by Andy Paschen
Ok, I might as well get this over with. I would like to say first that I’m not a huge fan of predictions, but everyone else is doing it and I’m a slave to fashion. I am pretty much the smartest person I know, so these predictions might as well me a 100% lock in terms of accuracy. Count it. We’ll start with what I already know.
N.L. Central: Cubs, Reds, Cardinals, Brewers, Astros, Pirates
They are just too much for the rest of the league. And I’ve noticed that many a sportswriter is giving the Cardinals a good shot to do some serious damage in the Central, and I want to dispel those rumors right now. Not because the St. Louis Cardinals are a consistent pain in my ass just like the pain in Dr. Gregory House’s leg (television reference!), but because writers and fans alike are really missing the boat on this one. Why? 1) You cannot, I repeat, cannot count on Kyle Lohse, Joel Piniero or Todd Wellemeyer, three players that have had limited success in their career at best until last year, to be just as good as they were last year. It’s called a career year, there’s a reason they only happen once or twice in a career. 2) Their big off-season acquisition is a career .248 hitter. Khalil Greene is batting out of the cleanup spot. He hit .213 last year. I don’t care that he hit 27 HRs with 97 RBIs two years ago, he’s NEVER hit .275. Ever. 3) Albert Pujols is a ‘roider. Yeah I said it. The baseball gods will eventually bring the hammer down, just you wait and see.
N.L. East: Mets, Phillies (Wild card), Braves, Marlins, Nationals
Why? I have no idea, but I think Francisco (that’s a fun name!) Rodriguez and J.J. Putz solve that pesky bullpen problem the Mets had. As for the rest of the division, the Phillies don’t have enough pitching, the Braves don’t have enough experience, the Marlins don’t have enough fans and the Nationals don’t have enough.
N.L. West: Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Giants, Rockies, Padres
West, have fun playing against Jake Peavy, it’s not going to last the whole season. Dodgers? See you in the playoffs, because Hiroki Kuroda is going to have more wins, your good hitters are going to hit better with Manny Ramirez in the lineup for a full year and the rest of your division is gross. Keep an eye on Randy Johnson though, he could be pretty good this year. Why? Because he’s on my fantasy, and he better have a good year, or else he’ll have to answer to the GM of Team Moneyballs — me.
A.L. East: Red Sox, Yanks (Wild card), Rays, Jays, Orioles
Why? Because the Sawks are better than everyone else when they are healthy (which they weren’t last year), the Yanks spent enough money to support a small to mid-sized African nation, and the Rays, well, I just don’t see them striking it rich two years in a row. I like the Blue Jays squad, but they are cursed with being in a division where they will never see the light of day. The Orioles, well, have fun with Rich Hill and Felix Pie, I know the Cubs didn’t.
A.L. Central: Tigers, Twins, Indians, White Sox, Royals
Listen, the Tiger’s line-up is just too good to be as bad as they were last year. Armando Galarraga is good, Justin Verlander is good, Edwin Jackson could be good enough plus a bounce back year from Curtis Granderson means they are going to surprise a few people. The Twins get 2nd just because all they do is win, somehow. Joe Crede will make a bigger impact on their line-up than people think and a full season of Dernard Span at the top of the order will generate more runs than they’ve had in sometime. The Royals? Well, just be thankful that the MLB doesn’t have relegation, like European soccer. Otherwise they would be at the AA level at best right now.
A.L. West: Angels, A’s, Rangers, Mariners
Why do they still have four teams in their division when the N.L. Central has six? This isn’t a difficult problem to solve either. Move Houston to the N.L. West and have the Rockies switch leagues. The Rockies, with their thin air and all, are better suited for the style of play that the A.L. is anyway. Why has this not happened? God I hate you Bud Selig. I have everything about you, from your beatty little eyes to the gross fake hair on your head.
NLCS: Dodgers over Cubs. It hurts to write that.
ALCS: Red Sox over Yankees. It also hurts to write that.
World Series: Red Sox over Dodgers. Mark it down. Now. Are you marking? Go ahead, go forth and mark.
So there you have it. They might as well not even play the next 162 games, because I just did it for them. I have no idea who will win MVPs or Cy Youngs, nor do I care. But if they come from the N.L. Central, it’ll be Pujols and Rich Harden (if he can stay healthy). Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to call my bookie.