2011 staff predictions

Since spring training is starting to wind down, we at The Hardball Times’ office decided to gather around at the break room and boldly make some predictions for the 2011 season.

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST

                     1st    2nd    3rd    4th
Derek Ambrosino       TEX    OAK    LAA    SEA
John Barten           OAK    TEX    LAA    SEA
Vince Caramela        TEX    LAA    OAK    SEA
Mike Clark            TEX    LAA    OAK    SEA
David Gassko          OAK    TEX    SEA    LAA
Jeffrey Gross         OAK    TEX    LAA    SEA
Jonathan Halket       TEX    OAK    LAA    SEA
Chris Jaffe           TEX    LAA    OAK    SEA
Brad Johnson          TEX    OAK    LAA    SEA
Mat Kovach            OAK    TEX    LAA    SEA
Kevin Lai             OAK    TEX    LAA    SEA
Max Marchi            OAK    TEX    SEA    LAA
Bruce Markusen        OAK    LAA    TEX    SEA
Rory Paap             OAK    TEX    LAA    SEA
Ben Pritchett         TEX    LAA    OAK    SEA
Josh Shepardson       TEX    OAK    LAA    SEA
Greg Simons           TEX    OAK    LAA    SEA
Paul Singman          OAK    TEX    LAA    SEA
Dave Studeman         TEX    OAK    SEA    LAA
Paul Francis Sullivan LAA    OAK    TEX    SEA
Steve Treder          TEX    OAK    LAA    SEA
David Wade            TEX    OAK    LAA    SEA

Consensus             TEX    OAK    LAA    SEA

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

                     1st    2nd    3rd    4th     5th
Derek Ambrosino       CHW    MIN    DET    CLE     KC
John Barten           CHW    MIN    DET    KC      CLE
Vince Caramela        CHW    MIN    DET    KC      CLE
Mike Clark            MIN    DET    CHW    KC      CLE
David Gassko          CHW    MIN    DET    CLE     KC
Jeffrey Gross         CHW    DET    MIN    KC      CLE
Jonathan Halket       CHW    MIN    DET    CLE     KC
Chris Jaffe           CHW    MIN    DET    KC      CLE
Brad Johnson          DET    CHW    MIN    KC      CLE
Mat Kovach            CLE    KC     MIN    DET     CHW
Kevin Lai             CHW    DET    MIN    KC      CLE
Max Marchi            MIN    CHW    CLE    KC      DET
Bruce Markusen        CHW    DET    MIN    KC      CLE
Rory Paap             MIN    CHW    DET    CLE     KC
Ben Pritchett         DET    CHW    MIN    KC      CLE
Josh Shepardson       MIN    DET    CHW    CLE     KC
Greg Simons           DET    CHW    MIN    KC      CLE
Paul Singman          DET    MIN    CHW    KC      CLE
Dave Studeman         MIN    CHW    DET    CLE     KC
Paul Francis Sullivan CHW    MIN    KC     DET     CLE
Steve Treder          CHW    MIN    DET    KC      CLE
David Wade            DET    MIN    CHW    CLE     KC

Consensus             CHW    MIN    DET    KC      CLE

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

                     1st    2nd    3rd    4th     5th
Derek Ambrosino       BOS    NYY    TOR    TB      BAL
John Barten           BOS    TB     NYY    TOR     BAL
Vince Caramela        NYY    BOS    TB     TOR     BAL
Mike Clark            NYY    BOS    TOR    BAL     TB
David Gassko          BOS    NYY    TB     TOR     BAL
Jeffrey Gross         BOS    TB     TOR    NYY     BAL
Jonathan Halket       BOS    NYY    TB     BAL     TOR
Chris Jaffe           NYY    TB     BOS    TOR     BAL
Brad Johnson          BOS    TB     NYY    TOR     BAL
Mat Kovach            TB     NYY    BOS    TOR     BAL
Kevin Lai             BOS    TB     NYY    TOR     BAL
Max Marchi            TB     TOR    NYY    BOS     BAL
Bruce Markusen        BOS    NYY    TB     BAL     TOR
Rory Paap             BOS    TB     NYY    TOR     BAL
Ben Pritchett         BOS    NYY    TOR    TB      BAL
Josh Shepardson       BOS    TB     NYY    TOR     BAL
Greg Simons           BOS    NYY    TB     TOR     BAL
Paul Singman          BOS    TOR    NYY    TB      BAL
Dave Studeman         BOS    NYY    TB     TOR     BAL
Paul Francis Sullivan BOS    NYY    TB     TOR     BAL
Steve Treder          BOS    TB     NYY    TOR     BAL
David Wade            BOS    NYY    TB     TOR     BAL

Consensus             BOS    NYY    TB/NYY TOR     BAL

NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST

                     1st    2nd    3rd    4th     5th
Derek Ambrosino       SF     COL    LAD    SD      ARI
John Barten           COL    SF     LAD    SD      ARI
Vince Caramela        SF     COL    LAD    SD      ARI
Mike Clark            LAD    SF     COL    SD      ARI
David Gassko          SF     LAD    COL    SD      ARI
Jeffrey Gross         COL    SF     SD     LAD     ARI
Jonathan Halket       SF     LAD    COL    SD      ARI
Chris Jaffe           LAD    SF     COL    SD      ARI
Brad Johnson          COL    SF     LAD    ARI     SD
Mat Kovach            SF     SD/COL ARI    LAD
Kevin Lai             COL    SF     SD     LAD     ARI
Max Marchi            COL    SF     LAD    SD      ARI
Bruce Markusen        COL    SF     LAD    SD      ARI
Rory Paap             SF     COL    LAD    SD      ARI
Ben Pritchett         COL    SF     LAD    ARI     SD
Josh Shepardson       SF     COL    LAD    ARI     SD
Greg Simons           SF     COL    LAD    SD      ARI
Paul Singman          COL    SF     LAD    ARI     SD
Dave Studeman         SF     COL    LAD    SD      ARI
Paul Francis Sullivan SF     COL    SD     LAD     ARI
Steve Treder          SF     COL    LAD    SD      ARI
David Wade            SF     COL    LAD    SD      ARI

Consensus             SF     SF/COL LAD    SD      ARI

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL

                    1st    2nd    3rd    4th     5th    6th
Derek Ambrosino       MIL    STL    CIN    CHC     HOU    PIT
John Barten           CIN    CHC    STL    MIL     HOU    PIT
Vince Caramela        MIL    CIN    STL    CHC     PIT    HOU
Mike Clark            CIN    MIL    CHC    STL     PIT    HOU
David Gassko          CIN    MIL    STL    CHC     PIT    HOU
Jeffrey Gross         MIL    CIN    CHC    STL     HOU    PIT
Jonathan Halket       CIN    MIL    STL    CHC     PIT    HOU
Chris Jaffe           MIL    STL    CIN    CHC     HOU    PIT
Brad Johnson          CHC    STL    MIL    CIN     PIT    HOU
Mat Kovach            MIL    CIN    STL    CHC     PIT    HOU
Kevin Lai             CIN    MIL    STL    CHC     PIT    HOU
Max Marchi            CIN    MIL    CHC    STL     HOU    PIT
Bruce Markusen        CIN    MIL    STL    CHC     PIT    HOU
Rory Paap             MIL    STL    CIN    CHC     HOU    PIT
Ben Pritchett         MIL    CIN    STL    CHC     PIT    HOU
Josh Shepardson       MIL    CIN    STL    CHC     PIT    HOU
Greg Simons           CIN    STL    MIL    CHC     PIT    HOU
Paul Singman          MIL    CIN    STL    PIT     CHC    HOU
Dave Studeman         CIN    STL    MIL    CHC     HOU    PIT
Paul Francis Sullivan CIN    MIL    STL    HOU     CHC    PIT
Steve Treder          MIL    CIN    STL    CHC     PIT    HOU
David Wade            MIL    CHC    CIN    STL     PIT    HOU

Consensus             MIL    MIL/CINSTL    CHC     PIT    HOU

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

                    1st    2nd    3rd    4th     5th
Derek Ambrosino       PHI    ATL    FLA    WAS     NYM
John Barten           ATL    PHI    FLA    WAS     NYM
Vince Caramela        PHI    ATL    FLA    NYM     WAS
Mike Clark            ATL    PHI    WAS    FLA     NYM
David Gassko          PHI    ATL    FLA    NYM     WAS
Jeffrey Gross         PHI    ATL    FLA    WAS     NYM
Jonathan Halket       PHI    ATL    NYM    FLA     WAS
Chris Jaffe           PHI    ATL    FLA    WAS     NYM
Brad Johnson          PHI    ATL    WAS    FLA     NYM
Mat Kovach            ATL    PHI    FLA    WAS     NYM
Kevin Lai             PHI    FLA    ATL    NYM     WAS
Max Marchi            ATL    WAS    PHI    FLA     NYM
Bruce Markusen        ATL    PHI    NYM    FLA     WAS
Rory Paap             PHI    ATL    FLA    NYM     WAS
Ben Pritchett         ATL    PHI    WAS    NYM     FLA
Josh Shepardson       ATL    PHI    FLA    NYM     WAS
Greg Simons           PHI    ATL    FLA    NYM     WAS
Paul Singman          ATL    PHI    FLA    NYM     WAS
Dave Studeman         ATL    PHI    FLA    NYM     WAS
Paul Francis Sullivan PHI    FLA    ATL    WAS     NYM
Steve Treder          ATL    PHI    FLA    WAS     NYM
David Wade            PHI    ATL    FLA    NYM     WAS

Consensus             PHI    ATL    FLA    NYM     WAS

AMERICAN LEAGUE WILD CARD/AWARDS

                      AL WC        AL MVP         AL Cy Young         AL ROY
Derek Ambrosino       NYY     Miguel Cabrera    Jon Lester        Michael Pineda
John Barten           TB      Evan Longoria     Justin Verlander  Jake McGee
Vince Caramela        BOS     Alex Rodriguez    Brett Anderson    Jeremy Hellickson
Mike Clark            BOS     Joe Mauer         Carl Pavano       Jeremy Hellickson
David Gassko          NYY     Adrian Gonzalez   Jon Lester        Jeremy Hellickson
Jeffrey Gross         TB      Evan Longoria     Justin Verlander  Michael Pineda
Jonathan Halket       NYY     Adrian Gonzalez   Justin Verlander  Jeremy Hellickson
Chris Jaffe           TB      Alex Rodriguez    CC Sabathia       n/a
Brad Johnson          TB      Adrian Gonzalez   Jon Lester        Michael Pineda
Mat Kovach            KC      Carlos Santana    C.J. Wilson       Jeremy Hellickson
Kevin Lai             TB      Evan Longoria     Jon Lester        Dustin Ackley
Max Marchi            TOR     Ichiro Suzuki     David Price       n/a
Bruce Markusen        NYY     Alex Rodriguez    Jon Lester        Dustin Ackley
Rory Paap             TB      Adrian Gonzalez   Felix Hernandez   Jeremy Hellickson
Ben Pritchett         NYY     Miguel Cabrera    Jon Lester        Jeremy Hellickson
Josh Shepardson       TB      Evan Longoria     Francisco Liriano Jake McGee
Greg Simons           NYY     Miguel Cabrera    Justin Verlander  Jake McGee
Paul Singman          TOR     Jose Bautista     Gio Gonzalez      Jeremy Hellickson
Dave Studeman         NYY     Josh Hamilton     Felix Hernandez   Jeremy Hellickson
Paul Francis Sullivan NYY     Kevin Youkilis    Dan Haren         Jeremy Hellickson
Steve Treder          TB      Evan Longoria     Jon Lester        Jeremy Hellickson
David Wade            NYY     Adrian Gonzalez   Justin Verlander  Jeremy Hellickson

Consensus             NYY     Longoria/Gonzalez Jon Lester        Jeremy Hellickson

NATIONAL LEAGUE WILD CARD/AWARDS

                     NL WC        NL MVP         NL Cy Young         NL ROY
Derek Ambrosino       ATL     Ryan Braun        Roy Halladay      Freddie Freeman
John Barten           SF      Albert Pujols     Tommy Hanson      Cory Luebke
Vince Caramela        COL     Troy Tulowitzki   Yovani Gallardo   Brandon Belt
Mike Clark            PHI     Joey Votto        Clayton Kershaw   Freddie Freeman
David Gassko          MIL     Albert Pujols     Clayton Kershaw   Brandon Belt
Jeffrey Gross         ATL     Troy Tulowitzki   Tim Lincecum      Brandon Beachy
Jonathan Halket       ATL     Albert Pujols     Roy Halladay      Mike Minor
Chris Jaffe           ATL     Albert Pujols     Zack Greinke      n/a
Brad Johnson          ATL     Troy Tulowitzki   Roy Halladay      Freddie Freeman
Mat Kovach            CIN     Albert Pujols     Pedro Martinez    Bryce Harper
Kevin Lai             MIL     Troy Tulowitzki   Cliff Lee         Mike Minor
Max Marchi            SF      Troy Tulowitzki   Roy Halladay      Aroldis Chapman
Bruce Markusen        PHI     Jason Heyward     Roy Halladay      Freddie Freeman
Rory Paap             ATL     Albert Pujols     Tim Lincecum      Brandon Belt
Ben Pritchett         PHI     Ryan Braun        Tommy Hanson      Brandon Belt
Josh Shepardson       PHI     Albert Pujols     Roy Halladay      Aroldis Chapman
Greg Simons           ATL     Jason Heyward     Tim Lincecum      Brandon Belt
Paul Singman          PHI     Jason Heyward     Roy Halladay      Aroldis Chapman
Dave Studeman         PHI     Jason Heyward     Clayton Kershaw   Brandon Belt
Paul Francis Sullivan FLA     Hanley Ramirez    Josh Johnson      Aroldis Chapman
Steve Treder          COL     Troy Tulowitzki   Tommy Hanson      Brandon Belt
David Wade            COL     Ryan Braun        Roy Halladay      Domonic Brown

Consensus             ATL     Albert Pujols     Roy Halladay      Brandon Belt

AND ONWARD TO OCTOBER

Derek Ambrosino         Red Sox over Phillies
John Barten             Red Sox over Rockies
Vince Caramela          Yankees over Rockies
Mike Clark              Braves over Twins
David Gassko            Phillies over Red Sox
Jeffrey Gross           Braves over Rays
Jonathan Halket         Red Sox over Braves
Chris Jaffe             Dodgers over Rays
Brad Johnson            Rays over Phillies
Mat Kovach              Indians over Reds
Kevin Lai               Red Sox over Phillies
Max Marchi              Rays over Braves
Bruce Markusen          Braves over A's
Rory Paap               Red Sox over Giants
Ben Pritchett           Brewers over Red Sox
Josh Shepardson         Red Sox over Braves
Greg Simons             Tigers over Braves
Paul Singman            Braves over Red Sox
Dave Studeman           Giants over Red Sox
Paul Francis Sullivan   Phillies over Angels
Steve Treder            Rays over Giants
David Wade              Red Sox over Phillies

Consensus               AL Champ: Red Sox   NL Champ: Braves   WS Champ: Red Sox
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Comments

  1. John said...

    I’m wondering what Mr. Kovach has been inhaling. Cleveland wins the division and KC gets the WC and Cleveland wins it all? I’d love to see it, but I just can’t.

  2. Brad Johnson said...

    You’d be wondering that even more if you were on a list serve with him… smile

    The consensus school of thought among the peanut gallery is that it’s because the hospital stole the second “t” from him name when he was born.

  3. Mike E said...

    Wow, really, the Royals over the Indians? Come on people, the Royals have absolutely no major league talent in their lineup outside of Butler.

  4. Brad Johnson said...

    Again, I don’t speak for everyone, but I see the Indians as very slightly better than the Royals to open the season. Once reinforcements arrive in KC, I expect them to quickly close the gap and pass CLE. I know Cleveland has reinforcements of their own, but they don’t offer nearly the same value over replacement.

  5. Mat Kovach said...

    My “thinking’’ was this:

    Twins, Tigers, and White Sox all have some issues.

    The AL Central is is a division where if you can be average, you can stay close. I see the Twins having starting pitching and injury issues. White Sox start off slow, Kenny and Ozzie fight, Ozzie ends up fired. Tigers have no luck this year. Indians are simply average, but things heat up when the Royals bring in Ozzie!

    Since I have the Yankees and Red Sox having some major pitching issues this year, Indians and Royals into playoffs.

    But mainly, I ran a simple simulation about 1,000,000 .. this was the one I enjoyed .. since I’m from Cleveland. So, I developed my prediction based on scenario that should up about %1 of the time.

    And here I thought Pedro Martinez coming into replace an injured Joe Blanton AND winning the NL Cy Young would be the big controversy.

  6. Brad Johnson said...

    Would you prefer “bastardized consensus.” Those are our consensus decisions less the cost of time required to actually get 20ish people to agree on however many categories there were.

  7. Paul Francis Sullivan said...

    If the Royals and Indians have a great year, Mr Kovach can say “I told you so”

    How many people had Giants-Rangers last year?

    Or the Rays in 2008?

  8. hurj durj said...

    I think someone punched in Mat Kovach’s answers backwards in the AL Central. 

    Cleveland and KC at 1-2?  That’s gotta be a mistake.

  9. Jon said...

    I think I like this Paul Francis Sullivan guy. Haren and the Angels in the World Series with a Cy Young award? Even a WS loss would be okay by me.

    Regardless of what the pundits say, I really do think that people look at the Angels and predict their season based on the wisdom of their payroll, not the actual talent, especially considering that their lineup holes are on a relatively short leash.

    Also, Mark Simon over at ESPN also picked the Cubbies, so Brad Johnson isn’t the only one.

    I’m surprised that no one thinks Jered Weaver can win the Cy Young this year. I don’t think he’s the favorite, but a pitcher who has become a strikeout/fly ball guy with that defensive outfield is going to do very well if he can stay healthy (which has yet to be a concern for him).

  10. Vince Caramela said...

    That whole NL Central (excluding HOU and PIT) could be up for grabs.  With Cueto and Bailey banged up, pitching could be suddenly short in Cincy; Mil has defensive issues and Stl and Chc have their own headaches. 

    That is looking almost like a crapshoot.

  11. Paul Francis Sullivan said...

    Here I am, a lifelong die hard Red Sox fan and I am NOT picking the Red Sox when the consensus AL and World Series pick are my boys.

    I just think Haren for a whole season and a good defense and a better offense that people will think will be better than Oakland and Texas.

    And Haren/Weaver/Santana in a short series will be damn good.

    I don’t get why the Angels aren’t getting any love and trust me, despite living in Southern California I am no Angels fan. But I am picking them over my Red Sox. Go figure

  12. Bryce M. said...

    Is Max Marchi on crack?  He picks Washington to finish ahead of Philadelphia in the NL East, and Boston for 4th in the AL East?

  13. ettinone said...

    Honestly if there weren’t two mandatory West coast divisions every pick would be an East coast team… Paul Sullivan has the right of it and to ignore the A’s and Angel’s rotations is suicide in my opinion. The Giants rotation didn’t change did it?

    This East coast bias bleeds in everywhere doesn’t it? Not just on ESPN?

  14. Brad Johnson said...

    Some of us believe in regression. In other words, yes, the Giants rotation changed.

    I have a one word question in response to the Angels rotation. Depth? And their lineup. Old and/or gimpy and/or slappy. It’s not a bad team, but I’m not impressed either.

    I like the A’s, they’re a good team. I just happen to think the Rangers will outlast them in the regular season.

    Reasonable enough?

  15. ettinone said...

    Paul,

    I really was referring to who makes the WS not the picks and should have clarified that a little better (my Giants rotation comment was based on their WS win).

    I would agree that awards do seem to get spread around in a fairly even manner (although many would argue about Jeter’s GG for instance) to the players who rightly deserve them.

  16. ettinone said...

    Hi Brad,

    Everyone of course has a right to an opinion and I think we are just going to disagree on this point.

    In response to the Angel’s rotation you have 4 solid starters in Weaver, Haren, Santana, and Pineiro. The big question mark (and I will say very big) is Kazmir and he can be replaced (Davis, Slowey, etc…). The first four are good pitchers Brad. Is there a lack of depth in case one goes down? Yes you are correct and it will fall to someone like Matt Palmer or Trevor Bell (not great choices).

    As far as the lineup is concerned I think you haven’t seen the maturity and development of some of the younger players (Bourjos and Trumbo in particular) and the re-dedication of players like Izturis, Aybar, Abreu, etc… It’s easy to label them old and slappy without seeing the quality of at-bat’s they have been achieving in ST.

    The season starts in two days and I think Brad you are going to be surprised at how agile and aggressive the Angels will turn out to be.

    I agree that the A’s and Texas will be contenders and either one could potentially win it. However I don’t think the A’s have enough offensive punch and the Angels rotation is on the same level as theirs. Texas has great offensive firepower but their pitching is very suspect which leads me to believe they will be a 2nd or 3rd place finisher.

    Thanks for the response and I will gladly eat crow on this one if I am wrong Brad.

  17. Chris J. said...

    Looking at it, only nine teams ain’t picked by any of us to go the postseason: Baltimore, Seattle, Cards, Pirates, Astros, Padres, D-backs, Mets, and Nationals. 

    Of the remaining 21, six ain’t picked by anyone to go to the World Series: White Sox, Royals, Jays, Rangers, Cubs, and Marlins.  Rangers & Sox are consensus division picks, too.

    Of the remaining 15, five aren’t picked by anyone to win the Series: Twins, Rockies, Reds, A’s, and Angels. 

    Of the remaining ten, six are picked by only one person to win it all: Yankees, Brewers, Tigers, Giants, Dodgers, and Indians.  Yup: as many picked the Indians as the Yanks.

    The remaining four teams: 2 pick the Phillies, three the Rays, four the Braves, and 7 the Red Sox.

  18. pinball1973 said...

    I’m far away, geographically and otherwise, but how does Gonzalez rate all these MVP predictions?  I see a good player unlikely to have more than a very good season, and with a fair chance at injury time eating the value of that up.

    What articles have I missed hinting otherwise?

  19. Brad Johnson said...

    I can tell you my thought process. The injury thing is definitely a concern but I opted to ignore the worry. With that worry left behind, the main factors I looked at were the potential to compile the raw counting stats, batting average, and power that MVP voters typically swoon for. Hitting in the middle of an extremely potent lineup at a friendly home park, the potential for gaudy numbers really stands out. Keep in mind, this is a media bonanza right now and crowning the new Red Sock would probably be a more interesting choice to most writers than some of the other options.

    Were it not for Miguel Cabrera’s off field shenanigans, I would have chosen him. I don’t think Evan Longoria has any growth potential which leaves him on the periphery of MVP discussions. I don’t think Hamilton has a repeat in him (I actually like Nelson Cruz as the best player on that team). Kevin Youkilis is probably my #2 vote and I was briefly tempted to throw a Ben Zobrist vote up there.

  20. Brad Johnson said...

    I also want to address my pick of the Cubs since I was the only guy to pick them. I suppose technically I should not have chosen them since I see their playoff odds as under 25%. However, I fully expect that division to be extremely bad this year.

    The Cardinals rotation is going to be an atrocity and they don’t have the pen depth to counteract that.

    The Reds made the post season by getting a number of pitchers to play way above their heads (yet they should be the favorites by likelihood to make the postseason). If Votto holds steady, Bruce finally has that break out, and Stubbs marginally improves, the offense should hold steady. They have an awesome bullpen on paper, but the rotation only compares favorably to bad teams.

    The Brewers are the high variance player in the division. I could honestly see them winning anywhere between 72 and 90 games because they have so many boom, bust, or injury type players on the roster and absolutely zero depth.

    Which leaves the Cubs. I don’t like the Cubs, I think they have a pretty mediocre roster. I feel comfortable projecting them to win 82-85 games. I also feel comfortable saying that has a real shot to win the division.

    I think the rest of my choices are fairly straight forward. In retrospect, I’d probably agree with the D-Backs finishing last in the division. The Padres have a couple players I like as break out candidates which will decide that.

  21. bk said...

    it’s one thing to make a bold prediction- carlos santana for MVP
    it’s another to make a ludicrous one- pedro martinez for cy young? kansas city for al central? really?

    i might find myself apologizing in october, but it looks like you’re an idiot!

    it’s one thing to make an unorthodox prediction here and there that you feel strong about, but it seems like you’re just f**king around with a lot of your predictions and maybe trying to create some buzz around your name.

  22. Brad Johnson said...

    You guys are reading way too much into Mat’s predictions. His gut tells him that Pedro Martinez is a Cy Young pitcher. It’s his prediction.

  23. John said...

    Hey, I’m sorry I started all this hating on Mat Kovach. While I think his picks are beyond crazy, I respect his right to make them any way he wants. Won’t do much for his credibility, but on the other hand, if CLE or KC somehow far exceed expectations, he looks like a genius. As for Pedro winning the Cy Young, well…

  24. Mat Kovach said...

    Phillies sign Pedro to be their closer. Braves still beat out the Phillies, but not because of Pedro (I say the offense fails them). If Pedro comes back, closes for the Phillies and gets 35+ saves and a sub 2.00 ERA, you *know* he’ll be the Cy Young winner. The voters couldn’t help themselves BUT vote for them.

    I am predicting that the Indians win the AL Central, Royals win the WC. Obviously, with that happening, somebody from one of those teams would have to be the MVP. I think Carlos Santana would have the better numbers. I also thought Choo here, but if the Indians win Santana has to be BETTER than Choo. So picking Santana as the MVP is consistent with my AL Central prediction.

    Also note, I have C.J. Wilson as the AL Cy Young, since the A’s/Rangers battle it out for the AL West title.

    I completely defend my predictions.

    I am predicting a series of plausible events that lead to a great baseball stories (Royals/Indians in the playoffs. Indians/Reds World Series. All happening during a possible NFL lockout).

    If that makes me an idiot, send me to the village that is missing me! Just make sure MLB.tv is available!

  25. Dave Bristol said...

    I for one appreciate the more interesting predictions.  I view these predictions as a fun exercise, and every year *something* totally unexpected happens.  Cliff Lee going from the minors to Ace?  Jamie Moyer pitching into his late-40’s?  Chase Utley’s career in jeopardy?  All are more unexpected than Max’s AL East predictions, which I can definitely imagine if the yanks age poorly and beckett/lackey/dice-k continue to decline.

  26. Regular John said...

    Mr. Mat Kovach…

    I’d think your mates are trying to run a serious website here. one can’t even begin to question your “predictions”…

  27. Greg Simons said...

    Not a single one of us picked St. Louis to make the playoffs?  Sure, losing Wainwright hurts, but I’m surprised they didn’t even get a single WC selection.

    Of course, I say this as a Cardinals fan who didn’t pick them myself…

  28. Paul Francis Sullivan said...

    Hey bk… knock off the troll stuff. There are lots of comment boards where people can come on, act like a 9 year old and leave.

    This place is a place for actual baseball discussion. Yeah there can be disagreement and even some sarcasm. But I would hate to see this place devolve where trolls like bk make it just a place for childish insults.

    Guess what? The Tigers are vulnerable and I think are overrated. The White Sox are a veteran team that can break down. And the Twins have injury issues and could have a let down.

    If those three teams have disappointing seasons, then who does that leave?

    Ah… the Indians and the Royals.

    Then again, I am sure YOU picked Cliff Lee to win the 2008 Cy Young. No doubt YOU picked Zack Grienke to win it in 2009.

    I know YOU picked Jose Bautista to win the home run title last year.

    I am sure YOU had the San Diego Padres winning 90 games last year and contending to the last day.

    No doubt you picked the Rays to win the 2008 Pennant… or the Rockies to win the 2007 Pennant… or the Tigers to win the 2006 Pennant… or the Marlins to win the 2003 World Series… or the Angels to win the 2002 World Series.

    If anyone had listed those predictions, no doubt you’d call THEM an idiot as well.

    So bk, do me a favor: If you disagree, then disagree. If you strongly disagree, then show your work. If you have a joke to say, make it funny.

    But if you want to turn this into a place where you just act like a 3rd grader, there are many other sites to do that.

  29. Dayton said...

    Dear. Mr. Kovach,

    I would like to commend you on sticking to your gut even though it isn’t always the easy thing to do.

    God bless you and your ridiculous AL Central prediction.  You, sir, are why humanity still has a chance in 2011 and beyond.

    Signed,

    Dayton Moore

  30. Josh Shepardson said...

    I was surprised to see my Jake McGee for AL ROY share more votes than Francisco Liriano for AL Cy Young.  Interesting.

  31. Derek Ambrosino said...

    If you disagree, then disagree. If you strongly disagree, then show your work. If you have a joke to say, make it funny.

    /starts clapping slowly
    //stands up, continues clapping
    ///clapping intensifies

  32. Derek Ambrosino said...

    Interesting that our “consensus” was Philly to win the division, but then ATL to represent the NL in the WS?

    Is this a function of those who picked the Braves to win the division feeling more strongly about the Braves than those who picked the Phillies, or are there folks who specifically picked the Phillies to win the division, but the Braves to emerge from the NL?

    If so, I’d be interested in hearing what the reasoning for that is. It seems counterintuitive, given the Phills’ rotation.

  33. Brad Johnson said...

    Speaking for myself, I’m doubtful about the Phillies’ ability to reach the postseason at this point, but once they do, that probably means they have all 4 of their SP, a semi-healthy Utley with a full supporting cast, and another hitter brought in at the trade deadline. In the game of playoff crapshoots, that looks like the most loaded die to me.

  34. Brad Johnson said...

    Ettinone,

    Thank you for making sure I knew your comment was addressed to me.

    I’m well aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the Angels roster though I’m sure you’ve seen more Angels baseball if you’re a fan (it sounds like you are). It is my personal opinion based on the information I have gathered that the team’s weaknesses make them appear more like a .500 ballclub than a playoff contender. Perhaps they’ll revert to playing above their heads again in ‘11. Or perhaps you have gathered different information that is more accurate than mine.

    You never know what’s going to happen in baseball, there’s no sense quibbling over it. Like I said in my brief comment above, I think the Angels are a good team but not a contender. That’s my thought on the matter. If you have new information to introduce then you may be able to change my thoughts (I was recently talked in to thinking the Padres are better than my original projection).

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