Late predictions are still predictions, no?
Been up to my ears with work so I didn't get a chance to file my general predictions for the season.
Just in case we're keeping these for bragging rights at the end of the season, here goes:
1. Mets - They'll get enough pitching. Jeff D'Amico in fact looks like he might be back to his 2000 self. Mainly, though, I like the chance of any team with Robbie Alomar and Mike Piazza.
2. Braves - I'd like to pick them lower, but no one else in this division looks likely to vault over them. Big problem I see is that someone has to replace what Burkett gave them last year.
3. Expos - I expect them to play well in August and then run out of steam. Vlad Guerrero takes a big step forward.
4. Marlins - Bad owner brings dumb staff to young team and ruins it.
5. Phillies - Randy Wolf is injured and most everyone being asked to throw the ball is a huge question mark. Unless the bats go wild, this team is toast.
1. Cubs - I'm thinking this is one of those upheaval years. I like the Cubs' depth on the mound and in the field. It's the kind of team where things can go wrong and it will still be in the hunt. Given their history, the Cubs need that kind of insurance.
2. Cardinals - Woody Williams as the #3 starter? I'm not sold on that as being a good idea. I like the addition of Tino Martinez, though, and Albert Pujols is REALLY good at this whole baseball thing.
3. Astros - Notoriously tight manager in charge of a notoriously tight franchise? Got to figure that kind of team flags in a close race. Also, Moises Alou is a huge loss.
4. Brewers - No, I don't feel the least bit good about this pick. The Brewers suck, but they've got a few pitchers with real upside and Sexson and Jenkins in the middle of their lineup to do damage.
5. Reds - The best they can hope for from their staff on a consistent basis is a rope-a-dope performance like Hamilton's yesterday. They've played with too much fire and they're likely to get burned. The main hope for a surprise season? Barry Larkin plays 150 games like last night.
6. Pirates - Operation Shutdown in full effect.
1. Dodgers - It's all the Sheffield effect. Shawn Green gets even better. Brian Jordan has the best season of his career. The pitching comes through big-time.
2. Diamondbacks - Don't know if the supporting cast is up to a repeat of last season.
3. Giants - They've always worked on a tight margin. If Jeff Kent can't produce his usual 100+ RBIs, that's enough to make these guys also-rans.
4. Padres - Love the team in the field, but Kevin Jarvis pitched their opener. That's the kiss of death.
5. Rockies - Just a really horrible team in the field.
Wild Card - Cardinals
MVP - Robbie Alomar
Cy Young - Kerry Wood
Rookie of the Year - Sean Burroughs
Manger of the Year - Don Baylor nips Jim Tracy
1. Red Sox - I like the team they've got in the field and the rotation. The big question is the bullpen, but, like I said, this is a year for upheaval.
2. Yankees - This is NOT anywhere close to the same team we've watched the last six years. They've got a thin offense and the pitchers will not dominate. That said, they're still a good team.
3. Blue Jays - By default they finish here. They're a cellar dweller in other divisions.
4. Devil Rays - Tanyon Sturtze turns out to be the best pitcher in Tampa history, winning 12 games with a 4.25 ERA.
5. Orioles - Bring out your dead.
1. Twins - Yes the pitching is good and yes I think the lineup is getting better, but this is a team that wants it more than the rest and that's why they'll win.
2. Indians - They won't have a great record, but you don't need one to finish second in this division.
3. White Sox - Oops, they forgot to get a decent pitching staff. Do not pass go, do not win a division title.
4. Tigers - Dmitri Young drives in 85 runs, then gets miffed when he isn't awarded the Silver Slugger.
5. Royals - Why are the Expos, who have talent and a large city, considered for contraction when the Royals, who lack talent in a small city, aren't? It's all about the proximity of David Glass' lips to Bud Selig's hindquarters.
1. Mariners - So not everything changes. They'll slump to something like 103 wins. That should still win them something. Freddy Garcia gets better. So does Mike Cameron.
2. A's - This team will be better in August/September, but the lineup looks like an unfinished project at this time.
3. Angels - Deep rotation and just enough hitting to be dangerous.
4. Rangers - Not only is money incapable of buying you love, but it also won't necessarily buy you a decent baseball team.
Wild Card - Yankees
MVP - Manny Ramirez
Cy Young - Pedro Martinez. He says he feels fine. I believe him.
Rookie of the Year - Anyone can pick Hank Blalock. Look, I'm doing it now.
Manager of the Year - Ron Gardenhire
Some interesting picks... but I just can't go along with the Phillies in last, the Reds in fifth, division champ Red Sox, division champion Dodgers...?
But I definitely agree with you that it seems like it might be a shakeup year, if only because it seems like the last several years have all been that way, unless you're the Yankees.
I like your call on the Yankees. Everyone and their brother is picking them. They do look good on paper...especially with Giambi.
But there is something to be said for chemistry and character. You can't take out half the team- Knoblach, O'Neil, Brosious, Martinez and expect to be better. I think their new players will show flashes of brilliance but also suffer deep slumps.
In spite of Pedro yesterday, I too pick the Sox to win the East.
<small>[ 04-02-2002, 12:03 PM: Message edited by: Phoenix ]</small>
A few questions for me:
1. How can the Red Sox be expected to compete when the ace of their thin pitching staff has an ERA of 21.00 and could have a tear in his shoulder?
2. In my opinion the Yankees are better than they were in 1999, 2000, and 2001. Giambi is a vast upgrade over Tino offensively. I can see Soriano having a breakout year this year. Jeter is Jeter. Ventura is an upgrade over Brosius. You couldn't find many catchers who can hit better than Posada. And David Wells has been pitching lights out all spring. If the Reds had a top of the rotation like Clemens, Mussina, and Petittite, everyone and his brother would be picking us.
We shall see letsgo.
Obviously I think Pedro's going to get himself together. And I feel fairly safe in guaranteeing his ERA ends up significantly below 21.00. Roger Clemens has a 16.61 ERA.
As for thin pitching staff, I like this Red Sox top five better than any Boston rotation since the Clemens/Hurst/Boyd heyday of the mid-80s.
The Yankees? After Jeter, Williams, Giambi and Posada I think they're below average at every other position. There's a lot of outs in that lineup and not a lot of juice coming for the OF corners.
Courageous picks. I agree with you about the Phillies in last, or at least 4th.
I think your most likely to be wrong about the following:
1. Dodgers in first. He may be a buttdart, but Sheffield is not easily replaceable.
2. Rockies in last. They should have been a .500 team last year, but lost a lot of close games. Several of them due to Gabe White. I think they are better in the pitching department, and without Neifi Perez in the lineup
3. Tino Martinez having any positive effect on the Cardinals. I predict his on base percentage will drop near .300 and his power will disappear. A vastly overrated hitter at this stage of his career.
4. Red Sox finishing in first (while this is more likely than some people think - Yanks do have an old pitching staff - a courageous pick on your part, put still a reach)
5. Sean Burroughs as rookie of the year. He's just not ready to hit for power in the majors. How about Morgan Ensberg?
Burroughs and Ensberg were 1, 2 on my list. The main reason I took Burroughs was that I think he'll hit in front of Nevin and Klesko and be more involved in the offense while Ensberg is likely to a #6 hitter (albeit a good one).
I love the word "buttdart" and plan on using it conversation in the near future. As for Sheffield, this really is the ultimate test of the Sheffield Effect. He left an underachieving team and went to a club that's won 10 straight divisions. If the Dodgers soar and the Braves stumble, I believe that proves my hypothesis. If not, oh well, it's been a fun hypothesis.
And this does seem a good year to make some non-standard picks. The real trick is figuring out who's likely to challenge what has become the norm over the past few seasons.
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">As for Sheffield, this really is the ultimate test of the Sheffield Effect. He left an UNDERACHIEVING [emphasis mine] team and went to a club that's won 10 straight divisions.[/QB]</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I think this is where we disagree. The Dodgers may have underachieved under Davey Johnson, but last year I think they were just plain undertalented. I think they overachieved in a big way to do as well as they did. They were below average at every infield position (Karros, Grudzal., Cora, Beltre) and centerfield (Grissom/Goodwin). Their pitching staff was depleted. Fortunately, Loduca came out of nowhere. Sheffield and Green were outstanding, and the pitching staff did as well as could be expected.
Jim Tracy was my vote for manager of the year, but I think he'd need to work a miracle this year to win the division.
Good analysis chilli. I agree the Dodgers will not be in contention. I suspect it will be a dogfight between the Giants and Diamondbacks in the West.
I agree with that assessment chili, but I think it will seem less miraculous if Kevin Brown's healthy and the team has the best ERA in the NL.
If Beltre improves (no surgical complications this year), Jordan renews himself outside of Turner Field (a bad park for RH powr hitters) and they find so much as one table-setter (McKay Christenson?), I think the offense can be all right.
And, trust me, I know the Dodgers are a long shot. I'm just placing my trust in the Sheffield Effect. The '92 Brewers shouldn't have improved from the previous year. The '98-'00 Dodgers shouldn't have been as bad as they were. Yet it happened. It's part faith and part seeing that buttdart now stuck in Atlanta's haunches.
<small>[ 04-02-2002, 05:04 PM: Message edited by: M2 ]</small>
"It's part faith and part seeing that buttdart now stuck in Atlanta's haunches."
Was that a buttdart that cleared the left-field wall at Turner yesterday, that thing that scored two runs?
Can I join, and we'll make it an archived predictions thread? For bragging rights:
Braves - Didn't like the way they spent their offseason spending money, but I do like the Sheffield pick-up.
Mets - A lot of off-season thunder, but too many question marks due to age & injuries.
Phillies - I, too, am worried about Wolf. But I'm more worried about the Bowa factor and Rolen's ever-pending trade. Huge blow-up potential here. My choice for NL soap opera this season.
Marlins - Sticks will be better than expected, but the arms won't be as good as hyped...though Beckett is the real deal. I like what M2 said here.
Expos - I'd like nothing better than to see them shock the world, but I don't think it's going to happen.
Cardinals - I like them better with Bud Smith and Ankiel in the 4-5 spots, but I think they're still the team to beat.
Astros - Not worried about the Alou loss. Daryle Ward will hit for more power, but less average. Great young power arms.
Cubs - Need Patterson to step up big-time. I like the depth of arms, and Prior could be up by the break.
Reds - If the pitching holds up enough to get in the race, Bob Boone will take them out of it.
Pirates - Improved, but they had a long, long way to go.
Brewers - Who's running this franchise? What a joke!
Giants - Personnel wise, it's an improved outfield and infield. But they have to deal with less than career years out of Bonds & Aurilia and Kent's injury.
Padres - If the young pitchers are ready in a hurray, they could make some noise.
Rockies - Talented, but no one knows how to win in that field, and the front-office changes direction every week.
D-Backs - Time to pay the Devil after they sold their soul last season. Schilling won't be quite as good and the offense will be much worse than last season.
Dodgers - Just an ugly, ugly roster...for $100+ million.
Wild Card: Astros
MVP: Gary Sheffield
Cy Young: Randy Johnson
ROY: Josh Beckett
Manager: Bruce Bochy
Yankees - I disagree with M2 here. This team is much better than the past couple of seasons, but those teams weren't great either.
Red Sox - Some superstars, but very weak in a few places. The rotation has plenty of question marks, beginning with Pedro.
Blue Jays - The fans may not like Ricciardi's rebuilding, but they'll be much better in the long run -- and not too shabby this season.
Orioles - Not a single star on the roster or on the horizon. Jeff Conine = franchise player???
Devil Rays - Trying to win with speed...I don't think so.
Twins - Pitching, defense and some pretty good hitting. They have the whole package, whereas...
White Sox - ...they lack pitching. Well they have it, but they're all injured. Every single one of them.
Indians - Going backwards as an organization. The line-up got stripped over the off-season, and the pitching and defense isn't nearly good enough for a change in philosophy.
Royals - Muser will screw them up. If not, the front-office will.
Tigers - Some dicey players on that field. How many utility players can start for one team?
A's - Will prove everyone wrong again...while at the same time continuing to mess with Selig's small/large market scam.
Mariners - Back down to earth after the career years last season. I don't like their pitching depth nearly as much as last season.
Rangers - What a line-up! They could easily make the playoffs, but it's a tough division.
Angels - A lot has been made of the staff, but it's filled with average pitchers.
Wild Card: Mariners
MVP: Manny Ramirez
Cy Young: Mike Mussina
ROY: Hank Blalock
Manager: Ron Gardenhire
<small>[ 04-02-2002, 05:38 PM: Message edited by: Crash Davis ]</small>
OPS monster who's never carried a team to anything (and please check your history if you want to insist Sheffield was anything but a passenger on the '97 Marlins).
Also it is very like Gary Sheffield to homer once his team has a four-run lead.
Anyway, I've got a theory. I'm either going to be really right or really wrong. I know the odds favor the opposition on this one, but sometimes you've got get out a limb.
Nice hearing from you Crash. Only one question: The Devil are actually trying to win?
Got to admit, I hadn't thought of that. <img border="0" alt="[Devil]" title="" src="graemlins/devil.gif" />
Since you guys went out on a limb, I will too.
1. Mets - I don't feel very confident about this, because the team is so old. I think Mo will disappoint, but Alomar will not. Team is deep at multiple positions and in the rotation.
2. Braves - I like M2's comment about Burkett. For the Braves to win the division, I think they'll need someone in the rotation to overachieve or for the Mets to stumble.
3. Marlins - Loria and crew's damage will not be felt this year. This is a team Dave Dombrowski built. And I wouldn't laugh at someone who picks them to win the division.
4. Expos - It's a young team with no expectations. Some talent. If Robinson keeps them loose, they'll avoid the cellar.
5. Phillies - Offensive sinkholes abound in this lineup in Glanville, Travis Lee, Marlon Anderson. Rollins is also overrated as a hitter. Burrell may not be ready to break out. Manager is hated by his team. Team overachieved last year. Bullpen is old. I like Abreu and Rolen, but I think 3rd place is the best they can hope for.
1. Cardinals - I did eeny-meeny miney mo with the Astros, but realized that a team that sends Bud Smith to the minors has a pretty deep staff. Bullpen has several guys who have closed before. I don't like the Tino Martinez signing, but they batted him 7th yesterday, so he won't do too much damage. I don't like Polanco being an everyday player, but there's more than enough offense here.
2. Astros - Will battle the Braves for the wild card. Suspect defensively up the middle. I love Berkman, but he's no center fielder. Biggio is aging. Lugo already lost his job due to poor defense, but may get it back if Everett can't hit. There's a lot to like here, but two teams can't win the division. Offensively, they're a "plus" at every position assuming Zaun and Lugo displace Ausmus and Everett. When's the last time that happened?
3. Cubs - Everything would have to break right for them to win the division. I like the Alou signing, but otherwise they seem to be picking up a lot of expensive mediocre players
4. Reds - If they stay healthy, 3rd place and 85 wins are not unreasonable. More than likely, however, Larkin and/or Griffey will miss significant time. 75-80 wins is probably a safer bet.
5. Pirates - I was going to pick them 4th, but I kept coming back to Ron Villone as the opening day starter. I really think they'll improve offensively. Kendall healthy a full season, Craig Wilson in the lineup more. Armando Rios is a guy I find underrated. The problem for them is that the Reds are going to be better too.
6. Brewers - Nobody on this team gets on base. Nobody. I don't care how good the young pitching is. It won't matter. Too many of their runs will come from solo homers.
1. Diamondbacks - Old team. But I see them trading for the spots they need, such as 3rd base. Rotation is in good shape. Maybe Durazo will actually get to play the outfield beginning in June. If teams played a balanced schedule, they'd have the worst record of the division winners
2. Rockies - They had a Pythagorean record of about .500 last year, and I think they got better. Especially in the bullpen. I think their middle infield prospects are overhyped, but recent research suggest that free swingers do well in Coors Field.
3. Padres - Buy stock in the Padres now. Kevin Towers doesn't make too many bad moves at GM. Prospects are on the way. A lot of mediocre pitching right now keeping them from the upper end of the division.
4. Giants - This Kent situtation could get really, really ugly. Even if it doesn't, Reggie Sanders will have an awful year in Pac Bell, the majors' worst hitters park for right hand hitters.
5. Dodgers - See comments earlier in thread. Bad team. Bad farm system. Evil corporate management. Bad karma. Bad Sheffield trade. They could have either gotten good players or AT LEAST inexpensive players (and spent in free agency) in return for him. Instead they got neither.
NL Wild Card - Braves or Astros... I know, it's weak for me not to pick, but it's too close to call.
MVP - Lance Berkman
Cy Young - Randy Johnson
Rookie of the Year - Morgan Ensberg
Manager of the Year - Frank Robinson... nah I don't have the guts. Bob Brenly
I'd love to see M2's prediction come true, but I'd say the odds are less than 25%
4. Devil Rays
The D'rays have some starting pitchers with upside and nothing else. The Orioles have nothing.
1. White Sox - I have the same concerns you two have about the pitching. But I have the same concerns about Joe Mays, C.C. Sabathia, and various other persons on the other two legitimate contenders. By default, I went with the team with the best offense.
2. Twins - I think defense is overrated. But the Twins are a mediocre offensive team that benefited by taking away a lot of runs with the major leagues' best defensive outfields last year. Lawton left at the deadline and they missed his OBP. Perhaps they missed his glove too. He was definitely a 'plus' glove in right field. Who's the closer? Okay, then who's the set-up man?
3. Indians - Juan Gone replaced Manny nicely. But who's going to replace Juan Gone and Alomar?
I'd be very surprised if either of these teams exceed 3rd place. Actually, I wonder what kind of odds you could get on the following bet: "Will any of the following teams finish highter than 4th in their division: Royals, Tigers, D'Rays, Orioles?" I think NO is a safe bet.
1. Seattle - James Baldwin?... WHY. Still, this team gets better with Cirillo over Bell, while the A's lose a lot with Giambi's departure.
2. A's - It took several years in the majors for Jason Giambi to become Jason Giambi. Pena can't do it in his rookie year. A healthy Justice would be a big boost, but that's a reach.
3. Rangers - Even though this is an insane asylum with overpriced pitching, I think they'd do pretty well in a lesser division. An off chance at the wild card if the A's suffer significant injuries.
4. Angels - The best last place team in the majors.
Wild Card - Red Sox
MVP - Derek Jeter
Cy Young - Derek Lowe (hey, I gotta make one crazy prediction)
Rookie of the Year - Vernon Wells
Manager of the Year - Grady Little
For predictions more informed than mine, see the teams of Experts at Baseball Prospectus
<a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/20020330nlpredictions.shtml" target="_blank">http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/20020330nlpredictions.shtml</a>
<a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/20020331alpredictions.shtml" target="_blank">http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/20020331alpredictions.shtml</a>
<small>[ 04-02-2002, 06:55 PM: Message edited by: cincinnati chili ]</small>
|All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:29 PM.|
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.