Woo baseball! Who’s excited?! Probably just me. Predictions with one line per team, as per established custom.
* for wildcards!
1. Yankees – Probably see some slippage in the offense, but that pitching staff looks excellent.
2. Rays* – Incredible pitching depth, will figure out how to tape together a lineup and bullpen AGAIN.
3. Red Sox – Best team in baseball for a stretch last year before an historic collapse, but a very curious offseason.
4. Blue Jays – Lurking, but not there yet, barring a Sawx collapse.
5. Orioles – Doomed to perpetual basement dwelling for the next several years.
1. Tigers – Might slip a little, but still the class of the division.
2. White Sox – A sleeper I like, with a lot of rebound candidates in that lineup.
3. Indians – Had a hot stretch early last year, but seem to be primed for a backslide.
4. Royals – On an upward trajectory, which ain’t nothing.
5. Twins – Need Mauer and Morneau to turn back the clock to avoid the basement.
1. Rangers – Scary good on both sides of the ball.
2. Angels* – Should be right there with the Rangers, but the aging lineup keeps them from first place.
3. Mariners – Pineda trade a headscratcher, even with the young pitching they have.
4. Athletics – Not quite sure what the roadmap is for them right now.
1. Braves – Had a worse collapse than the Sawx last year- difference is, their team is much younger.
2. Phillies* – Pitching amazing, lineup starting to crack, a lot of bad contracts.
3. Nationals – Still in the middle unless Strasburg decides to be an all-everything hitter too, but a team on the rise.
4. Marlins – Big FA signings seem to have worked for them in the past, but I don’t see them hitting the postseason just yet.
5. Mets – Setting up for a dreary season in Queens.
1. Cardinals – Positioned well for Pujols leaving, solid all around. Interesting to see how Matheny follows TLR managing.
2. Brewers* – A Braun suspension would have probably knocked them from a wild card, I figure, with Prince already out the door.
3. Reds – Should be breaking down Milwaukee’s neck, even with Madson out for the year.
4. Pirates – A flicker of hope early last year was extinguished. Need some more youngsters around McCutchen.
5. Cubs – Theo takes the Cubs job after winning two titles with the Red Sox. Be something if he could win it here, too.
6. Astros – Worst team in baseball, easy. American League teams salivating for their upcoming move to the AL West.
1. Giants – Crazy good pitching has propelled them the last few years, why mess with what works?
2. Diamondbacks – Seem to be collecting Blue Jays castoffs, which makes me angry that the NL West sucks.
3. Dodgers – Great stars, no filler.
4. Rockies – Another team whose direction confuses me. Big contracts, and got older this offseason.
5. Padres – Some promising pitching, but still short on bats.