Of course most people like to do these things before the season starts, but it kind of didn't cross my mind until DG just reminded me. Here are his picks:NL: Mets; Brewers; San Diego
AL: Boston; Cleveland; Angels
Wild Card: Diamondbacks (Braves may well be my second choice, arghh!!)
Detroit (AL is hard as Blue Jays & Yankees are both potentially there as well
- Detroit & Cleveland may flip-flop, but I’m pretty up on the Indians this year.
I don't think there is much to particularly argue against with his predictions as there are so many toss ups with few givens. There are only two teams I would feel comfortable guaranteeing a playoff spot to, but the rest is pretty much a crapshoot. In some instances it's a crapshoot because of a lack of talent and some instances simply have too much talent.
NL: Mets; Brewers; Diamondbacks
Wild Card: Braves
AL: Boston; Detroit; Angels
Wild Card: Cleveland
Yes, yes...I picked the Yankees to miss the playoffs for the 100th year in a row and one day I'll be right and it's going to be a day to remember. I just think Boston's rotation is going to lead them to an AL East crown and I think the division is a lot better top to bottom than people give credit for. The Devil Rays and the Orioles are going to be tougher opponents than people originally thought and there will be some beating up of each other to a certain extent.
As for the AL Wild Card and AL Central division winner, I see the Royals being a pushover for the most part with a large disparity between the cream of the crop in the division and them and I just think the White Sox and the Twins are not going to be all that good. I see two 90+ win teams in this division with the Tigers edging out the Indians, but I certainly would not complain if you flopped them around.
The AL West is the easiest for me to pick. The A's are a .500 team for me and I think the Angels rotation and bullpen are better than the A's, though the A's have the two best starters out of both teams. Add in Kendrick and a healthy Kotchman and I do not see anyone strong enough to take the Angels out.
In the NL, the Mets are far and away the best overall. I'm not going to get into the reasons why I think that because I think we sufficiently go over the topic on a daily basis. As for my Wild Card pick, I think the NL East is pretty weak. I think the Nationals are horrible, the Marlins are marginal, and the Phillies are vastly overrated. Their lineup is not very awe inspiring outside of their fearsome duo, their bullpen is horrendous, and their rotation is getting much more hype than they deserve. I truly think there will be a substantial amount of beating up on the lesser teams by the Braves and the Mets while they pile up wins whereas there are more closely grouped teams in the other two NL divisions.
The NL Central is perhaps the weakest division in baseball and the Cardinals are the defacto favorites, but I like the depth of the Brewer bullpen better, their rotation better, and their offense better. The Astros just do not have the firepower or rotation and everyone else might have their streaks, but will ultimately fall short. The Brewers are the sexy not-so under the radar pick, but I'm taking them too.
As for the NL West, the Diamondbacks have the most talent and the most upside. They have a young team on the offensive end of things that should be ready to make a big impact this year. Then you look at their rotation and bullpen and you can envision them being one of the top three teams in the league when all is said and done. The Padres and Dodgers are solid, but their offense is just not up to snuff for me and they are just not as well rounded as Arizona. In '08, I'm taking the Dodgers, but '07 belongs to the Diamondbacks.
Soooo....that's what I got. Let's see what everyone else's picks are for bragging rights at the end of the year. * * * The bright side of this weekend's two losses is that the Mets are still 4-2 and they pretty much lost on their own accord more so than getting flat out beat. Of course you do not want to take anything away from the Braves who still had to execute, but it is not hard to envision the Mets sweeping had they played a bit tighter defensively as they did in St. Louis and the first game with the Braves and someone came up with one big hit.
Just when Shawn Green was starting to build some much needed good will with fans, he managed to knock it all down. As long as Lastings is around, controversy is going to follow Green around.
34-year old Mike Hampton is having setbacks. With his age and injury history, it is hard to envision him doing much of anything anymore.
Randolph made his first lineup change of the season Sunday against the Braves, giving catcher Paul Lo Duca a rest and moving second baseman Jose Valentin up in the lineup.
Despite his .158 batting average, Valentin filled Lo Duca's No. 2 spot in the order, and backup catcher Ramon Castro hit in the No. 8 position.
Willie just cannot make a lineup when his starters are out. Amazing.
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