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.