Tuesday, March 30, 2004

MLB Predictions I

Today is a great day, as the Yankees have the worst record in baseball. Unfortunately, however, I don't think it will last. Here are some predictions for the 2004 MLB season, with more coming soon:

AL East: New York, Boston, Toronto, Baltimore, Tampa Bay

The common thinking here is that because pitching beats hitting, the Red Sox's signing of Curt Schilling will mean more than the Yankees' signing of A-Rod. But look at what the Yankees did with their bullpen, the major weakness from last year. Brown and Vazquez might be better than Clemens and Pettitte, and Contreras has the stuff to be a star. Throw in the fact that Millar and Mueller had career years for the Red Sox last year and I think we're seeing another Yankee division title. The rest of this division is fairly standard.

AL West: Seattle, Anaheim, Oakland, Texas

The Mariners are my favorite baseball team, so this might be a bit of wishful thinking on my part, but with Freddy Garcia's eye problems cleared up, their rotation should be solid. My main worries are Raul Ibanez not hitting at Safeco and team morale if management doesn't do enough to improve the team in-season. Anaheim will vie with Boston for the wild card, but I'm not sure the core of that team can repeat the 2002 magic. Oakland won't have th offense to finish above third, while Texas enters a rebuilding phase.

NL East: Philadelphia, Florida, Atlanta, New York, Montreal

The Phillies are finally here, and are the only team in this division to make significant improvements. I have no problem picking Florida to finish second - they were not a fluke last year, but the team with the best record in baseball after their hiring of Jack McKeon. I picked them to make the play-offs in 2001 and 2002, and couldn't figure out what their problem was. Apparently it has been solved. It's risky to say it, but I think Atlanta's run is finally done. Last year's team depended on offense rather than pitching, and now the offense is weaker after the departure of Lopez and Sheffield. The Mets and Expos both have some interesting players.


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