That was a pretty crazy day of baseball yesterday. I enjoyed the Reds/Brewers, Padres/Cardinals, and even the Giants/Dodgers (although the Giants lost, it was fun to watch the rivalry game anyway.) Let's go to the Junior Circuit today:
1) Oakland A's - Young dominant pitching + better hitting = division championship. It's science.
2) Texas Rangers - They will be somewhat worse without Vlad and Cliff Lee. I still think they will be relatively good and make the division race extremely tight.
3) Los Angeles Angels In The Outfield of The City Known As Kings Stealers And/Or Anaheim - This team has continually lost out on free agents and their talent pool has regressed. Luckily, Dan Haren should have a great year, Jered Weaver is still solid, and Mike Scioscia is managing. They will be competitive until Kendrys Morales breaks his legs celebrating a walk off grand slam... again.
4) Seattle Mariners - They have Ichiro and used to have Ken Griffey, Jr. King Felix is sick. The rest of their team is not. I've already wasted too much text on this team. Prove to me that you're good, and I'll come back and write a full post on ya'll. Until then, you have been banished to the cellar.
1) Minnesota Twins - My man-crush for Joe Mauer knows no bounds. I now have Justin Morneau on my fantasy team as well, making my love for the Twins even more powerful. As long as Morneau's brain is scrambled like eggs in a frying pan half-way through the year, I think they will win the division. (Reminds me of the "This Is Your Brain On Drugs" commercials. Morneau's brain probably looks way worse than Ron Washington's.)
2) Detroit Tigers - Miguel Cabrera's recent alcoholic outburst shows me just how tough this guy wants to win. They should tell him, "We'll have shots of whiskey at home if you hit a home run." He would probably hit 200 homers. Their tiny second baseman is hilarious!
3) Chicago White Sox - My DNA doesn't allow me to pick them higher than third. I hate Ozzie Guillen and I find it hilarious that they considered trading him to the Florida Marlins. Chicago is angry at Jake Peavy for pitching while being angry at Jay Cutler for not playing. Make up your mind folks! Do you want tough guys or people who know when they physically can't compete?
4) Cleveland Indians - I hope Fausto Carmona (the most communist name in baseball) wins 25 games. He's on my fantasy team. Look for Grady Sizemore to have a bounce back year if healthy.
5) Kansas City Royals - For having the best farm system in baseball, I can't see them pulling a "Rays" in the next few years. Peter Gammons once said "Alex Gordon will be the next Albert Pujols." Good luck with all that. I once took shots with the Royals ticketing staff at a conference when the Royals beat the Twins 1-0. They knew they had to celebrate a win because it doesn't come around that often.
1) NY Yankees - This is the benefit of doing this post one day into the season. I would have picked the Red Sox yesterday. My new rationale? Joba --> Soriano --> Sandman. Lock it up. That bullpen is going to be tough to deal with. After Spring Training, I'm also holding out hope that Mark Prior will come up and add to their bullpen (because I want to see it happen!) Their offense is clearly fine. The only worry is starting pitching, so we'll see how that shakes out.
2) Boston Red Sox* - It will be interesting. The additions of Crawford and Adrian Gonzales are intriguing. As much as I'm worried about the back end of the Yankees' rotation, I'm just as worried about John Lackey and Josh Beckett. Sure, they've been studs in the past, but not so much these days. There should be some serious 5.5 hour battles between them and the Yanks.
3) Baltimore Orioles - Let's do this! I have literally nothing to back this up besides Buck Showalter managing and Luke Scott owns a massive gun collection. When the revolution comes, everybody run to Luke's house!
4) Tampa Bay Rays - This magic can't last forever. It can't. I love Hellickson and David Price, but I'm not sure how great they will be after losing Crawford, Pena and Garza. They might prove me wrong, but I wouldn't bet on it.
5) Toronto Blue Jays - Remember when they were awesome and won the World Series? 1993 was it? Well, those days are long gone. They keep taunting their fans and almost breaking through each year, but if they weren't able to do it with Halladay, how can one expect them to do it without the Doc? This whole division should be competitive and I'm putting the Jays down in last by default. I could actually see the bottom three shaking out any which way. These teams are interchangeable.
A's over Red Sox
Yanks over Twins
Yanks over A's
WS: Yankees over Giants (No, I'm not cheering for this, just picking what I think is logical.)
MVP: Joe Mauer
Cy Young: Trevor Cahill
Manager of the Year: Bob Geren
Rookie of the Year: If Jeremy Hellickson qualifies I'm going with him.
So there it is. My season predictions. Let me know your thoughts or your predictions. Can't wait for the Cubs to start playing!