13 April 2008

Preseason Predictions

I know the season's already begun, so I have to get these out before anyone suspects tampering:

American League
1. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
2. Seattle Mariners
3. Texas Rangers
4. Oakland Athletics
1. Cleveland Indians
2. Detroit Tigers
3. Chicago White Sox
4. Minnesota Twins
5. Kansas City Royals
1. Boston Red Sox
2. New York Yankees
3. Toronto Blue Jays
4. Tampa Bay Rays
5. Baltimore Orioles
Wild Card: Detroit Tigers

National League
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Arizona Diamondbacks
3. Colorado Rockies
4. San Diego Padres
5. San Francisco Giants
1. Chicago Cubs
2. Milwaukee Brewers
3. Cincinnati Reds
4. Houston Astros
5. St. Louis Cardinals
6. Pittsburgh Pirates
1. New York Mets
2. Atlanta Braves
3. Philadelphia Phillies
4. Washington Nationals
5. Florida Marlins
Wild Card: Arizona Diamondbacks

In the unlikely scenario that these playoff teams actually make it, here's my playoff prediction:

Boston over Detroit
Cleveland over Los Angeles of Anaheim
New York over Arizona
Los Angeles over Chicago
Cleveland over Boston
Los Angeles over New York

World Series (Home field to Cleveland; I'll go with the percentages on that)
Cleveland over Los Angeles [Edit: accidentally typed New York, though I had LA advancing]

A couple notes. First, I'm an American League fan, so my assessments of National League teams are usually going to be rougher than in the American League. Second, I'm not claiming incredible confidence in my rankings. Rating the NL West, for instance, is a crap shoot. Any one (or two, or three, or four) of those four top teams could have a great year, and any one (or two, or three, but four?) of them could bomb.

Already, I'm starting to change my mind a little. I'm thinking 3rd for Oakland, and Kansas City may get out of the AL Central cellar this year. I like what I've seen from the White Sox so far, but even though the Tigers are starting to look like the '07 White Sox, I'm not ruling them out yet. The Cardinals were surprising last year when they caught up to within a couple games of Chicago and Milwaukee, and they're surprisingly strong to start this year. You can't rule them out, either. That's the one team in that division I could realistically see finishing anywhere from 1 through 6.

Who knows what to think with the lower spots in the AL and NL East? Only the season will tell. That's baseball.

Perhaps I'll go through each team in-depth at some point during the early summer.

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