2006 Baseball predictions
Sunday night the Cleveland Indians kick off the 2006 Major League Baseball season in Chicago against the same team they started and finished against last year the White Sox. So without further ado here are my predictions for the divisional races this year followed by miscellaneous comments.
AL East - The same two teams have finished first and second in this division for the last 7 years. That should change.
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankes
Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
AL Central - Since the inception of the Central Division, last years White Sox were the first team from this division to win the World Series.
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
(whatever city) Angels
NL East - Owned by the Braves for 14 straight years
New York Mets
NL Central - 6 teams in a division is too many
St Louis Cardinals
NL West - Arguably the weakest division in baseball
San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Various random thoughts on the upcoming season. The Yankees are old. Average age of their 25 man roster is 34 years old with Cano the only starter under 30. The Yankees' main off season acquisition was a 32 year old center fielder with a bad throwing arm. Everyone is focusing on the steroid aspect of the new drug policy and ignoring the amphetamine ban. Older teams (Yankees, Giants, etc) will be affected more by the ban as the season goes on than younger teams. Toronto is a trendy pick. However, they spent oodles of money on unproven players one of whom is already on the disabled list. People are praising the White Sox' off season moves, but I think they have taken a major step back. Thome is one of my favorite players, but the difference between him and last years DH's isn't going to make up for the loss of Aaron Rowand. If you need stolen bases in your AL fantasy league look to Detroit and Tampa Bay. Jim Leyland and Joe Maddon will have their teams running the bases aggressively. Kevin Millwood could improve his won/loss record even as he sees his earned run average increase by more than a run. I think every publication is listing the Marlins as the worst team in baseball. I disagree. They may have traded away every veteran, but they got some seriously talented players in return. I predict a slow start and a strong second half. The Royals are a much more accurate selection for worst team in baseball. KC added a couple of nice pieces but their pitching remains awful. Bad pitching equals losing baseball.
MVP: Victor Martinez
Cy Young: Jeremy Bonderman
Mgr: Jim Leyland
Comeback player: Jim Thome (7 homers last year - 40+ this year)
MVP: Carlos Beltran
Cy Young: Zach Duke
Mgr: Willie Randolph
Comeback player: Nomar Garciaparra
Other predictions (I'll add more as I find them):
Lee Sinins - If you want to know what's going on in baseball check his site daily.