The 2010 Major League Baseball season is upon us. Hope springs eternal in 30 cities (o.k., maybe 25). All of my fantasy teams are drafted, Opening Day went off in grand style and it is now time for my 2010 Major League Baseball predictions.
1. New York Yankees 2. Boston Red Sox 3. Tampa Bay Rays 4. Baltimore Orioles 5. Toronto Blue Jays
I wanted to pick this differently, but I could not justify it. The Rays fooled us two years ago, but otherwise this top 2 has been set in stone. The Rays have the ability to make this a three-team race and a key injury could derail New York or Boston. Baltimore should be much improved, but that doesn't get you much in this division.
1. Chicago White Sox 2. Minnesota Twins 3. Detroit Tigers 4. Kansas City Royals 5. Cleveland Indians
Chicago looks to be the pick based on pitching depth, as long as the back-end of the bullpen can do its job. Minnesota has good balance, professional players and always seems to play its best down the stretch. Detroit seems to lack a little in the hitting department to compete with the top 2.
1. Anaheim Angels 2. Texas Rangers 3. Seattle Mariners 4. Oakland Athletics
Seattle is the sexy pick, but they added Milton Bradley which is worth 10 losses in itself. They have rotation questions beyond #1 and #2, and that is if Cliff Lee can get healthy, and line-up questions beyond spots #1 and #2. Anaheim lost a few parts, but with the best manager in baseball and solid hitting and pitching, I see them as the class of this division once again. Texas could surprise and Oakland, well, have you seen the line-up they are trotting out?
1. Philadelphia Phillies 2. Atlanta Braves 3. Florida Marlins 4. New York Mets 5. Washington Nationals
Nothing earth-shattering here either. The Phillies line-up is too good and adding Halladay makes them even better. Atlanta has a great rotation and could be the real sleeper if they score some runs. I would like the Mets better if they were ever healthy. And Washington will not be the worst team this year.
1. St. Louis Cardinals 2. Milwaukee Brewers 3. Chicago Cubs 4. Cincinnati Reds 5. Pittsburgh Pirates 6. Houston Astros
I was going to pick the Brewers last, since my NCAA predictions were so spot-on. But if you can win 80 games with that pitching last year, you can win 85-90 with better pitching. Not enough to overtake the Cardinals, and just enough to beat out the Cubs and Reds in a dogfight for 2nd. The improved Pirates will be better than the re-building Astros.
1. Colorado Rockies 2. San Francisco Giants 3. Los Angeles Dodgers 4. Arizona Diamondbacks 5. San Diego Padres
Everything came together for the Rockies last year after they fired their manager and they look to be just as good this year. The Giants have superior pitching and will contend if they can score. There is too much turmoil in Dodger nation this year, while the Diamondbacks will be improved in 2010.
New York Yankees over Anaheim Angels
Boston Red Sox over Chicago White Sox
New York Yankees over Boston Red Sox
St. Louis Cardinals over Atlanta Braves
Philadelphia Phillies over Colorado Rockies
Philadelphia Phillies over St. Louis Cardinals
Philadelphia Phillies over New York Yankees
AL - Alex Rodriguez
NL - Albert Pujols
AL - Felix Hernandez
NL - Tim Lincecum
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
AL - Austin Jackson
NL - Jason Heyward