I Had a Feeling
OK, it’s been way, way, way too long since I posted, so please forgive me a brief and self-congratulatory post.
Before the season started, I identified four "I Have a Feeling" teams — Major League teams that I wouldn’t necessarily predict outcomes for, but that i just thought would be better than they were getting credit for on a national scale. As of right now, I’m feeling pretty good about them…
Obviously there’s no proof that I liked these teams back in March, so if that bothers you, oh well.
* Phillies: I liked their offense a lot, though without Jim Thome and Placido Polanco, it’s not so good anymore. They’re near the bottom of the league in offense on the road, which isn’t good. But they have a nice deep rotation — not great, but solid — and a fine bullpen. Jimmy Rollins and his .306 OBP in the leadoff spot I’m not crazy about, but this is an interesting team. I liked them at the beginning of the year, so I’m sticking with them to win the NL Wild Card.
* Brewers: It’s not like I thought they were going to make the playoffs, but I saw a lot I liked with this team. And unlike the Phils, I got it right for more or less the right reasons — a decent rotation headed by the still-underrated Ben Sheets and an offense that can hit the ball out of the park. These guys are headed in the right direction and are a year or two away from being very interesting.
* A’s: A friend of mine and one of my favorite MLB.com colleagues picked the A’s for dead last in the AL West this year, and he wasn’t alone. They may not make the postseason, but a lot of people sold these guys short. They pitch, and they catch the ball (first in the Majors in defensive efficiency rating). They need some offense, but people saw Hudson and Mulder leaving and didn’t look at what they got back (Dan Haren, primarily, for 2005 purposes) and what they still had (beginning with the unbelievably good Rich Harden).
* Orioles: OK, this one doesn’t look nearly as it did a couple of months ago. Basically, I thought they were going to score a ton of runs — like 900-plus. Instead, they’re on pace for fewer than 800. Ouch. Talk all you want about the pitching, and it’s not that great (10th in the AL in ERA), but if this team were hitting like it’s supposed to, it would be in the mix.
For what it’s worth, I was dead wrong on the White Sox (figured them for a .500 team) and the Astros (sub-.500), more than any other teams.