Spring training is under way and the baseball world is ready for the first pitch to be thrown, but before all of that happens I am making my predictions on the outcomes of the 2008 MLB season.
1.)Brewers- When Gallardo, Cameron and Graffanino come back this will be the team to beat, they have a lot fo power and their defense is only getting better by moving rookie sensation, Braun, to LF. Their staff should be good as long as Sheets stays healthy and Gagne doesnt blow saves.
2.)Reds- I put them ahead of the Cubs because I believe their youth and good pitching should dominate the Central. And if Griffey stays healthy they have a formidable offense.
3.)Cubs- I dont think their pitching is as good as everyone says, Zambrano had ONE good month last season, Hill and Lilly are average pitchers and Dempster wont be a good starter at all. Their offense wont be that great, Soriano will falter, Fukudome will be a bust, but Lee and Ramirez will keep pluggin away. Overall I dont really like their chances.
4.)Pirates- I think this team can come togethor to get themselves out of the cellar, especially with talent like LaRoche and Bay, they should be in for an average season
5.)Cardinals- They have no pitching other than Carpenter, and they have no hitting other than Pujols, and he is having problems with his elbow, so overall...bad season in store.
6.)Astros- This is an awful team, Tejada is old, slow and not a good fielder anymore, they have one OK young player in Pence, Lee and Berkman will be good as usual but it wont be enough to carry the load. They have no starting pitchers and Valverde is a waste because they will never even be close to getting him a save opportunity.
1.)Mets- I agree with Beltran, they are the team to beat. Johan, Maine, El Duque will be a formidable pitching staff and their offense and defense will cruise and destoy the East's pitchers.
2.)Braves- I think they have the edge pitching over the Phillies so I gave them second place. Texiera, Chipper, Francoeur, and Kelly Johnson should add enough offense to help them.
3.)Phillies- The loss of Rowand was big but if they can keep their star trio healthy they could easily take second place.
4.)Marlins- I usually count on them to have at least a decent season. I think Hanley and Uggla can be a powerful duo that can carry this team out of last place. But their pitching is still very suspect and the loss of Cabrera hurts them more than anything.
5.)Nationals- This is a bad team, they have little pitching, little hitting, little fielding and they are a fairly old team! These are not the right combinations to win more than 40 games!
1.)Dodgers- This is the hardest division to pick, I went with the Dodgers in first because I think Jones should add the good defense in the outfield they want as well as a big bat to hit the great NL West pitchers. I also like their pitching of Lowe, Penny, and Saito to close things out.
2.)D-Backs- This team got a lot better with the addition of Haren. I dont mind them losing Valverde because they do have enough arms in their pen to recover from that loss. Plus I think Byrnes, Hudson and Young should add the offense they need.
3.)Padres- Adding Edmonds was smart, he is a great defensive player (which the Padres rely on) and he is a gap hitter, which their ballpark is very suited for. Overall I think they are a decent team but they dont have the offense to compete with the D-Backs and Dodgers.
4.)Rockies- I hate to say it, but last season was a bit of a fluke. They have a great defense and good offense, and with Tulo maturing every game they could be REALLY good in a year or two but right now they just dont have what it takes to be with the elite of the west.
4.)Giants- This is classic, a bad team overspends on overrated players (Rowand, Zito), and the signing does nothing to help their team. They are just going to be bad, maybe the first 0-162 team?? Maybe??? :)
1.)Tigers- I like them a hair over the Indians. I think Cabrera adds the finishing touch to their already stacked lineup and with Mags, Guillen, Polanco, and Granderson. Their pitching is average but I think Dontrelle will turn out to be a good pitcher even in the AL.
2.)Indians- Great team, being from Ohio I was used to them being bad, but now they have a good team with solid hitting and pitching. My only fear for them is that they wont have enough offense to keep up with the dominating Tiger lineup, otherwise they are a great team.
3.)Kansas City- I think this is the highest they have ever been ranked! I truly believe that this year may be the year they get out of the cellar. I like Alex Gordon over at third base, and I like Guillin in the outfield. My only concern is that they have little pitching, eventually that could be the downfall of their team, but for now I think they are looking alright.
4.)Twins- The loss of Johan, and Hunter were big, but lets not forget they still have Mornaeu, the MVP! Plus Liriano is back and they should have just enough to keep them out of the cellar this year.
5.)White Sox- Again, a classic move, "lets overspend on overrated players!!! YAHHHH". I cant even look at a Sox roster to see how much they overpaid linebrink and other FA's. Overall I dont like their team from head to toe.
1.)Red Sox- Schilling isnt that big of a loss, and I think Manny is in for a big year (he reported to camp early!) It is his contract year and he wants to prove he is worth the millions they pay him. Overall expect something like last year.
2.)Blue Jays- They have a underrated rotation, Marcum, Halladay and McGowan are all solid pitchers. Plus I think Toronto is a better fit for Rolen, and with the combo of Wells, Rios and Overbay, they have solid hitting.
3.)Yankees- As much as I would like them to be in last place, I just cant put them there. Arod is good, Jeter isnt ageing well and the rest of their lineup is OLD. Their pitching is a bright spot though, yet I dont see that being enough to beat the Sox and Jays. They just wont have the stamina in their old, overpaid bones, to keep it up all season.
4.)Devil Rays- When I visited their stadium I felt like I was in a play park. But this year I think they are going to outgrow the yellow slid and swing sets and become a somewhat legit team. Longoria is a great prospect and I think he should be ready. They have a REALLY talented system but they arent all ready yet, so dont expect a whole lot this year. Maybe in in 2 years.
5.)Orioles- They did the right thing in losing Bedard, but unfortunatley that means this year they have very little talent on their team and I dont expect a whole lot out of their Starters or the weak lineup.
1.)Mariners- They now have one of the best one two punches with Bedard and Felix. They also have a good infield of Beltre, Beta, Lopez and Sexson, all of whom are very underrated. With Ichiro and Ibanez in the OF I fully expect them to give the Sox and Dodgers a run for their money in the pursuit of the best record.
2.)Angels- Hunter adds to a crowded OF, but he is a top notch player and will definetley help their team. Figgins is a great player and so is Vlad, they should add enough offense to carry them to at least a wild card spot.
3.)Rangers- Bradley was a nice addition, but with a weak rotation and offense I expect them to finish somewhere near the bottom of the AL.
4.)Athletics- Their GM was smart to dismantle the team and start over. I see no reason in talking about them since they could give the Giants a run for their money in the worst team in the MLB.
Wild card- Arizona
RD 1. D-Backs vs. Mets -- Brewers vs. Dodgers
RD 2. Brewers vs. Mets
NL Champ: Mets
Wild Card- Angels
RD 1. Angels vs. Red Sox -- Mariners vs. Tigers
RD 2. Red Sox vs. Mariners
AL Champ: Mariners
Winner: Mets in 5 games
Thats my take on the season so far!