Sunday, April 02, 2006

Last pre-season comments

Now that we're just minutes away from the opening of the Major League Baseball season, it's time for my final pre-season comments and predictions. They're a little bit scattered, and I've not done some of the analysis that I've done in other seasons, but I'm going to make some predictions anyway...

  • I'm not as impressed with Toronto's off-season as most. If their offense is better, I think it's only marginally better. I think that their pitching is marginally better, and their defense significantly worse, which means that despite the upgrade in the pitching staff, they allow more runs. I think that the Yankees and Red Sox each score about 900 runs, with the park differences offsetting the better NY offense. I think that the Red Sox have better pitching and defense than the Yankees.
    Boston wins, but NY wins enough to win the Wild Card.

    AL East

    Boston97Division winner

    NY93Wild Card


    Tampa Bay75-


  • Other AL division winners - Minnesota, Oakland

  • I'm not a big follower of the NL, and can't speak intelligently on it, but if were going to let that stop me, I wouldn't be blogging, right? I see a lot of people picking the Dodgers in the West, but the Grady Little factor won't let me pick them. So I'm going with the Giants. In the East, Atlanta is my pick every year until they finally finish 2nd. Houston could be competitive if Clemens comes back, but the Cardinals win the division. The Wild Card goes to someone. Maybe the Phillies or Mets, maybe even the Dodgers or Brewers. Eeny-meeny-miny-mo - my certified, obviously well-considered pick for the NL Wild Card is ... the Dodgers. And they make a painful exit in a game or two that they should have won, but the manager didn't understand when it was time to remove a pitcher, or how to get the right batter/pitcher matchup.

  • So, to summarize, my season picks are:

    2006 pre-season predictions
    AL Division WinnersNL Division Winners

    Boston Red SoxAtlanta Braves

    Minnesota TwinsSt. Louis Cardinals

    Oakland A'sSan Francisco Giants

    AL Wild CardNL Wild Card

    NY YankeesLos Angeles Dodgers

  • The White Sox are a big disappointment to those picking them to repeat. Their defense is a little worse than last year, the pitching's a little worse, they still haven't figured out that small ball's a bad idea, and the HRs aren't as fortuitously timed this year. The White Sox win about 87 games, and people wonder what happened.

  • At some point during the season, there will be another bump to the interminable, never-ending, tedious steroid story, and the media will bay at the moon for another 2-3 days. Nothing new will be said, nothing new will be learned, nothing will change, but they'll talk and write about nothing new for several days.

  • When the season ends, I'll make no predictions about the post-season, as anything can happen in a short series.

  • I'll enjoy the baseball season. Tremendously...



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