With opening day tomorrow it's time to make our predictions for the upcoming year:
5. Blue Jays
Losing Matsui and Damon would hurt, except that Granderson will more than make up for the loss of Damon, and a full year of Arod + Nick Johnson should help mitigate the loss of HMat. Add Javy Vazquez to an already potent staff that includes my Cy Young winner in AJ Burnett, and the Yanks are the clear favorites.
The Sox have a formidable starting staff, and as has been talked about on the Worldwide Leader ad nauseum their D is improved, but if you can't score runs it just doesn't matter! The Rays have a more balanced attack and will take the wild card.
1. White Sox
The White Sox's starting pitching is deep and very good and their pen is one of the best in the game. Expect a full powerhouse season from Carlos Quentin and a bounce-back from Alex Rios.
This is the toughest division to call. The Angels lost some significant pieces, the Ranger pitching is suspect, and the Mariners will have problems scoring runs. Until someone unseats the Angels it's tough to pick against them.
The Phillies are the clear 2nd best team in all of baseball. The Mets are like an addict that has been able to hold on to their job with a tenuous grasp...this is the year it all falls apart and they hit rock bottom.
The 1/2 punch of Carpenter and Wainwright plus the best hitter in all of baseball give the Cards the easiest division in baseball.
It will be a dogfight in the NL West between the Dodgers, Rockies and Giants. The Giants lose out because of a lack of offense and a drop off by Cy Lincecum. Clayton Kershaw becomes a monster for the Dodgers, but the Rockies will be too tough for them to beat.
AL Wild Card - Tampa Rays
NL Wild Card - Atlanta Braves
AL MVP - Evan Longoria
NL MVP - Troy Tulowitzki
AL Cy Young - AJ Burnett
NL Cy Young - Doc Halliday
AL Breakout player - BJ Upton
NL Breakout player - Chase Headley
Yanks over Angels
Rays over White Sox
Yanks over Rays
Phils over Cards
Rockies over Braves
Phillies over Rockies
Yanks over Phillies