2010 Predictions

I’m two days late, but anybody who would change his or her predictions for an entire baseball season based on two days of games is a bit… something, anyway. So here they are.

NL East: Phillies. Still the NL’s best lineup, and enough starting pitching and bullpen to make it work. 
NL Central: Cardinals. Another very strong lineup, and the rotation could be very good. Bullpen and back-of-rotation questions, but the best team in this division. 
NL West: Rockies. Love ‘em. Athletic, dynamic lineup, power arms. 
NL Wild Card: Braves. They’re going to score runs. They might even prevent them sometimes.
NL MVP: Albert Pujols, with a caveat: if Matt Holliday racks up the RBIs (as he should, hitting behind Pujols), and the Cardinals win the Central convincingly, I won’t be at all surprised if he is the guy — even if he does it while being the second-most valuable player in his own lineup.
NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay (bold, right?)
NL Rookie: Jason Heyward. Once again, why try to outsmart oneself? Sometimes the obvious is obvious for a reason.

AL East: Toughest division to figure. Yankees by a hair, but I think three teams are very legitimate contenders.
AL Central: Twins. Love that lineup, like the rotation even without an ace.
AL West: OK, maybe this is the toughest division to figure. Give me the Mariners and their rotation, assuming Lee gets healthy.
AL Wild Card: Red Sox by a slim margin over the Rays. Seriously, any of those three teams could win the division, and any of them could miss the playoffs. And all three would be favored in at least two, maybe four or five, of the other divisions.
AL MVP: Mark Teixeira (Mmmmm… RBIs) 
AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez 
AL Rookie: Brian Matusz 

I think it’s a fool’s errand to pick playoff series when you KNOW who’s in them, never mind when you don’t. But put it this way: I expect the Phillies and Yankees to be the best teams in their respective leagues, so if you want to hold me to a World Series prediction, call it a rematch.

-M.

3 Comments

I love Doc as much as the next guy but man do I grow tired of hearing everyone act as if a guy is going to win 30 games just because he’s on a great team in an inferior league. It will be Lincecum again, because the dude is dominant, unless their numbers are remotely similar, in which they’ll throw it Doc’s way to justify the hype. Beyond that and the NL West (I’m taking the Giants), we agree on the NL. Love the Braves pick, and I agree. I adore Tim Hudson, and Tommy Hanson is as good as they say he is. I don’t see Lowe being as bad as last year, either. Slot them in for 90 wins.

As for the AL predictions, I don’t see the Rays in the race by the ASB, leaving some interesting choices at the trade deadline–too bad, I really hate seeing Boston and New York in the 1-2 slot yearly. Agreed with the M’s (hard to lose with Ichiro-Figgins going 1-2, even if you have no one noteworthy is the 3 slot). Don’t see Matsuz getting the ROTY, much harder for a pitcher to do it than a POS player (see: Hanson getting robbed in 2009). Hope he’s absolutely dynamite. I’ll make a bold prediction and say Smoak gets called up and dominates (though I hate that my bold prediction of the year is a ROTY debate… sigh). AL Cy could go to King Felix but I’ll take Jon Lester (hoping Greinke repeats… really like him, both as a player and a person). MVP’s up in the air, lots of good players in the AL. Won’t predict it, but I will say this: Nelson Cruz finishes top 5. Blam! Topped my bold prediction.

One last thing, to everyone thinking Doc gives the Phils an edge over the Yanks this time around, think of who he replaced before opening your mouths: Cliff Lee did everything you could possibly ask for in that World Series. Doc will have to be sterling and 2-0 to even match him. Unless he pulls a positive relief stint between starts, there’s no way he can be better than Lee.

These generally look good, and I think, correctly represent the “favorites” for each title, although the AL West looks completely wide open to me and the NL West is only slightly less so. One prediction on the MVP/CY/RotY winners: I expect that at least one of these will be won by an astonishingly complete dark horse, somebody where you look at it and say “whoa! Who saw THAT coming?” AL MVP is my leading candidate for that; although Tex probably still is the “favorite” in the sense that his chances are greater than any one other person, I don’t think he’ll win it.

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