2011 Predictions (Part One)

The beauty of Opening Day is that, for now, everyone is in first place... which means that we have the opportunity to make ourselves look completely foolish by predicting what's going to happen over the course of this upcoming 162 game marathon (and then we'll look back and laugh at how stupid we were).   No bubble bursting; there's nothing wrong with being a homer here.  Take a look at our expert picks and tell us what you think.


NL East
Division Winner – Phillies
2 – Braves, 3 – Marlins, 4 – Mets, 5 – Nationals
Comment:  Phils lineup will struggle more than years past, but pitching will carry barring injury. Braves will vie for WC as will Marlins.  Mets have potential to finish as high as 3rd or in the basement.  Nats are 1-2 years away.

NL Central
Division Winner – Reds
2 – Brewers, 3 – Cardinals, 4 – Cubs, 5 – Astros, 6 – Pirates           
Comment: Reds didn’t lose much, no reason to think they won’t win again.  Losing Wainwright will be devastating for the Cards.  Brewers could make a run if pitching stays healthy.  Cubs and Astros rebuilding, Pirates are what they are.

NL West
Division Winner – Rockies
2 – Giants (*WC), 3 – Dodgers, 4 – Diamondbacks, 5 – Padres       
Comment: With health, the Rockies should edge out the Giants for the division.  Giants pit
 ching will most likely carry them into the post season where all bets are off.  Dodgers will be in the mix.  Dbacks and Pads rebuilding.

AL East
Division Winner – Red Sox
2 – Yankees (*WC), 3 – Rays, 4 – Blue Jays, 5 – Orioles
Comment: Hard to deny BoSox with great lineup and great pitching.  Yanks will find a way to be there too.  It’s a two team race, no one else even has a shot.  Orioles re-tooled with hitting, but pitching still highl
 y suspect.

AL Central
Division Winner – Twins
2 – Tigers, 3 – White Sox, 4 – Royals, 5 – Indians
Comment: The Twins find a way to eke out the division each year with seemingly very little.  A healthy Mauer and Morneau should get it done with decent pitching.  White Sox may battle Detroit for the 2nd place finish.  Royals and Indians remain at the bottom.

AL West
Division Winner – Rangers
2 – Angels, 3 – Athletics, 4 – Mariners
Comment:  The Rangers lost Cliff Lee which will hurt a lot. Added some more pop in the lineup.  The other teams didn’t do enough to take over the division however.

NL Champs – Phillies
AL Champs – Red Sox
WS Champs – Red Sox
Comment:  I think the Phils pitching will carry them to the division, but I think the Sox will edge them out with the lineup and the pitching.  A healthy Utley makes things different, but they already have injury question marks. 


NL East- Phillies
2. Braves 3. Marlins 4. Nationals 5. Mets
Phillies pitching dominates as expected.  Mets sell off remaining stars and don't compete.

NL Central-Brewers

2. Reds (*WC) 3.Cubs 4.Cards 5. Astros 6. Pirates
Brewers go for it all and it pays off.  Reds take wild card.

NL West-Rockies
2. Giants 3.Dodgers 4. Padres 5. D backs
Rockies have too much not win.

AL East-Red Sox
2.Yanks 3. Rays 4. Orioles 5. Blue Jays
RedSox have the most talent in baseball

AL Central-Twins
2. White Sox 3. Tigers 4. Royals 5. Indians
Twins have best manager in the game and a good team.

AL West-Rangers
2. Angels 3. Mariners 4. A's
Rangers class of this division

NL Champ-Phillies
AL Champ-Red Sox

Pitching wins.


NL East
Division Winner - Phillies
2 - Braves (*WC) 3. Marlins 4. Nationals 5. Mets
Comment: The Braves will be on their heels but the Phillies rotation should carry them to a fifth consecutive division title.  Given the depth of the other divisions, the NL East should yield the NL Wild Card winner.

NL Central
Division Winner - Brewers
2. Reds 3. Cubs 4. Cardinals 5. Astros 6. Pirates
Comment: Injuries and offseason acquisitions makes this one of the most competitive divisions in baseball.  I expect it to be a four horse race until the end with the Brewers emerging because of their pitching.

NL West
Division Winner - Rockies

2. Giants 3. Dodgers 4. Diamondbacks 5. Padres
Comment: If the Rockies stay healthy, they've got the bats to contend, an ace at the top of their rotation and four capable arms to round out their rotation.  The Giants have the best pitching but World Series teams rarely make it back the following year. 

AL East
Division Winner – Red Sox

2. Yankees (WC*) 3. Rays 4. Orioles 5. Blue Jays
Comment: The depth of their rotation and the stars they boast up and down their lineup make the Red Sox the team to beat not just in the AL East but across Major League Baseball.AL Central
Division Winner - Twins
2. Tigers 3. White Sox 4. Indians 5. Royals

Comment: The Twins will find a way to get it done in the regular season.  There's a lot of energy in
Minnesota and I think that they are poised for continued success.

AL West
Division Winner - Angels
2. Rangers 3. Athletics 4. Mariners

Comment: The Angels have one of the strongest rotations in baseball, a very dangerous lineup and a heady manager.  What's not to like?

League Champions

NL - Phillies
AL - Red Sox
Comment: If the Phillies can survive the regular season, their starting rotation should carry them through the playoffs.  The Red Sox are too strong not to be here.

World Series Champion - Philadelphia Phillies
Comment: This will be a series that the baseball connoisseurs will talk about for a long time.  In the end, the age old adage will ring true - pitching wins championships.


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