Baseball season has arrived which means it’s time for me to make extremely premature predictions about who will enter the playoffs.
Here are my thoughts:
NL EAST: Philadelphia Phillies- Simple put, their pitching staff will be too good to beat this year.
NL CENTRAL: St. Louis Cardinals- Despite the Pujols problems, the Cardinals strengthened their rotation and added some nice positions players like Ryan Theriot and Lance Berkman.
NL WEST: San Francisco Giants- Their pitching staff is one of the top three in the major league, although I’ll be interested to see if many of their breakthrough position players can repeat last year’s success.
NL WILD CARD: Milwaukee Brewers- This is a toss up, but by adding Marcum and Greinke to their rotation, the Brewers just became a 90 win team this year.
AL EAST: Boston Red Sox- Beckett, Buchholz and Lester were good even before the team added strengthened their bullpen with Bobby Jenks. Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis will make them hard-hitting too.
AL CENTRAL: Minnesota Twins- Simply put, Ron Gardenhire has been the most consistent coach over the past few years. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau will have big years.
AL WEST: Texas Rangers- Hamilton, Beltre, Andrus, Kinsler and Cruz will repeat last year’s success. Adding Torrealba strengthens their catcher’s position. The biggest question is, can the pitching staff hold up under this year’s Texas heat, which will surely be hot.
AL WILD CARD: New York Yankees- Expect a slow start, but things will heat up offensively for the Yankees…again. Their pitching staff is always risky, since Burnett has failed to develop and Chamberlain is perpetually pathetic.
AL WORLD SERIES: Boston Red Sox- I think their strong pitching staff and speed on the base-pad will add to what looks to be the strongest Boston offense in years.
NL WORLD SERIES: Philadelphia Phillies- I can’t say anything but good things about this team’s pitching staff. It’s that simple. If they don’t make it this far then they’ll consider it a complete failure and so will I.
CHAMPION: Philadelphia Phillies