There will be a more formal posting of all the BBD writer’s 2010 predictions going up sometime soon. But until then, here are some thoughts:
– I’m high on the Rangers this year and I think they’ll win the AL West. Seattle should have pitching and defense that will play well in their park and the Angels always seem to find ways to win, but Texas just has a ton of talent. They have a lot more young guys on the way too; if they don’t win the division this year, I’m already picking them for 2011. They should be major player in the AL in the coming years.
– I’m high on the Rays. Their young pitching is just so good. I think Wade Davis in particular has a big year for them. I’m predicting them to beat the Red Sox for the Wild Card, primarily because I think the Red Sox pitching is a little overrated and their new defense-first approach won’t play that well in Fenway. I still think both teams win more than 90 games.
– I’m down on both the Central divisions. I think the Twins and Cardinals will win by default, but I could easily see a team like Cleveland surprising everyone and competing.
– I like Arizona to be the real sleeper team though. They have a lot of talented young players, led by Justin Upton and Dan Haren, who should continue to get better.
– I’m down on the Phillies. Everyone is pretty much handing them the NL East, but I think the Braves and Marlins will both win a lot of games. The Phillies have a great player in Chase Utley and their top 2 pitchers, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels, are obviously tremendous. However, they’re not a particularly deep team and 2 of their best players – Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard – have some big flaws. I think Raul Ibanez will have a regression and I hate the Placido Polanco signing. In my mind, a lot has to go right for the Phillies to return to the World Series.
– I don’t know what to think about the Dodgers. They have so many young talented players, yet their rotation is in shambles. John Lackey would have made a lot of sense for them. The NL West went from being a joke to having a lot of quality teams. Colorado is very deep and seems to have figured out how to win playing at Coors Field. The Giants have a terrible lineup but with Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, they’ll win a good number of games. As I mentioned, Arizona has potential. So as much as just a year ago I thought the Dodgers were set up for an extended run of good seasons, I could easily see them missing the playoffs, especially since the 2nd place team in the East will have a good shot at the wild card.
– I’ll end the suspense right now: I’m picking the Yankees to win the World Series. Of course, I’ve only done that every year since I started following baseball.