Monday, March 21, 2011

Predictions for the 2011 Baseball Season

On March 31st, the 2011 baseball season officially begins. I have been looking forward to this day ever since the 2010 baseball season ended. There are plenty of new faces in different places in 2011, but out of these 30 teams, which 8 will find themselves playing baseball in the playoffs? Just as I did last year, here are my predictions for the final standings and the major awards for the 2011 season.


My predictions (*- wild card)


AL WEST

Texas Rangers (89-73)
Oakland A's (85-77)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (82-80)
Seattle Mariners (70-92)


NOTES:
Many people are saying the Oakland A's are going to be 2011's version of the 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants. The A's have solid starting pitching and have bolstered their bullpen more with additions such as Grant Balfour(pictured). The big question is can the A's avoid the dreaded Disabled List that has been such a pain (pun intended) to them in recent history? If so, can their great pitchers shut down the great bats in Texas? It should be a close race in 2011.

AL CENTRAL

Minnesota Twins (87-75)
Detroit Tigers (86-76)
Chicago White Sox (83-79)
Kansas City Royals (76-86)
Cleveland Indians (68-94)

NOTES: The AL Central looks like it will be another close three team race. Kansas City has some of the top prospects of any organization, but they are still a year or two away from making a big impact on the Major League team. Not many bright spots are remaining in Cleveland for 2011, but one guy to keep an eye on is catcher Carlos Santana(pictured.)

AL EAST

Boston Red Sox (99-63)
New York Yankees (92-70)*
Tampa Bay Rays (89-73)
Baltimore Orioles (83-81)
Toronto Blue Jays (78-84)


NOTES:
The Boston Red Sox's moves were well-chronicled in the offseason, highlighted by the signing of Carl Crawford and trading for Adrian Gonzalez. With the team they have, anything less than a World Series for the Red Sox would be a disappointment. In 2009, I said the Orioles would be a playoff team in 2011, but in this strong division, they still have a little ways to go. Derek Jeter(pictured) will collect his 3,000th career hit in 2011 which will be just another reason for him to raise his arms.

NL WEST

Colorado Rockies (90-72)
San Francisco Giants (86-76)

Los Angeles Dodgers (81-81)

San Diego Padres (80-82)

Arizona Diamondbacks (71-91)


NOTES: Buster Posey(pictured) and the San Francisco Giants will try to repeat as World Series Champions but of course, it will not be an easy task. The Colorado Rockies have locked up Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki to multi-year deals and will be the Giants toughest competition in the NL West in 2011. The Padres pitching won't prove to be quite as effective as it was in 2010.


NL CENTRAL
Milwaukee Brewers (88-74)
Cincinnati Reds (86-76)

St. Louis Cardinals (85-77)

Chicago Cubs (83-81)

Pittsburgh Pirates (71-91)

Houston Astros (67-95)


NOTES: The NL Central is quite the tossup with no clear front-runner. The Cardinals will be without star starting pitcher, Adam Wainright which will hurt their chances at winning the division. Zack Greinke will miss the beginning of the season with the Brewers due to an offseason injury suffered while playing a pickup game of basketball. Carlos Pena (pictured) looks to get himself back above the mendoza line with the Cubs in his first tour of the National League after spending the last three-plus seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Pirates will finally not finish the season in last place! (I think...)


NL EAST

Philadelphia Phillies (90-72)
Florida Marlins (88-74)*
Atlanta Braves (85-77)
Washington Nationals (74-88)
New York Mets (72-90)

NOTES: The Philadelphia Phillies may have the big four starting pitchers (clockwise from top left in picture) in Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels, but winning the NL East will not come easy for them. The Phillies lineup will be missing Jayson Werth who went to the Nationals after signing a huge contract as a free agent. The Phillies will also be missing second baseman, Chase Utley, who is out with an injury and his timetable is unknown. I see the Florida Marlins making the playoffs as the Wild-Card this team as they are led by Hanley Ramirez in their final year in Sun Life Stadium.


WORLD SERIES

The Boston Red Sox will beat the Florida Marlins in 6 games.

AWARDS:

AL MVP:
Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
NL MVP:
Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins
AL Rookie of the Year:
Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay Rays
NL Rookie of the Year:
Danny Espinosa, Washington Nationals
AL CY Young:
CC Sabathia, New York Yankees
NL CY Young:
Josh Johnson, Florida Marlins
AL Manager of the Year:
Ron Washington, Texas Rangers
NL Manager of the Year:
Ned Yost, Milwaukee Brewers
AL Comeback Player of the Year:
Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins
NL Comeback Player of the Year:
Nate McLouth, Atlanta Braves



2 comments :

  1. Hope your predictions come out like last years...Brewers could win it, Marlins seems like a reach, Rockies will be good but I think Giants experience and pitching will win out, Braves should win more then 85 games! I guess we will see what happens, GIANTS 2010 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!!!!!!

    PS- Breslow looks special

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  2. That's not a picture of Breslow...but yes, he is special...smartest pitcher in baseball!

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