The weather here in lovely central CT is finally starting to brighten and I’ve completed no less than six different fantasy baseball drafts… so spring and MLB games must be here!
And while I’m not as big of a fan of the Mets as I was back when Mookie dribbled that one through Buckner’s legs (man was that a great series), I still love the game…. I just root mostly for the guys on my roster in the $100 a team fantasy league I’m in.
Anyway, here are my 2009 predicted standings record for posterity:
AL East: Yanks finally get their money’s worth in ’09… Sox finish a half dozen back for the wild card in the curtain call for the aging heroes Varitek, Lowell, Ortiz (who is off the juice as of last year BTW). Rays show ’08 was a fluke and struggle to stay above .500 while the Jays and Orioles are mired in rebuilding seasons.
AL Central : This is a tough one to call…. all of the teams look to me like 80-85 win teams. But I’m picking the Tigers to rebound from a disastrous 2008 and that the Royals will surprise everyone by contending for the central division crown much of the year. The Indians, Twins and White Sox will all be competitive but fade down the stretch.
AL West: The Angels… by a mile. Oakland will most likely finish second but only because Texas still has no pitching and Seattle is fielding a glorified AAA team.
AL Playoffs: Yankees over Tigers, Angels over Red Sux… Yankees beat Angles in 6
NL East: Sports Illustrated is picking the Amazins to win it all and while I don’t agree they will at least manage to avoid choking away the NL East crown this year. The Marlins – that’s right, the Marlins – will finish second AND take the wild card as Cameron Maybin wins NL Rookie of the Year. Braves finish distant third while Phillies pitching goes back to being its old implosive self and they only avoid last by virtue of the less than stellar Nats.
NL Central: 2009 is the year the Pirates… once again finish last. Ok, the biggest lock in baseball out of the way, this will be a two team race between the Cubbies and Cards. And I think the Cards will win in a central division that is actually pretty weak. The Brew crew window closed this off season but their next wave of prospects will get a year to improve and maybe compete in 2010. Houston isn’t a factor as they finish 4th. The Reds actually might have a chance to compete for last with the Pirates if they have injuries to their pitching.
NL West: Much like the AL West, this is a one horse race as the Dodgers should breeze to a double digit margin in the standings here. The Dbacks finish a distant second while the other 3 all have a legit shot to lose 90+.
NL Playoffs: Mets sweep the Cards while Dodgers are forced to 5 against the scrappy Marlins. The Mets then flame out against Manny and the Dodgers.
World Series: Bud Selig throws millions on his bed and rolls around naked on it as the two biggest markets face off in the series. A truly classic October classic ends with Arod (lock it up!) hitting a walk off homer, the monkey finally off his back now that’s he’s fessed up to being a rod freak like all the rest of MLB. Bonus prediction: The Yanks win one for the George who passes away a few weeks before the series and watches the games with Billy Martin… in hell.