So we decided to take a different approach when forecasting the 2011 MLB season. Instead of doing like everyone else and making our predictions before opening day, we wanted to wait a few games into the season before looking into our crystal ball.
So the following is how we expect each team to fall in line when it is all said and done in the MLB 2011 Baseball Season.
1. Boston Red Sox
It’s hard not to like what the Red Sox did this offseason but can anyone guarantee that the new additions will gel? Sure they look good on paper but so did many of the other Free Agent Stacked teams over the years. We see the Red Sox finishing first but not by as wide a margin as everyone else thinks.
2. New York Yankees
The underdog role is new to the Bronx Bombers. I expect them to embrace it. It can be dangerous when the Yankees are a team that may fly under the radar. I see them getting stronger as the season goes on and I also see them improving that rotation at some point. But for 2011, let’s say Wild Card
3. Baltimore Orioles
Much improved, new Attitude, New Additions, New Era….but will that lead to NEW results? A 3rd place finish would be a step in the right directions
4. Toronto Blue Jays
Watch Drabek prove to be a STUD this season. I see the Blue Jays narrowly losing out to that 3rd place slot. The Orioles will get all the attention as they improve but nobody should sleep on the Jays
5. Tampa Bay Rays
Sorry Tampa Bay but adding Manny and Johnny Damon will probably cost you more games than it will win you. They are old and this is a time to build some younger players up as opposed to bringing in washed up veterans way past their prime. Double fail!
1. Detroit Tigers
You have an MVP Player in Miguel Cabrera, a bonafide ace in Justin Verlander and you improved a shaky bullpen with the addition of Benoit. Watch the Tigers this year
2. Chicago White Sox
The addition of Adam Dunn will make the White Sox offense more potent but the pitching is still an issue. And as long as Ozzie Guillen is running his circus show, the Sox will underachieve. The Ozzie effect has very little effect anymore. Time to move on Chicago.
3. Minnesota Twins
The Twins will learn that pitching is EVERYTHING and their lack of pitching will hurt them bad this year. Liriano will stink it up and Pavano will return to his garbage form that ALL Yankeee fans are accustomed to.
4. Kansas City Royals
A lot of people like the Indians to make a step forward this year but not us. We like Kansas City. Nobody is counting them in anything and usually that is when a team responds.
5. Cleveland Indians
Sorry Cleveland, even though you will win more games this isn’t quite the year you make that big jump forward.
1. Oakland Athletics
The rotation the A’s have stacked up is scary good. Forget the Phillies (just kidding) but this could be the best rotation by season’s end in the AL. Pitching is everything! But can that bullpen hold up?
2. Texas Rangers
It’s going to be hard to keep up the success rate of last year, especially without Cliff Lee. But the Rangers will still be good enough to be in the race for the Wild Card
3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Consider this a neck and neck race between the Rangers and Angels for that number two slot with only 2-3 games separating them in this division. Starting Pitching will be the Angels biggest issue.
4. Seattle Mariners
Another ho-hum year in Seattle. Time to deal Ichiro and King Felix and start rebuilding.
With perhaps the best rotation (on paper) in the league the Phillies seem like a lock to win the NL East. Don’t they? But the loss of Chase Utley and the overall health of the lineup could put a chink in the armor!
2. Atlanta Braves
This may very well be the Wild Card team this year. And believe me, they will put some heat on the Phillies.
3. Washington Nationals
The Nats will make some waves and start some chatter. They will be in the chase for the Wild Card for a bit (to make it interesting) but they are still a year or so away from being legit contenders.
4. Florida Marlins
Anyone else think it’s time for the Marlins to dump Hanley Ramirez and build everything around Mike Stanton? They need some more pitching to make a run next year!
5. New York Mets
Pitching will doom them this year. The bullpen won’t help. Nor will their broken down lineup. Look for the Mets to dump players come Trade Deadline.
1. Cincinatti Reds
A year removed from a fantastic run I see them capturing the division crown and making a strong playoff push. Young, dangerous and now experienced.
2. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers made some great changes this offseason. It will payoff with a much better season in ’11 than in ’10.
3. St.Louis Cardinals
I’m sorry but there are just far too many distractions in St.Louis for them to make any progress this year. Until this Pujols ordeal is resolved, they won’t be able to put anything together that will get them in the race.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates
We believe in you Pittsburgh! Andrew McCutcheon is a hell of a player and we believe the Pirates will make their way out of the division cellar this year.
5. Houston Astros
It’s rebuilding time in Houston and their record will reflect that!
6. Chicago Cubs
This team and organization is an absolute mess. Their fans deserve a whole lot better. They just won’t get it in 2011.
1. San Francisco Giants
How anyone is picking against the Giants in this division is absurd. It’s amazing how the World Series Champs almost seem like underdogs. Oh well, they will use it all as motivation.
2. Colorado Rockies
They will put a TON of heat on the Giants all season. That pitching is something else. But the lineup is what raises question marks. Look for them to add a bat or two at the deadline for one final push.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
This is Don Mattingly’s first year as a manager and he has some cleaning up to do. The Dodgers have a ton of work to do, but they have Clayton Kershaw to build around.
4. San Diego Padres
The Padres lack that big bat that can keep them in games. They need a heavy hitter to make any impact in this divisions in the future.
5. Arizona Diamondbacks
Seems like this team has been rebuilding for years now. May they have taken on the Pirates losing ways?
World Series – Yankees vs. Giants
AL MVP – Alex Rodriguez (New York Yankees)
NL MVP – Joey Votto (Cincinatti Reds)
AL Cy Young – Felix Hernandez (Seattle Mariners)
NL Cy Young – Ubaldo Jimenez (Colorado Rockies)