Yesterday I started with the National League that saw the Phillies heading to the World Series. Their opponent was TBA. Until today. A little different format but not too different.
So away we go.
Many would argue it’s a two horse race between the Sox and Yankees. No one is counting on Tampa to challenge this year given the departure of several key guys. But they brought in Manny and Damon so they should still be good right? Well maybe if it was 2004.
I’m in the group of the two horse race. I think that Baltimore is improved as is Toronto (just with a managerial change) but I don’t think either one will vault to third over Tampa. That leaves the Sox and Yanks in the one and two spots. I really think that the Yankees question marks on their pitching staff will make them the Wild Card this year. The Sox rotation seems too deep even with questionable Beckett and Dice-K. I think they have depth at Pawtucket in many of the positions as well so if someone is injured I don’t think the team falters like they did last year.
Sox take the AL East, Yankees take the Wild Card.
I think that Cleveland and Kansas City will continue to suck. The Tigers and White Sox will have decent win totals come the end of the season but I still think the Twins are the team to beat. Depending on who you read there’s differing opinions on who will win but regardless it’s Twins, Tigers, and White Sox. Some have the White Sox on top (I’m assuming they think Peavy will stay healthy) others have the Tigers (they only won 81 games last season) but I’m sticking with the Twins. The Twins didn’t have a huge roster turnover I think they’ll match last year’s win total of 94.
Remember last year? I picked the Mariners based on their King Felix and Cliff Lee at the top of their rotation. They ended up finishing in last place behind Texas, Oakland and the Angels in that order. Well, I’m not making a bold prediction by having Seattle at the top. I’m leaving them in the cellar. Just above them I’ll have the A’s. I don’t think even with their pitching staff that they’re going to challenge for the top spots in the division.
That leaves a two horse race between defending AL Champion Rangers and the Angels. I’m taking the Rangers. I just think their ability to hit bad pitching will carry them to a repeat. The Angels will keep it interesting but I think barring a huge deadline deal, they fall behind the Rangers.
Then we have the playoffs. I’ll say it’s the Sox over the Twins in the divisional series and the Rangers over the Yankees. So the Sox AL schedule will start and end with the Rangers this year. I say the Sox topple the Rangers and head to the World Series again.
34 of 42 ESPN.com writers picked the Sox to win the World Series, Sports Illustrated picked the Sox to win the World Series, and now Jay’s Sports Blog is also picking the Sox to win the World Series. In the ultimate act of homer-ism I’m saying the Sox will beat the Phillies four games to one in the World Series. I just hope the clinching game can finally be at Fenway.
It all starts today for the Sox. I’m taking a half day and will be there watching. Most fans will hop on the bandwagon after the Celtics and Bruins wrap up their seasons.