THT Staff Predictions

We’ve been previewing teams for the past couple weeks, and now that Opening Day is finally here, it’s time to put our money where our mouths are.

Below you will find predictions from 10 THT writers, including divisional standings, major awards and what happens in October. Within a week, we may all look like idiots, but that’s the beauty of baseball.

American League East

                    1st     2nd     3rd     4th     5th
Alex Belth          BOS     NYY     TOR     TAM     BAL
Craig Burley        BOS     NYY     TOR     BAL     TAM
Joe Dimino          NYY     BOS     TOR     BAL     TAM
Robert Dudek        NYY     BOS     TOR     BAL     TAM
Aaron Gleeman       NYY     BOS     TOR     BAL     TAM
Ben Jacobs          BOS     NYY     TOR     BAL     TAM
Vinay Kumar         NYY     BOS     TOR     BAL     TAM
Matthew Namee       NYY     BOS     TOR     BAL     TAM
Studes              NYY     BOS     TOR     BAL     TAM
Steve Treder        NYY     BOS     TOR     BAL     TAM
 
Consensus           NYY     BOS     TOR     BAL     TAM

You’ll notice that, after the first two spots, everyone pretty much has this division predicted exactly the same. I suppose that’s not all that surprising, considering the entire division, one through five, has finished in the same order for six straight seasons.

Alex Belth is the lone soul brave enough to predict anything but last place for Tampa Bay, while all 10 of us think the Blue Jays are destined for third.

The Red Sox get just three first-place votes, which may have been higher had Nomar Garciaparra and Trot Nixon not gone down with injuries. Interestingly, one of the Boston’s first-place votes came from the guy who runs a blog devoted to the Yankees, Alex Belth, while Ben Jacobs, a Red Sox fan, stuck with Boston.

The consensus opinion on this division matches the standings every year since 1998: New York-Boston-Toronto-Baltimore-Tampa Bay.

American League Central

                    1st     2nd     3rd     4th     5th
Alex Belth          CLE     KAN     MIN     CHW     DET
Craig Burley        MIN     KAN     CHW     CLE     DET
Joe Dimino          CHW     MIN     KAN     DET     CLE
Robert Dudek        MIN     KAN     CHW     CLE     DET
Aaron Gleeman       MIN     KAN     CHW     CLE     DET
Ben Jacobs          MIN     KAN     CHW     CLE     DET
Vinay Kumar         MIN     KAN     CHW     CLE     DET
Matthew Namee       KAN     MIN     CHW     CLE     DET
Studes              CHW     MIN     KAN     DET     CLE
Steve Treder        MIN     KAN     CHW     CLE     DET
 
Consensus           MIN     KAN     CHW     CLE     DET

The Royals got a lot of second-place votes, but only one person, Matthew Namee, puts them atop the division. Alex Belth is the only one to have Cleveland in the top three, picking them to win the division, while Joe Dimino and Studes both have the Indians finishing in the basement.

Minnesota picks up six of the remaining eight first-place votes, while the White Sox surprisingly get just two. Not surprisingly, just two of us think the Tigers will find their way out of last place, after finishing last season 25 games behind Cleveland.

The consensus opinion on the AL Central has Minnesota winning it for the third straight year and Detroit bringing up the rear for a third straight year.

American League West

                    1st     2nd     3rd     4th
Alex Belth          OAK     ANA     SEA     TEX
Craig Burley        OAK     ANA     SEA     TEX
Joe Dimino          OAK     ANA     SEA     TEX
Robert Dudek        OAK     ANA     SEA     TEX
Aaron Gleeman       OAK     ANA     SEA     TEX
Ben Jacobs          OAK     ANA     SEA     TEX
Vinay Kumar         OAK     ANA     SEA     TEX
Matthew Namee       OAK     ANA     SEA     TEX
Studes              ANA     OAK     SEA     TEX
Steve Treder        ANA     OAK     SEA     TEX
 
Consensus           OAK     ANA     SEA     TEX

Geez, us statheads sure do like the A’s, huh? Eight out of 10 pick Oakland to repeat as AL West champs, while Studes and Steve Treder have Oakland in second, with Anaheim taking the division. The A’s and Angels take up the first two spots for all 10 guys, and every person has Seattle in third and Texas in last.

The consensus opinion is that Oakland will win the division for the third straight time, with Anaheim jumping over Seattle into second place. Also, we have the Rangers finishing in last place for the fifth consecutive season.

American League Wild Card/Awards

                     WC     MVP                 Cy Young            Rookie              Manager
Alex Belth          NYY     Vlad Guerrero       Pedro Martinez      Joe Mauer           Eric Wedge
Craig Burley        NYY     Vlad Guerrero       Tim Hudson          Matt Riley          Tony Pena
Joe Dimino          BOS     Alex Rodriguez      Javier Vazquez      Bobby Crosby        Ozzie Guillen
Robert Dudek        BOS     Vernon Wells        Tim Hudson          Bobby Crosby        Ken Macha
Aaron Gleeman       BOS     Alex Rodriguez      Johan Santana       Bobby Crosby        Ron Gardenhire
Ben Jacobs          NYY     Eric Chavez         Curt Schilling      Joe Mauer           Ken Macha
Vinay Kumar         BOS     Alex Rodriguez      Javier Vazquez      Bobby Crosby        Ozzie Guillen
Matthew Namee       BOS     Carlos Beltran      Pedro Martinez      Joe Mauer           Joe Torre
Studes              BOS     Vlad Guerrero       Javier Vazquez      Bobby Crosby        Mike Scioscia
Steve Treder        BOS     Alex Rodriguez      Javier Vazquez      Bobby Crosby        Mike Scioscia
 
Consensus           BOS     Alex Rodriguez      Javier Vazquez      Bobby Crosby        3-Way Tie

All 10 of us have the second-place team in the AL East winning the Wild Card, which means there isn’t a single person among us who believes either the Yankees or Red Sox will miss the playoffs.

The Rookie of the Year predictions were primarily split between two players, with Bobby Crosby beating Joe Mauer six to three, while Matt Riley picked up a vote from Craig Burley, who must not have gotten the memo.

The Manager of the Year picks are all over the place. As you might expect from his AL Central prediction, Alex Belth picks Eric Wedge, while Ozzie Guillen, Ken Macha and Mike Scioscia each pick up two votes.

Javier Vazquez is the consensus pick for the Cy Young, while no one, not even our two Blue Jays fans on staff, picks last year’s winner, Roy Halladay. Pedro Martinez and Tim Hudson pick up two votes each.

The MVP predictions were very close, with Alex Rodriguez narrowly edging out Vladimir Guerrero, four to three. We came very close to predicting members of the 2003 Expos winning both the AL MVP and Cy Young awards.

National League East

                    1st     2nd     3rd     4th     5th
Alex Belth          ATL     PHI     FLA     NYM     MON
Craig Burley        ATL     PHI     FLA     NYM     MON
Joe Dimino          PHI     MON     FLA     ATL     NYM
Robert Dudek        PHI     ATL     FLA     NYM     MON
Aaron Gleeman       PHI     ATL     FLA     NYM     MON
Ben Jacobs          PHI     ATL     FLA     NYM     MON
Vinay Kumar         ATL     PHI     FLA     NYM     MON
Matthew Namee       PHI     ATL     FLA     NYM     MON
Studes              ATL     PHI     FLA     NYM     MON
Steve Treder        PHI     ATL     FLA     NYM     MON
 
Consensus           PHI     ATL     FLA     NYM     MON

Philadelphia, who finished third in the division last year, checks in with six of the 10 first-place votes, with Atlanta getting the other four.

All 10 of us have the World Champion Marlins finishing third in the division and everyone but Joe Dimino has the Mets in fourth and Montreal in last.

The consensus has the Phillies breaking Atlanta’s amazing run atop the NL East, which…well, I’ll believe it when I see it.

National League Central

                    1st     2nd     3rd     4th     5th     6th
Alex Belth          HOU     CHC     STL     PIT     CIN     MIL
Craig Burley        HOU     STL     CHC     PIT     MIL     CIN
Joe Dimino          HOU     CHC     STL     CIN     PIT     MIL
Robert Dudek        HOU     CHC     STL     CIN     PIT     MIL
Aaron Gleeman       CHC     HOU     STL     CIN     PIT     MIL
Ben Jacobs          HOU     CHC     STL     CIN     PIT     MIL
Vinay Kumar         HOU     CHC     STL     CIN     PIT     MIL
Matthew Namee       CHC     HOU     STL     CIN     PIT     MIL
Studes              CHC     HOU     STL     CIN     PIT     MIL
Steve Treder        CHC     HOU     STL     CIN     MIL     PIT
 
Consensus           HOU     CHC     STL     CIN     PIT     MIL

Opinion on this division is very split at the top, but pretty much in agreement for the final four spots. Only Craig Burley has either Houston or Chicago outside of the top two spots, placing the Cardinals #2.

Also, we all agree that the division is definitely split into two parts, as no one has Houston, Chicago or St. Louis in the bottom half of the standings.

The Cubs won the division by one game over Houston last year, but our consensus has them flip-flopped this season, with Houston taking home the title.

National League West

                    1st     2nd     3rd     4th     5th
Alex Belth          SFG     LOS     SDP     ARI     COL
Craig Burley        LOS     SFG     SDP     ARI     COL
Joe Dimino          LOS     SDP     ARI     SFG     COL
Robert Dudek        SFG     SDP     ARI     LOS     COL
Aaron Gleeman       SDP     SFG     LOS     ARI     COL
Ben Jacobs          ARI     SFG     SDP     LOS     COL
Vinay Kumar         SDP     SFG     ARI     LOS     COL
Matthew Namee       LOS     SFG     SDP     ARI     COL
Studes              SFG     LOS     ARI     SDP     COL
Steve Treder        ARI     SFG     LOS     SDP     COL
 
Consensus           SFG     LOS     SDP     ARI     COL

Everyone has the Rockies finishing last. After that, it gets very interesting…

Of the other four teams, all four of them had at two of us pick them to win the division. Not a single person picked Arizona to finish second, but Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco were eached picked to finish second by at least two people.

Meanwhile, San Francisco didn’t get any third-place votes, although Joe Dimino picked them to finish fourth. Los Angeles, San Diego and Arizona all got picked to finish third by at least two of us. And finally, all four non-Colorado teams got picked to finish fourth in the division at least once.

The consensus (using a point system) comes out as San Francisco-Los Angeles-San Diego-Arizona-Colorado. The only person who has personal predictions that match the group’s consensus on the NL West? Alex Belth.

National League Wild Card/Awards

                     WC     MVP                 Cy Young            Rookie              Manager
Alex Belth          CHC     Sammy Sosa          Mark Prior          Kaz Matsui          Bobby Cox
Craig Burley        STL     Albert Pujols       Mark Prior          Adam LaRoche        Bobby Cox
Joe Dimino          CHC     Todd Helton         Roy Oswalt          Khalil Greene       Jim Tracy
Robert Dudek        CHC     Barry Bonds         Andy Pettitte       Kaz Matsui          Bruce Bochy
Aaron Gleeman       HOU     Barry Bonds         Randy Johnson       Ryan Wagner         Bruce Bochy
Ben Jacobs          CHC     Richie Sexson       Roy Oswalt          Kaz Matsui          Bobby Cox
Vinay Kumar         CHC     Lance Berkman       Mark Prior          Ryan Wagner         Bruce Bochy
Matthew Namee       HOU     Jim Thome           Kerry Wood          Adam LaRoche        Jim Tracy
Studes              HOU     Albert Pujols       Josh Beckett        Adam LaRoche        Bobby Cox
Steve Treder        HOU     Albert Pujols       Roy Oswalt          Kaz Matsui          Dusty Baker
 
Consensus           CHC     Albert Pujols       Prior/Oswalt        Kaz Matsui          Bobby Cox

Each and every one of us picked the second-place team in the NL Central to win the Wild Card. For most, that meant the Cubs, but Craig Burley had St. Louis and four guys had Houston.

For the MVP, Albert Pujols is the pick of three people, while only myself and Robert Dudek are following the “Bonds is the MVP until proven otherwise” motto.

The majority of us initially picked Mark Prior to win the Cy Young, but most changed their minds when news came out that he’ll likely miss significant time. Still, even with the injury concerns, Prior did get three votes, which ties him with Roy Oswalt.

Kaz Matsui is the Rookie of the Year pick for four guys, while Adam LaRoche got three votes and Ryan Wagner got two.

Bobby Cox, surprisingly (to me at least) was the consensus Manager of the Year pick, receiving four of the 10 votes. Bruce Bochy was the pick of three guys, two of whom picked San Diego to win the division (which makes sense).

October

                    AL Champs                NL Champs                WS Champs
Alex Belth          New York Yankees         San Francisco Giants     New York Yankees
Craig Burley        Boston Red Sox           Houston Astros           Houston Astros
Joe Dimino          New York Yankees         Houston Astros           Houston Astros
Robert Dudek        Oakland A's              Chicago Cubs             Oakland A's
Aaron Gleeman       Boston Red Sox           Chicago Cubs             Boston Red Sox
Ben Jacobs          Boston Red Sox           Houston Astros           Boston Red Sox
Vinay Kumar         Boston Red Sox           Houston Astros           Boston Red Sox
Matthew Namee       Boston Red Sox           Los Angeles Dodgers      Boston Red Sox
Studes              Boston Red Sox           Chicago Cubs             Chicago Cubs
Steve Treder        New York Yankees         Chicago Cubs             New York Yankees
 
Consensus           Boston Red Sox           Houston/Chicago          Boston Red Sox

As you can, we at THT don’t believe in curses, Bambino, Billy Goat or otherwise.

While only three of us have the Red Sox winning the AL East, six of us have them winning the American League. Over in the NL, we are split, with three of us picking the Cubs and three picking the Astros.

And who’s going to win it all this year? Well, according to us, the Red Sox. Four out of 10 picked Boston to win their first World Series since 1918.

Print Friendly
 Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone
« Previous: Five Questions: San Diego Padres
Next: Five Questions: Houston Astros »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *