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American League

AL East:

  1. Boston Red Sox
  2. New York Yankees
  3. Tampa Bay Rays
  4. Baltimore Orioles
  5. Toronto Blue Jays

Notes: The Red Sox are going to score a s*** load of runs this year and their starting pitching is good enough (I think Beckett will have a bounce back year and Dice-K is the only suspect pitcher).  The Red Sox main issue is their bullpen, and I expect Bard to probably replace Papelbon as the Red Sox closer at some point this year.  Everyone knows the Yankees have issues at the back end of their starting rotation, but with the bullpen they have (maybe the best in MLB)  the staters will really just need to pitch 6 good innings.  With the bats the Yankees have they should be able to out score a lot of teams in the first 6 innings before handing the game over to Chamberlain, Soriano, and Rivera to close the door.  Finally don't be shocked if (as long as they stay healthy) the Baltimore Orioles are able to over take the Rays for third place.

AL Central:

  1. Chicago White Sox
  2. Minnesota Twins
  3. Detroit Tigers
  4. Cleveland Indians
  5. Kansas City Royals

Notes:  The upside for the White Sox is almost to great not to pick them to win the division.  Adam Dunn is going to give them even more power to a lineup to a solid lineup, but what the White Sox really will need is for Gordon Beckham to have a bounce back year, and for him, Alexi Ramirez, and Juan Pierre to be on base as much as possible to give the power hitters a chance to drive in runs.  The White Sox also have a solid rotation that could be the best in the Central depending on how good Jake Peavy is when he gets healthy.  It should be noted that both Chicago and Detroit have been very up and down with their play the past several seasons, and meanwhile the Minnesota Twins continue to be reliable.  If the White Sox do waiver at all this year the Twins will be right their getting their usual 87-92 wins in the most unflashy way as possible.  Also just don't be surprised if the Indians are competitive this year.  While they are not going to be in contention for a wild card spot, they are not going to be a push over either by any stretch of the imagination.

AL West:

  1. Los Angeles Angles
  2. Texas Rangers
  3. Oakland Athletics
  4. Seattle Mariners

Notes:  The Texas Rangers are not going to sneak up on anyone this year and while they have a solid bullpen and hey may have improved their lineup by adding Adrian Beltre and moving Michael Young to third, I picked the Angles to win the division.  My main issue with the the Rangers this year is that the departure of Cliff Lee leaves a hole in their starting rotation that has gone unfilled.  C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis are both very good pitcher, but neither is an elite ace.  Meanwhile the Los Angles Angles did a smart move in adding Dan Haren to their rotation last year at the trade deadline, and then they also picked up Scott Kazmir this off season.  The Angles will not be able to out score teams the way the Rangers will, but if Kendry Morales and Vernon Well get healthy and stay healthy then they should be able to score enough for Weaver, Haren, Santana, Kazmir, and Pineiro win a number of ball games.  AS for the other two teams, the Athletics should be very competitive and after last year why would anyone pick the Mariners to do anything by finish last?

National League

NL East:

  1. Philadelphia Phillies
  2. Atlanta Braves
  3. Florida Marlins
  4. Washington Nationals
  5. New York Mets

Notes:   The Braves could beat out the Phillies for the division crown, but I am going to stick with the Phillies.  For details check out my post breaking down the division

NL Central:

  1. Milwaukee Brewers
  2. Cincinnati Reds
  3. St. Louis Cardinals
  4. Houston Astros
  5. Chicago Cubs
  6. Pittsburgh Pirates

Notes: Call me crazy, call me insane, but I am going with the Brewers.  The Brewers have the most home run power in the division (Fielder, McGehee, Braun, Hart), and once Zack Greinke gets health (should be ready to go in mid to late March) the Brewers rotation of Gallardo, Greinke, Marcum, Wolf, Narveson could also be the best in the division.  The Brewers main weakness is at bullpen where we will just have to wait and see if John Axford can duplicate his 2010 performance.  I would have put St. Louis ahead of the Reds if Weinwright was healthy because I am not sold that the Reds can maintain their play from 2010, but without I have to give the edge to the Reds.  One of the biggest mistakes I think the Cardinals made this off season was adding Lance Berkman to be an everyday player.  I know they thought they would need more power to keep pace with Cincinnati Jon Jay is to good of a player to not be playing everyday and the Cardinals could have used the money they spent of Berkman to improve their middle relief or back of their rotation.

NL West

  1. San Francisco Giants
  2. Colorado Rockies
  3. Los Angeles Dodgers
  4. San Diego Padres
  5. Arizona Diamondbacks

Notes:  This may be the easiest division to pick, it is just San Francisico and a bunch of scrubs.  The Padres struggled to score runs last year when they had Adrian Gonzalez, and now without him look for their struggles to worsen.  I know that they added Brad Hawpe, but his numbers should drop greatly when you figure he is switching from playing most of his games in one of the best hitters parks in Colorado to playing in the worst hitters park in the majors.  The Diamondbacks continue to turn players over and tinker with their lineup from year to year, and I'm at the point where they need to show me that they can win before I can consider picking them.  The Dodgers, I will admit, I do like most of their roster but their ownership situation is still a mess and if they are really thinking about starting Jay Gibbons in the outfielder I can't pick them to really challenge for anything this year.

Dark Horse Teams: 

AL:  Oakland Athletics--  Oakland just needs to follow the same path as the 2010 San Diego Padres and they could be a playoff team.  They need to their strting rotation (which as group 1-5 is one of the best in MLB) to live up to expecttions, have their bullpen be one of the tops in the majors, and just do enough offensivly to win games.

NL: Florida Marlins--  If this team has fixed their bullpen problems from last year, and Gaby Sanchez, Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton all don't have major sophmore slumps in 2011, than the Marlins are good enough to win 90-92 games this year.


Playoffs:

  • East:          Boston Red Sox         --      Philadelphia Phillies
  • Central:      Chicago White Sox   --       Milwaukee Brewers
  • West:          Los Angeles Angles  --      San Francisco Giants
  • Wild Card:  New York Yankees    --      Atlanta Braves

WORLD SERIES PREDICTION:     Philadelphia Phillies over Boston Red Sox in 7games

-I am not as confident in this pick as I have been in past years, but these are the two teams that I am going with.  This year I thing their is a good of a chance that the Phillies play the Red Sox in the world series as the odds are that the White Sox play the Giants.