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2008 Predictions

Matt Imbrogno

January 2008

 

            I hate making predictions on the baseball season this early before rosters are all finalized and Spring Training hasn't even started yet, but I've got to write something, right? Anyway, here are my predictions for the 2008 MLB Season.

 

            AMERICAN LEAGUE

            X denotes playoff team

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

 

  1. Boston Red Sox--x
  2. New York Yankees -x
  3. Toronto Blue Jays
  4. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
  5. Baltimore Orioles

 

Boston just dominates. They are head and shoulders above everyone in the league. The Yankees will slug their way to another wildcard berth and the young pitchers mature to help lead the team.

 

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

  1. Detroit Tigers-x
  2. Cleveland Indians
  3. Minnesota Twins
  4. Chicago White Sox
  5. Kansas City Royals

 

Detroit's acquisitions of Edgar Renteria and Miguel Cabrera help propel them to their second division crown in three years. Cleveland struggles with pitching as Fausto Carmona fails to put up anything near what he did in 2007 and Sabathia can't carry the team on his own.

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST

  1. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim-x
  2. Seattle Mariners
  3. Texas Rangers
  4. Oakland Athletics

 

This division will pan out pretty much the same as last year. Getting Garland improves Anaheim's pitching and Vlad mashes as per usual. Losing Orlando Cabrera hurts their offense, but it's still better than what the rest of the division puts up.

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

  1. Philadelphia Phillies-x
  2. New York Mets-x
  3. Atlanta Braves
  4. Florida Marlins
  5. Washington Nationals

 

The Braves look poised to make a run, but losing Andruw Jones proves more costly than most fans think. Cole Hamels and Chase Utley lead them to their second straight division crown while the Mets make up for last year's blunder and get into the wild card spot, led by David Wright and Carlos Beltran while Jose Reyes struggles.

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL

  1. Chicago Cubs-x
  2. St. Louis Cardinals
  3. Milwaukee Brewers
  4. Houston Astros
  5. Cincinnati Reds
  6. Pittsburgh Pirates

 

The Cubs win the weakest division in baseball by default. Milwaukee's horrible lack of pitching drops them back to third and they regress. Troy Glaus helps St. Louis' floundering offense, but he and Pujols can only bring them to a second place finish.

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST

  1. Colorado Rockies-x
  2. San Diego Padres
  3. Los Angeles Dodgers
  4. San Francisco Giants
  5. Arizona Diamondbacks

 

Colorado comes back strong and wins the division behind Jeff Francis, Matt Holliday, and Troy Tulowitzki. The Giants turn a few heads with a respectable win total and climb out of the cellar. Danny Haren can only help so much and the Diamondbacks total lack of offense, and loss of their closer, leads to a bad record and a last place finish. Like I've been saying, teams that get outscored cannot maintain long-term success.

 

PLAYOFFS

ALDS: NYY over DET 3-2, BOS over LAA 3-0

NLDS: PHI over CHI 3-1, COL over NYM 3-2

 

ALCS: BOS over NYY (that hurt), 4-3

NLCS: PHI over COL, 4-2

 

WS: BOS over PHI, 4-2

 

The Yankees finally manage to move past the first round for the first time in a few years, but the Red Sox beat them in seven, after they handle the Angels yet again. The Phillies advance by beating the Cubs handily and getting revenge on the Rockies. They put up a semi-valiant effort in the World Series but Boston proves to be too good and establishes itself as the late-90s Yankees of the early 21st Century.

 

AWARDS

AL MVP: Alex Rodriguez, NYY

NL MVP: Chase Utley, PHI

 

Alex Rodriguez again puts up 50 homers and leads the Yankees to a playoff berth. Chase Utley finally gets the recognition he so deserves and becomes the third straight Phillie to win the award (and arguably the first to deserve it).

 

AL Cy Young: Johan Santana, MIN

NL Cy Young: Cole Hamels, PHI

 

Johan reasserts the dominance he has and gets the recognition he didn't get in 2007. After this year, Major League Baseball may want to think about re-naming it the "Johan Santana." Cole Hamels finally puts together a healthy, dominate season and wins his first Cy Young award.

 

Batting Title Winners:

Ichiro, SEA

Chase Utley, PHI

 

Home Run Kings:

Alex Rodriguez, NYY

Matt Holliday, COL

 

RBI Crown:

Alex Rodriguez, NYY

Chase Utley, PHI

 

Silver Sluggers:

C: Victor Martinez, CLE; Russell Martin, LAD

1B: Justin Morneau, MIN; Derek Lee, CHI

2B: Robinson Cano, NYY; Chase Utley, PHI

3B: Alex Rodriguez, NYY; Garrett Atkins, COL

SS: Derek Jeter, NYY; Troy Tulowitzki, COL

LF: Manny Ramirez, BOS; Matt Holliday, COL

CF: Grady Sizemore, CLE; Hunter Pence, HOU

RF: Magglio Ordonez, DET; Jeff Francoeur, ATL

P: Micah Owings, ARI

 

Gold Glovers:

C: Joe Mauer, MIN; Russell Martin, LAD

1B: Kevin Youkilis, BOS; Todd Helton, COL

2B: Dustin Pedroia, BOS; Chase Utley, PHI

3B: Scott Rolen, TOR; Ryan Zimmerman, WAS

SS: John McDonald, TOR; Troy Tulowitzki, COL

OF: Grady Sizemore, CLE; Jeff Francoeur, ATL

OF: Ichiro Suzuki, SEA; Andruw Jones, LAD

OF: Michael Cuddyer, MIN; Carlos Beltran, NYM

P: Chien Ming Wang, NYM; Greg Maddux, SDP

 

Breakout Stars:

James Loney, 1B, LAD

Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, BOS

Phil Hughes, SP, NYY

Tim Lincecum, SP, SFG

BJ Upton, CF, TBD

Jeremy Hermida, OF, FLA

Hunter Pence, OF, HOU

 

These guys will be household names by year's end. It's only a matter of time before they're perennial All-Stars and in contention for MVPs and Cy Youngs.

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