Saturday, March 31, 2007

MLB predictions, part II

With pseudo Opening Day less than 36 hours away, here's my yearly stab at predicting the National League. (No guarantees here, nor in October).

NL East Champion: Philadelphia. The Phillies have a powerful core of young players and a surplus of starting pitching. Oh and Pat Gillick's in the front office. The latter is never, I repeat, never a bad thing.

NL Central Champion: St. Louis. Out of deference to the defending World Series champions, I'll go with the Cards, but don't be surprised if Milwaukee, Houston or Chicago is waving the NL Central title flag in October.

NL West Champion: Arizona. The D'backs added quality starting pitching and Randy Johnson to the mix. Factor in a bunch of precocious youngsters and bad karma in the rest of the division (wink, wink San Diego) and Arizona's Phoenix-like rise should be complete.

NL Wild Card Winner: Atlanta. I'm going to go out on a limb and say the Braves will catch the Mets as New York's aging, Swiss cheese-esque rotation catches up with it. Atlanta rebuilt its shoddy bullpen in the offseason making it a strength instead of a weakness.

NL Division Series: Philadelphia over St. Louis; Atlanta over Arizona
NLCS: Philadelphia over Atlanta
World Series: Boston over Philadelphia in 6

NL MVP: Ryan Howard, Philadelphia. Howard won it last year when Philly finished second in the East. Imagine how writers' will vote if the Phils' win the East this year.
NL Cy Young: Roy Oswalt, Houston. The Wizard has won 55 games the last three seasons and had a sub-3.00 ERA while pitching in a band box last season. It's time everyone recognized how good the reticent Mississippian is.
NL Rookie of the Year: Chris Young, Arizona. Scouts love his 30-30 potential. The D'backs will settle for 15-30 and a division title.

We'll check back in October and see how woeful these look then.


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