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Before the season starts, well at least before most of the games are finished, I took the time to predict what the final standings will be at the end of the season.

 NL Central
1. Cubs- What can I say?  They have a good rotation, good lineup and good bullpen.  However, they are overrated a little bit, before I start predicting them to win world series I would like to see them win ONE playoff game.
2. Brewers- Strong lineup but a questionable rotation will lead these guys through a roller coaster season.  Their success depends on Manny Parra and Yovani Gallardo
3. Cardinals- Weak pitching but like the Brewers, a strong lineup.  I am not very high on their young pitching talent out of the bullpen either.  I think this team is good but great.
4.  Reds- People need to stop overrating this team.  They lack a good SS, CF, and C...three prime positions that you need in order to be successful.  Jay Bruce will be good but he wont hit his potential.  And as for the pitching, their bullpen is OK, and their rotation depends on whether Harang and Cueto will be good for a whole season.
5.  Astros- Too little pitching, too much hitting.  Oswalt is the only pitcher I would even let on my team at this moment.  The Astros need to stop giving away their young talent because right now they are getting older and older.
6.  Pirates- Hey!  If Snell and Gorzelany pitch well, this team can put up some runs and make a run for not being in the cellar.

NL East
1. Mets-  Strong hitting, a good rotation and now a strong bullpen.  New Citi field caters to the hitters like Wright, Delgado and Reyes...it will be a good season.
2. Braves-  Even without their game yesterday I still had them here.  Jair will be a great pitcher and the likes of Vazquez and Lowe should be a stabilizing force for the staff.  Hitting wont come hard either, Jones, Johnson, Escobar highlight a talented infield.
3. Phillies-  I dont like this team top to bottom.  I think their pitching is overrated, I think they have 4-5 good hitters and then the lineup falls apart.  And I dont care what they did last year...as evidenced by the Rockies, all the playoffs are, is who is the hottest team at the moment.
4.  Marlins-  Like the Astros, they need to stop giving away talent.  I liked this team until they departed with half of their players.
5.  Nationals-  Adam Dunn wasnt a terrible move, but they lack any sort of pitching they would need to come in anything better than last.

NL West
1. Dodgers-  I am reluctant to give LA first place, because of the lack of pitching they have.  But I do think Furcal, Hudson, and the rest can carry them offensivley.
2.  Giants-  Who doesnt like this pitching staff?  But thats not the issue, the problem is the fact that they have absolutley no hitters.  When your cleanup batter is a catcher who drove in 85 runs last year...you got problems.
3.  Diamondbacks-  They could make a run for second, maybe first.  But I think that their high rate of strikeouts will hurt this team offensivley.
4.  Rockies-  Sorry Colorado...trading away Holiday did nothing but hurt your team.  Have fun in last!


AL Central
1.  Twins-  This is an exciting team.  Mauer, Young and Morneau highlight a productive offense.  While their pitching is full of no names, they are quite solid.
2.  Indians-  DeRosa was the smartest pick up of the year.  He will add nicely to their lineup and move the Indiands into contention this year.
3.  Royals-  I am pulling the trigger on this one.  Greinke and Meche will provide a good front end rotation, but I am interested to see how their bullpen and back end hold up...we will see!
4.  White Sox-  I dont like this team.  I think they have the ability to be extremley good but in my opinion they will be too streaky this year to be close to the top.
5.  Tigers-  Pitching is bad, and the hitting is just ok.  The tigers equation just doesnt add up.

AL East
1.  Red Sox-  The Red Sox didnt add anyting major, but merely topped off a already great team.  Penny, Saito and Smoltz could add up to three big contributors if healthy and will push the Sox over the top.
2.  Rays-  I like Burrell in this lineup, he adds some more homerun power and can drive in a lot of runs.  Their pitching again should be excellent and they should make a run for the Wild Card.
3.  Yankees-  I am not impressed by their off season.  Burnett is not very good at all, Sabathia has never pitched in a big market, and Tex isnt the clubhouse leader they need.  Their pitching might be good, but I want to see them put up runs with guys like Melky Cabrera in the lineup.
4.  Orioles-  They need pitching.  They have a bright young star in Adam Jones, but he and his other hitters cannot carry a team by themselves.
5.  Blue Jays-  They used to be known for their pitching...now they are going to be known for just Roy Halladay.

AL West
1.  Angels-  So what they dont have Tex or K-Rod.  They still have a solid staff and hitters.  Abreau should be excellent out in right and I expect Lackey to help the pitching staff along this year.
2.  Athletics-  Young and talented.  They could make a bid for the title this year, but ultimatley their lack of experience will get in the way.
3.  Rangers-  They have the hitting, but will the pitching add up?  It's a question I would like answered.
4.  Mariners-  When healthy they can compete, but the likeliness of everyone being is slim.


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