My Uneducated, Ill-informed 2011 MLB Predictions

by Steve

Retro hotdog/baseball advertBaseball’s Opening Day is tomorrow, and so I thought that I would publicly record my predictions for the season that lies ahead. Some of my comments have already appeared in the MLB Predictions post over at BaseballGB, where I’m entering my second year as an uneducated, ill-informed columnist. However, I thought I’d also throw up my full, unedited set of predictions and comments for posterity, if only to show in October how awful I am at predicting anything (as my bookmaker will attest). Feel free to pity/ignore as appropriate:

AL East

  1. Red Sox
  2. Rays (Wild Card)
  3. Yankees
  4. Blue Jays
  5. Orioles

The Red Sox look so strong this year, particularly with the additions they’ve made. There are enough question-marks over the Yankees that I think they might miss the play-offs, but that really depends on the Rays having another great year. I think it could be really very close. As always, I feel sorry for the Blue Jays and Orioles – in any other division they might stand a chance of contending.

AL Central

  1. White Sox
  2. Twins
  3. Tigers
  4. Indians
  5. Royals

This year will be Ozzie Guillén’s year! Well, probably not, but I thought I’d gamble on this rather than the more predictable Twins pick. I imagine the Tigers could be pretty competitive, but I’m not expecting anything from the Indians or the Royals. It will be interesting if the Royals start blooding some of their much-heralded prospects later in the year though.

AL West

  1. Rangers
  2. Angels
  3. Athletics
  4. Mariners

I went for the Rangers last year, and I’m sticking with them this year. I expect it to be a whole lot closer though.

NL East

  1. Braves
  2. Phillies
  3. Marlins
  4. Mets
  5. Nationals

On pitching alone, the Phillies should storm it, but I have some niggling doubts about them getting the runs to back it up. I think the Braves have a pretty good pitching staff themselves, and a very solid offence too. So, I’m going for the upset here. I can’t see the Marlins worrying either side, and the Mets and Nationals seem to be in strict (re)building mode.

NL Central

  1. Brewers
  2. Reds (Wild Card)
  3. Cardinals
  4. Cubs
  5. Astros
  6. Pirates

I think this could be the division to watch this season, as the Brewers, Reds, Cardinals and Cubs all have creditable claims. I going for the Brewers, as their off-season activity points to them choosing 2011 as the year to roll the dice. I can see them reinforcing their squad before the trade deadline if they are in a competitive spot, and that will push them over the line.

NL West

  1. Giants
  2. Dodgers
  3. Rockies
  4. Padres
  5. Diamondbacks

This should be another close run thing, but I can see the Giant’s pitching and experience gained from last year making the difference. I have the Rockies in my “overrated” pile. This will probably mean they’ll storm the division!

And on to the play-offs…

ALDS

Red Sox over White Sox

Rangers over Rays

ALCS

Red Sox over Rangers

NLDS

Giants over Reds

Brewers over Braves

NLCS

Brewers over Giants

World Series

Red Sox over Brewers

The Red Sox look the most complete side in MLB right now, and I have trouble looking past them even though it’s not really a clever prediction. I’m taking a bit more of a punt having the Brewers make the World Series, but I think the National League is open enough for it not to be inconceivable.

Image from jbcurio, via Flickr

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