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Dust off your grills, and bust out the mits, it baseball time!

I sit here wishing I hadnt eaten both the cheese fries and nachos when I went to the Brewers last exhibition game last night.  It was a joyous time, but my stomach hasnt been fed that much grease and fat since last summer, and it was completley un-prepared. 

Between watching Baseball Tonight and the womens NCAA tournament I found time to make some last minute thoughts and predictions for the upcoming 2008 MLB Season.

Predictions:

1.) Ryan Braun comes out with a spectacular season, bats over .340, and hits 40 homeruns.  All of this on his way to finishing 2nd in the MVP voting right behind my man, David Wright. 

2.) Carlos Zambrano turns out to be...A BUST.  As I have said at least 100 times, he is not that good.  I will repeat myself, he is not that good.  Last season he put togethor a decent record and nice stats on the outside.  But I am a guy who looks further than just the outer stats.  After I looked at his stats, I decided to take away what seemed to be his great month of July...and to my surprise his ERA was 4.526.  WOW!  Take out one month and you see just how good he was...not that good.  And that is why he is my bust pick this year.

3.) Angel Pagan starts the year out in LF for the Mets because Moises is down on the DL, and he will never lose that spot to Alou.  Pagan has major talent, he has some pop in his bat and he has great speed.  He is a much better defensive OF than Alou and will show consistency at the plate.

4.) The Mariners surprise everyone and take the MLB with a 102-60 record.  You may think that is a stretch but I see it.  Sexson is going to return to form under a better lineup and with the addition of Bedard and Silva, Hernandez will feel less pressure and be a 20 game winner.

5.) The Blue Jays surprise the nation and beat out the Yankees and Sox for a AL East title.  Their pitching staff is the most underrated, Halladay is one of the best, followed by Marcum, McGowan and Burnett, all double digit winners.  Not to mention then all are under 3 ERA or right near it at 4.1.  Their hitting is improved as well, Rolen will turn out to be a great player again, and Aaron Hill will have a monster year.

6.) John Maine wins the NL Cy Young.  He is now not under pressure to be the king New York, and will let Johan take that role, while he quietly calms down and sets career highs for SO, ERA, and WHIP.  All leading to a successful season.  Oh yeah, he is also backed up by one of the best offenses and defenses.

7.) Ben Sheets is traded to the Mets.  In order to make more money available for their young stars, the Brewers dump the oft injured Pitcher on the Mets for a whole new Farm system.  This allows them to move on from the previous pitching era and on to the new one with Yovani Gallardo, Manny Parra, and Carlos Villanueva.

8.) J.R. Towles wins rookie of the year.  He is one of the Astros only bright spots, but he happens to be a shining star.  Towles has a great arm, good release from behind the plate, and calls a game fairly well.  His hitting is outstanding as well, he adds decent speed for a catcher with a little pop in his bat.

9.) Doug Davis battles back from cancer and returns at the end of the season to lead his team to an emotional World Series appearance.  (its a small but heart warming prediction).

10.) This is my crazy, insane prediction.  Kosuke Fukudome turns out to be a goat, a stunt set up by the Cubs to try and rid themselves of the curse.  In the end it fails, as Kosuke the goat eats too much grass in the outfield and the cubs fall into last place :)

Some stats for you to mull over:
This is for all you doubters of the Brewers bullpen and rotation.  The current Brewers starting rotation has a combined ERA of 4.101, that is good enough for first place in the MLB on last years stats.  Their new bullpen has a combined ERA of 4.12, good enough for a top 5 spot on last years stats. 
Quite surprising isnt it?  For all you doubters who said they have bad pitching...well their new pitchers have some good stats and will combine to be a formidable force!

Thats my two cents on things, I would say I care what you think about my predictions...but the truth is I dont.  Opinions are like a$s holes, everybodys got them and they all stink!

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