bobby Cox.
Yankee win the AL Pennant
Braves win the NL Pennant
Yankees win #28