The new baseball season is upon us and it should be a good one as it seems there is more parody in the MLB than ever. Out of all the big spending teams last season we saw the Giants win it all and the rays and reds make the playoffs while teams like the mets both LA teams and both chicago teams all missed the postseason. But lets look at this season I think the favorites to win the championship this year has got to be the Phillies. who went out and signed Cliff Lee to form 1 of the greatest starting rotations in the history of the game. Not to mention they still have a lineup that only that only rivals the lineups of the Yankees and Red Sox. Here are some of my predictions and observations for this upcoming season.
Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, and the Boston Red Sox. Thats right this season baring injury were looking at a 3 team race for the championship. 1st lets start with the NL the Phillies are going to cruise to the best record in the NL and then Cruise right through the NL playoffs. The Giants, Cardinals, and Brewers are my picks to challenge for the 2nd best team in that league but I cant see either of those squads being much of a threat to the Phillies. In the AL its not as clear even tho there are two teams that clearly are ahead of the pack in the Yankees and Red Sox you can't forget about the Rangers or the Rays to well managed teams that can put points on the board. But at the end of the day look for either Boston and NY to play the Phillies in the World Series. I got the Yankees coming out of the AL to play the Phillies in the World Series and The Phillies winning it all. And yes I'ma Yankees fan.
West - San Francisco Giants, look for the defending champs to be back in the post season this year as they return the majority of their championship roster. Combine that with the fact that the Dogers didn't make any major moves and that the Diamondbacks and Rockies simply aren't good enough plus and the Padres loss of Adrian Gonzalez and thats a recipe for the Giants to win the NL West.
Central - The Central division should be the most interesting race in the NL this year as I feel they have the most playoff caliber teams in their conference with 3. If were going by talent alone i'd even say 4 counting the Cubs (but lets be real the Cubs are a joke and even with that 100 plus million dollar pay roll loaded roster they still probably won't make any noise). Also you can go ahead and scratch out Houston and Pittsburgh as they'll be battling it out for the last seed in the division. Which leaves us with our 3 main contenders the Cardinals, Reds, and Brewers. I believe this will be the conference that will also get the wildcard this year. But I have the Brewers winning this conference this season. We already know they got hitters that can put up runs but when you add Zach Greinke to the mix I think this is the 2nd best team in the NL look for them to be the Phillies biggest competition and the only team with a real shot at upsetting them in the NL. finishing 2nd and getting that wildcard spot I think will be the Reds as they bring back a pretty strong team which should be even better than last years team with a year of experience under their belt. The Cardinals lost Adam Wainwright to Tommy John Surgery for the year and without him I just can't see them being better than the Reds and Brewers but anything is possible with the Best player in the league in Pujols.
East - This division is all but won baring major injury the Phillies just have to much firepower this year and should finish with over a 100 wins and the best record in the entire league. The best the other teams can hope for this year is the wildcard. I think the Braves will finish 2nd this year and have a shot at that wild card. Also look for the Mets to be much improved this year as I think they'll be respectable this year and compete for that 2nd spot with the braves.
West - I got the Rangers winning this division but 1 would be a fool to sleep on the Angels. They have 1 of the best managers in baseball in Mike Scioscia and a good team they'll certainly give the Rangers a run for their money I think this division will come down to the last weeks of the season between these two. There are few that think the A's are good enough to win this division I don't see they'll probably finish 3rd. And The Seattle Mariners have no chance of doing anything but finishing last.
Central - This division is usually the same every year the Tigers and White Sox come in with better Rosters and more notable players yet still end up fighting for 2nd place as the Twins usually come out on top. And look for it to happen again as I think the Twins are gonna win this division again. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and this twins front office just simply know more about baseball than most other clubs. They do a great job with making the best of what they have by making good draft picks properly developing their picks and Ron is in the discussion for manager of the year almost every year as he does a great job getting the most out of the talent he's given. I have the White Sox edging out the Tigers for that 2nd spot. Not much to say about Cleveland and Kansas City look for them to battle it out for last in the division.
East - The most popular division in baseball with the two most popular teams and the biggest rivalry in sports This Division will be a 2 horse race despite having 3 really good teams. The Rays are a good team and had they been in any other division they'd have a shot a winning it or at least getting a wild card. But not in this 1 as the Yankees and Red Sox come into the year with the 2nd and 3rd best teams. On Paper i'll give a slight edge to the Red Sox who certainly has a lot of support as they've been picked by many to win the AL this year. I actually thing they will with a deeper younger roster than the Yankees I think there more suited to have a better regular season record than the Yankees so look for the Red Sox to win the Division as they've made big roster moves by acquiring Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. But the Yankees will be tough this year as well. I think losing Petitte to retierment will hurt them as far as being able to out due the Sox over the course of 162 games but I still think the Yankees have a solid rotation for the postseason where you won't have to use a 5 man rotation. The Yankees have the better bull pen as they've added Rafael Soriano to be the set up man for Rivera meaning that there going to be able to go to Joba in the 7th, Soriano in the 8th, and Mo in the 9th thats very scary and will make the Yankees very tough to come back on if they have the lead going into late innings. I still think the Red Sox will edge it out but IF (and thats a big if) Burnett can play like an all star caliber pitcher the Yankees then should win the Division.