Tuesday, March 27, 2007

MLB 2007 Predictions

I just had my first fantasy baseball draft of the season on Monday, so in my world that officially means that it's about time for the baseball season to start. First off, if you still want to be led astray some fantasy baseball help, you can check out some of my rankings:

Catcher
First Base
Second Base
Third Base
Shortstop
Outfield
Starting Pitching

Now that that's covered, some predictions of standings, awards, and my long-awaited pick to win it all.

* denotes wildcard

AL EAST
1) New York Yankees
2) Boston Red Sox
3) Toronto Blue Jays
4) Baltimore Orioles
5) Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Comments: Ho hum, another division title for the Yankees. In reality, this will be a tight race between the Yankees and Sox, but I like the Bronx Bombers a little better here, especially if/when Carl Pavano gets hurt and Phillip Hughes joins the rotation. I think the Yankees lineup is a little better, and there are fewer concerns in the bullpen. Elsewhere, business as usual. The DRays are better than ever, but still not good enough to get out of the cellar.


AL CENTRAL
1) Cleveland Indians
2) *Minnesota Twins
3) Detroit Tigers
4) Chicago White Sox
5) Kansas City Royals

Comments: I suspect this will be the most controversial choice, but that's ok. As far as the top 4 teams go, this is the best division in baseball. At the top, I really like the Indians. For the second straight year, they were a lot better than their record would indicate. They have an explosive offense led by Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner, an improving rotation, and the bullpen should be better (it can't be worse). Up next, I'll take the Twins slightly over the Tigers... largely dependent on the fact that I figure at some point early in the season at least a couple of the Carlos Silva, Ramon Ortiz, and Sidney Ponson trio will be replaced by some of the talented youngsters.

I'm not a huge fan of the Tigers offense, and Sheffield has a bad shoulder and has been declining for 4 years now. I would bet money that Kenny Rogers ERA will not be as low as 3.84 again, and the bullpen has some questions. I think the Tigers will have a White Sox like dropoff this year... which is to say they'll still be good, but not as good as they were in 2006. As for those said White Sox, I have a hard time seeing Jim Thome and Jermaine Dye replicate their great seasons from last year. Another minus is that Ozzie Guillen is batting Darin Erstad 2nd instead of Tad Iguchi... it's almost like they're trying to lose.


AL WEST
1) Los Angeles Angels
2) Oakland Athletics
3) Texas Rangers
4) Seattle Mariners

Comments: I don't have a lot of confidence in this pick... mostly a gut feeling. If Rich Harden remians healthy all season long, he can be a Cy Young candidate and the A's can be back in the playoffs, but I'll believe that when I see it. As it is, as long as the Angels let some of the young guys play, I think their rotation will be enough. But again, I wouldn't put any money on this.


NL EAST
1) Philadelphia Phillies
2) *New York Mets
3) Atlanta Braves
4) Florida Marlins
5) Washington Nationals

Comments: Certainly a large gap here between the top 3 teams and the last 2... the Marlins overachieved some, and I'm not sure they can compete with the top 3. The Nationals should be really bad, so we can discount them. Up top, it's the pitching concerns of the Mets that have me putting them at #2. I'm not in love with this Phillies team, but I think the stellar young pitching of Cole Hamels and Brett Myers (if he can, um, stay out of trouble) will be enough for the Phils to take the East.


NL CENTRAL
1) St. Louis Cardinals
2) Milwaukee Brewers
3) Houston Astros
4) Chicago Cubs
5) Cincinnati Reds
6) Pittsburgh Pirates

Comments: To be blunt, this division sucks. Which isn't really a surprise, since it sucked last year, but not much has changed. I'll take the Cardinals as long as Carpenter and Pujols stay healthy. Brewers are young and talented but I don't think they're quite there yet. After that, it's anyone's guess. I feel confident that the Reds and Pirates will take up the rear, but I don't feel confident about much else.


NL WEST
1) Arizona Diamondbacks
2) San Diego Padres
3) Los Angeles Dodgers
4) San Francisco Giants
5) Colorado Rockies

Comments: I like the DBacks here... their pitching is not as good as the Pads, but they have a look of good hitters. Brandon Webb will anchor the rotation, I think the Big Unit will bounce back some, and Livan Hernandez improved a lot once he came over to Arizona. A lot of the offensive guys are a year away from becoming household names, but I like the direction Arizona is taking. They're my pick.


AWARDS
AL MVP: Grady Sizemore (CLE) - The most underrated player in the MLB, if only because people don't realize that he's the best CF in the MLB.

NL MVP: Albert Pujols (STL) - Still the best hitter in the MLB.

AL Cy Young: Johan Santana (MIN) - Should be taking aim at his 4th consecutive Cy Young.

NL Cy Young: Brandon Webb (ARI) - With Arizona a winning team, it's Webb's turn to take home the hardware.

AL Rookie of the Year: Alex Gordon (KC) - All the hype, finally time for him to produce.

NL Rookie of the Year: Chris Young (ARI) - Could be a 20/20 man as a rookie.


Playoffs
Yankees over Twins in 5
Indians over Angels in 4

Mets over Diamondbacks in 4
Cardinals over Phillies in 5

Yankees over Indians in 6
Mets over Cardinals in 7

Yankees over Mets in 6

World Series Champion: New York Yankees.

So... where do you disagree the most??

24 comments:

stephen a said...

I dont see the Indians having enough pitching to win a division. But last year their pythagoran record was 12 games better than their actual record-but still not enough to win the division, even with that offense. I just think after Hafner, Grady and Victor there's too much of a dropoff

stephen a said...

Oh and maybe this is nitpicking, but when you said it's time for Alex Gordon to produce, perhaps you should have included at the major league level, cause he has already produced plenty.

twins15 said...

Sorry, that is what I meant though I can see why it would have been hard to understand. Yeah, Gordon has definitely proven himself worthy of the top prospect status... his numbers at Wichita last year were excellent. Good power, good patience.

As for the Indians, pitching is a concern... though I do think Sowers will provide a nice boost. Plus, the bullpen was incredibly awful, and I think it should be much improved this year. Going to be an interesting race.

ming01 said...

just to let you know i didnt copy your idea of the ranking and such, this is the first time i came on your blog today... just to let you know

stephen a said...

I dont know what Sowers's previous season high in innings is but I'd imagine it cant be too much higher than 130 or so, so I think he'd somewhat struggle with his workload since Shapiro said that Sowers won't get skipped too much.

twins15 said...

Actually Sowers pitched almost 160 innings between A/AA/AAA in 2005, and then the 185 or so last year between AAA and the Majors... so that's not too bad.

stephen a said...

Wow I did not know that. Well once he gets to 200 he should tail off then, thats an unnecessary fantasy tip im giving you mayor, i hope that doesnt come back to bite me in our league haha.

Sanchez said...

Holy crap, you even predicted the awards?

Reading this post is actually making me look forwards to the Baseball season. Perhaps I need to get out more ;)

Zach Landres-Schnur said...

think the dodgers are still the team to beat out west. Schmidt, penny, lowe...good rotation. though i love connor jackson in Arizona. kid's gonna be a stud.

Anonymous said...

I think your analysis of the NL-Central is very good and your picks are the same as mine. However, I also think that you're wrong to slight the division and the Reds in your comments. Afterall, this division not only produced the World Series champs last season, but it also produced one of the tightest late-season races. And since last season, it's added some nice names, such as Soriano, Beltran, Jennings, etc.

Your slight of the Reds is difficult to criticize, because it's so common and because I have them fifth also, but the Reds aren't really that bad and they're certainly much better then the Pirates. They could finish anywhere from 3rd-5th imo, but like you, I have them 5th.

Oh, and do you really believe that Brandon Webb will win the CY again!?!? He's definitely a very good pitcher, but I can't give him that much credit. I really haven't given this much thought, but off the top of my head, I'm certain that I'd go with Jason Schmidt, Roy Oswalt or Chris Carpenter instead.

Thanks for the picks!

twins15 said...

Your slight of the Reds is difficult to criticize, because it's so common and because I have them fifth also, but the Reds aren't really that bad and they're certainly much better then the Pirates. They could finish anywhere from 3rd-5th imo, but like you, I have them 5th.

I am a bit down on the Reds... I think they were a little fluky last year as they played about 4 games above their pyth. record. Just something I don't like about them.

And the Cy Young, I do like Webb... but definitely any of those guys you mentioned have a great chance. That is a wide open race without a doubt.

Anonymous said...

HAHHAAH....Yankee's win the AL East...you should know that it will be a tight race between the Sox & Jays....assuming the Jays get healthy quickly

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the Yankees are just incredible aren't they? Good luck trying to predict the real results next year.

Anonymous said...

GOOOOO TRIIIIBEE!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Go Sox!!! And if they don't go all the way, I am all about the Tribe!!!

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