Saturday, May 21, 2005

MLB Pennant Races

Written by the Godfather

AL East

The Orioles are one of the bigger surprises in baseball. I think eventually their starting pitching will fade and they will fall into a 3rd place finish.

The Red Sox are also a great surprise. Although their record is not surprising, they have had major starting pitching injuries, Manny isn’t hitting like he is expected, Millar has 2 HR’s, Renteria has been a disappointment thus far and Keith Foulke is struggling. Yet they are only 2 games out of 1st and only a half game out of the wild card.

Two weeks ago, the Yankees were a major disappointment, but now they are beating up on weaker opponents and their starting pitching has actually been impressive.

By year’s end, I think the Red Sox will finally topple the Yanks for the division. The Yanks biggest battle with the Sox may be against the White Sox for the wild card.

AL Central

The White Sox have been the best team in baseball all year. Their pitching has been outstanding. I expect El Duque to slow down as he did last year and I expect the Twins to eventually take over 1st place.

I love this Minnesota team. I think they have enough parts in place to challenge for the World Series title. When I looked at the Twins in the beginning of the year, I saw a name that could make a huge difference. Joe Mays won 21 games a few years back and has since battled injuries. He pitched a great game his last time out and his success may bring the Twins to the top. Also, the Twins have the best bullpen in baseball, in my opinion.

AL West

Seattle over spent, Oakland traded the wrong people and let too many stars get away. Texas has Chan Ho Park. This leaves the Angels. However, if Guerrero hurt his should badly last night, this could hurt their chances and allow Texas to compete.

NL East

Most competitive division in baseball. I think the Braves will finally falter this year. Their starting pitching is facing injuries right now and Kolb has not pitched well. The Marlins starting pitching is amazing. If they are hot at the end of the season, they may win it all again. I also expect Mike Lowell to start to heat up soon. The Nationals have been a pleasant surprise and it looks like they will hover around .500 all year. The Mets will be dependent on the injury prone Martinez. In the end, Piazza’a defense behind the plate will lose them 5 or 6 games this year and in a close division like the NL East, that makes a huge difference.

NL Central

This division appears to be over already. The Cards will again run away with this division. Eckstein appears to be the best bargain in the offseason SS merry go round. The Brewers have been a big surprise and the Cubs and Astros rank up there as the biggest disappointments.

NL West

This could turn into a great pennant race at the end of the year. The Padres are playing up to expectations and the DBacks have played great thus far. Looks like some of the former Yankee pitchers actually can pitch. These two teams have the potential to go down to the last weekend for the division. I am not counting the Dodgers out, but they have to play more consistently to stay in the race.


Patriotsy2k said...

godfather, you really didnt make any predictions in the NL East and NL west. You merely said "if the Marlins are hot", and made observations about the rest of the division. I think the dodgers will come around in the NL West, who do you pick?
You are very correct about Eckstein and Vasquez (a former Yankee). Both have been pleasant surprises for my in the yahoo league this year.

The Godfather said...

Yeah, II kind of just ran rampant, but I definitely implied that the Marlins would win the East.
OK, my predictions.

Red Sox beat the Angels
Twins beat the Yankees (WC)

Marlins beat the Padres
Cardinals beat the DBacks/Braves (WC)

Twins beat the Marlins in the World Series

I of course reserve the right to change my predictions at the All Star break.