The Crystal Ball

Since I am going on vacation tomorrow and won’t be back until after Opening Day Night, I thought I would post my annual predictions now.  As always, use them at your own risk- I picked Kansas to win the National Tourney this year.

 
AL East

1- Yankees- I have said it before and I will say it again, Javier Vazquez was a brilliant trade.  I think his addition to the rotation and the fact that the Yankees did indeed get younger keeps them on top in 2010.

2- Boston- I am fascinated by what the Red Sox have done going the defense/pitching route.  I just don’t think they have enough offense to win the AL East.  

3- Tampa- Probably the third-best team in the AL, if not all of baseball.

4- Baltimore- Getting better, but not there yet.  

5- Toronto- It’s a rebuild and they are going to lose a lot this year. 

AL Central

1-Chicago- Until Nathan blew out his elbow, I would have put the Twins here.  Now, I think the White Sox get it done.  In reality almost any team in the AL West could win it- yes even KC.

2- Minnesota- Shame about Nathan, but they should stay in the race until the end.

3- Detroit- I bet Damon has a great year with the bat, but is relegated to DH by the end of June.

4- Cleveland- Some very promising young players, but they are rebuilding.

5- KC- Yes, they could win the division, but chances are higher that they finish in last.

AL West

1- Seattle- Lee and Hernandez at the top of the rotation get them to the top of the division.

2- Oakland- Anyone else think Ben Sheets will have a big year for the A’s?

3- Anaheim- They lost a lot in the offseason and will have a lot of trouble staying in contention.

4- Texas- As usual, baseball season will be over when the Cowboys report to training camp.  

NL East

1- Philadelphia- Still think they should have held onto Lee, but they have plenty of talent to finish first in the Nl East.

2- Atlanta- They’re back and they will be dangerous.

3- Florida- Love the top of the rotation and they could definitely surprise, but I don’t think they have enough to overtake the top two teams in the division.

4- Mets- Hated their offseason, but I think they have more than enough talent to stay ahead of the Nats.

5- Nationals- When will they call up Strasburg and why are they waiting?

NL Central

1- St. Louis- The best team in the NL outside of Philly.

2- Chicago- That’s 102 years and counting on the North Side

3- Brewers- They will chase the Cubs for 2nd, but not the Cards

4- Cincinnati- When will Chapman come up?

5- Houston- One of the worst teams in the NL, but still better than…

6- Pittsburgh- I believe this will make it 18 years of sub-.500 baseball in Pittsburgh.  At least they have the Steelers and Penguins to ease their pain.

NL West

1- San Francisco- I am going against the grain, but they have wonderful pitching and some very nice young hitting.  

2- Colorado- Just a tad worse than the Giants, should be heavily involved in division and wild card races.

3- Arizona- Would any Yankees’ fan be shocked if Ian Kennedy won 10+?  I won’t and I think the rest of the team plays well too.  

4- LA- This will be the biggest test of Joe Torre since 1996

5- Padres- Will they trade Gonzalez and if they do, where will they?

Playoffs

Yankees win ALDS vs. Chicago

Seattle wins ALDS over Boston

Phillies win NLDS over Giants

Braves win NLDS over Cardinals

Yankees win ALCS over Seattle

Phillies win NLCS over Braves setting up a repeat World Series for the first time since 1978.  And just like 1978, I predict a Yankees’ victory.

Will I be right?  Almost certainly not, but feel free to chime in with your predictions and enjoy baseball on Sunday night.  I will from afar and be back next week.