Sunday, April 04, 2010

Erik's 2010 Baseball Predictions

My life has been completely insane for the last month. But things are settling down and I'll be back blogging.

I'll start with my 2010 baseball predictions.

AL East
1. Tampa 95-67
2. Boston 94-68
3. New York 92-70
4. Baltimore 76-84
5. Toronto 75-87

Tampa and Boston are both well put together teams. Obviously, I'm projecting New York in 3rd partially out of wishful thinking. But it's important to remember how incredibly lucky the Yankees were last year. Other than Alex Rodriguez missing the start of the season, they had no injuries to speak of. Moreover, their old players all had great years. Posada turned back what seemed to be inevitable decline. Jeter had one of the best years of his career. Rivera is of course timeless. All the new guys worked out well. They were really good, but also really lucky. I don't see that luck holding this year. They are very old. That said, they are still really good. I like the Granderson trade, Teixeira is awesome, and the pitching staff should be good enough. Baltimore is improving but a year away from being a .500 team. Toronto could be better than people expect because they have real mashers in Lind and Snider. But the pitching staff is obviously shaky without Halladay. Nonetheless, they did very well for themselves in their offseason trades.

AL Central
1. Minnesota 84-78
2. Chicago 82-80
3. Detroit 81-81
4. Cleveland 73-87
5. Kansas City 71-89

The division of blah. I don't think losing Joe Nathan is a huge deal, so that's why I have them still in 1st. Obviously Chicago or Detroit could sneak in there, but those are aging teams. Cleveland and Kansas City are a long ways away.

AL West
1. Texas 89-73
2. Seattle 84-78
3. Anaheim 81-81
4. Oakland 75-87

The trendy pick this year is for my Mariners. While I love everything they've done since firing Bavasi (though they should have gotten more for Brandon Morrow than Brandon League), they overachieved like crazy last year. This year, they put together the best team they could with the existing market. I love that team, but I don't think that makes them much better than last year. Given their overachievement last year, particularly when considered in terms of run differential, they could be better than last year and have about the same record. This team is built around Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee being lights out and Lee is already banged up and on the DL. While they could have an amazing pitching staff in the 2nd half if Erik Bedard comes back strong, they won't score many runs. By which I mean virtually zero. I expect a lot of Ichiro getting on and Figgins getting him to 2nd or 3rd and then 3 straight outs. And really, that's kind of OK given where they were 2 years ago.

Meanwhile, Texas is coming together as a strong team, though I find the pitching staff with much to prove. Anaheim lost an awful lot. Replacing John Lackey with Joel Pineiro is not a good switch. Some believe Oakland could be good. I am not one of them.

NL East
1. Philadelphia 99-63
2. Atlanta 88-74
3. Florida 87-75
4. New York 78-84
5. Washington 70-92

Philadelphia is probably the best team in the game this year. Atlanta and Florida are also both on the rise. New York is a mess. I would say that I can't imagine Omar Minaya lasting the year, but this is the Mess we are talking about. Washington is slowly improving but is so far away.

NL Central
1. St. Louis 94-68
2. Cincinnati 82-80
3. Chicago 81-81
4. Milwaukee 80-82
5. Pittsburgh 75-87
6. Houston 70-92

St. Louis is the cream of the division. However, the Reds are massively improved and have a very exciting young team. Both the Cubs and Brewers could theoretically compete, but I am skeptical. The Pirates are slowly getting on the right track. The Astros are a disaster--old but still trying to compete, and with arguably the worst GM and the worst farm system in the game. They will be bad for a long time.

NL West
1. Colorado 87-75
2. San Francisco 84-78
3. Los Angeles 83-79
4. Arizona 79-83
5. San Diego 77-85

I like the Rockies quite a bit. Now that they have figured out how to win in that stadium, they have a very competitive team. The Giants have amazing pitching, but can't hit. They are much like the Mariners, except they aren't quite as good (no Ichiro there!) and their division is significantly easier. Los Angeles could be be good but there are too many off field distractions. It's rare to see a team like Arizona--so many amazing prospects 4-5 years ago and almost none of them turned out to be as good as advertised. The Angels are a bit like this too and starting to suffer because of it. San Diego played great at the end of last year, but they are a bit overmatched.

While I'm sure I'm wrong about much of this, I only hope to be less wrong than Trend.