2011 MLB Preview and Predictions by sammywestside


For the rest of Baseball's sake, we can only hope they aren't as good as advertised

Wow, I can not believe it’s opening day!

I’d love to do a more comprehensive breakdown of the upcoming season, but time is not on my side.

I’m going to quickly discuss each division and then give my predictions for order of finish and the playoffs.

NL West-

The Giants are clearly the favorites here, but there are plenty of other intriguing teams. The Padres can flat out pitch, but probably won’t be nearly as good as last year. Their lineup is even more awful now not Adrian Gonzalez is gone. The Dodgers look to have problems too, and their lineup isn’t scaring anyone either, while their pitching is certainly a strength as well. The Rockies are looking pretty good as they’ve locked up many of their young stars, but they need to pitch well to succeed this year. The Diamondbacks are still in rough shape and will likely be far below the other four teams.

Overall, I think the Giants are the best team in the division still because they can pitch so well. Pitching wins championships, fact. The Dodgers, Rockies and Padres are all decent and might very well finish at or above 500.

1. Giants 88-74

2. Dodgers 84-78

3. Rockies 83-79

4. Padres 79-83

5. Diamondbacks 64-98

NL Central-

The NL central is pretty wide open these days and a clear favorite is tough to pin down. The Cubs added Matt Garza and I really liked that move, but the rotation still has alot to prove with young arms and wildcards like Zambrano. The lineup is alright, but not much better than average. They have some big bats but just power, not average guys. The pen should be very good though. Its hard to imagine the Reds can be as good as last year. They’ll still be solid with a decent lineup and some good arms, but the rotation depth isn’t where it needs to be right now. The Astros have been pretty mediocre for a few years now and it doesn’t look good for a big rebound this year. The lineup and pitching staff look to be average at best, and that’s all the Astros can expect this year. The Brewers got Greinke and that was big, to add to a lineup that is pretty good, and the Brewers are looking pretty good this year. The Pirates, well they’re the Pirates. Young, unproven and overall just not very good. The Cardinals chances took a big blow with Wainwright going down, but they still have a solid lineup and a staff that can get it done. The Cards need some help, but they should contend.

Overall, it’s hard to not like the Brewers if Greinke and Gallardo pitch to their capabilities. They have a good lineup and have a chance to pitch well. The Reds should be around and contend, while the Cardinals too. The Cubs seem to be alright but not good enough.

1. Brewers 87-75

2. Cardinals 86-76

3. Reds 84-78

4. Cubs 82-80

5. Astros 70-92

6. Pirates 60-102

NL East-

The Phillies obviously have the rotation to die for. If they live up to the hype its hard to imagine anyone else keeping up with them. The Braves should be solid again and added a nice bat in Dan Uggla. The Marlins quietly got better, but still have some holes. The Mets are tough to pin down, they improved a bit, but need Johan Santana, and the old Johan. I really liked the Chris Young signing, and the lineup has potential to be decent. The Nationals got a bit of help with the bats but their prize and attraction Strasburg isn’t going to out there so no one cares for now.

The Phillies have to favorites with the staff, but they need to hit too and have those guys stay healthy. The Braves look pretty decent and their pitching could be surprisingly good. The Mets have the components to get better and the Marlins are quietly better too. The Nationals don’t look terrible but need to pray their pitching is better than it looks.

1. Phillies 96-66

2. Braves 88-74

3. Mets 83-79

4. Marlins 80-82

5. Nationals 70-92

AL West-

The Rangers came alive last year and look to be headed in the right direction again as favorites in the West. They can suddenly pitch, but need those guys to be as good as last year and not make it look like fluke. The lineup is good, so their fate rests in getting good pitching again. The A’s are underrated and actually look to be solid in pitching as well. The Angels have potential in their rotation, but the lineup isn’t great and the pen too. The Mariners lineup is terrible but their pitching has some potential, especially if Bedard can be great again.

Overall it’s easy to see the Rangers winning the division again, though they might not win as many games as last year. The A’s and Angels could be alright, while the Mariners could be terrible, or just ok.

1. Rangers 89-73

2. Angels 82-80

3. A’s 80-82

4. Mariners 72-90

AL Central-

You can’t help but like the rotation for the White Sox. The lineup is improved too with some big bats and the Sox look to be the front runner in the Central. The Twins look to be decent again, but they need some improvement from the rotation which has been a bunch of mediocre guys for a while now. The Tigers lineup looks very good again, but they need the pitching to back it up. The Indians and Royals look to be pretty bad this year, as both their rotations are suspect.

Overall, I like the Sox alot and the Twins and Tigers you can’t sleep on here.

1. White Sox 90-72

2. Tigers 86-76

3. Twins 84-78

4. Indians 72-90

5. Royals 66-96

AL East-

The AL East is the best division in baseball. Last year there were 4 teams that won 85 games, and its possible the division is better this year. The Red Sox might have picked up Crawford and Gonzalez, but its their pitching that might be the difference this year. The rotation has the potential to be great, and perform much better than last year when they fell the injury and struggled at times. The Yankees lineup and bullpen are the best in baseball, but they have alot of questions in the rotation. If the rotation does well, the Yankees could be great, but that’s a big if. The Rays lost some of their young pitching talent when they traded away Garza and I think that’s more important then people think. Their lineup is ok, but guys like Manny and Damon won’t be like they were in their prime. The Blue Jays still have a pretty good lineup, but they might have overachieved last year. The rotation is ok, but I expect the Jays be a bit worse then last year. The Orioles actually did the most to improve this offseason. The lineup might be old in some spots, but it has the potential to be a bit scary. If they can find some pitching, they could surprise us a bit.

1. Red Sox 94-68

2. Yankees 90-72

3. Rays 83-79

4. Blue Jays 78-84

5. Orioles 76-86

Ok, so now the playoffs…

Division Series-

Phillies over Brewers in 4

Giants over Braves in 4

Red Sox over Rangers in 4

White Sox over Yankees in 5

Championship Series-

Red Sox over White Sox in 6

Phillies over Giants in 7

World Series-

Phillies over Red Sox in 7

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