The MLB playoffs begin tonight (I don’t acknowledge the WC match-up as the playoffs), so it’s a good time to see how awful my preseason predictions were. Boy, did I stink it up this year!
1. Tampa Bay – Longoria has to stay healthy this year, but I love the pitching staff. Having the best manager in the game doesn’t hurt either.
2. Boston – Things can’t be worse than they were last year for the Red Sox. I think they are actually a sleeper to make a WC run.
4. New York – The injuries will be too tough to overcome.
Looking back: I thought Boston would be solid, but I didn’t foresee them being this good this season.
1. Detroit – The Tigers are going to run away with this division again.
2. Kansas City (WC) – Love the additions…enough to say the Royals are playoff bound this year.
3. Cleveland – Probably will make a run at .500, which is a dramatic improvement.
Looking back: KC stayed in the hunt, but it was Cleveland getting the wild card spot.
1. Los Angeles – This will come down to the wire, but that line-up is going to be too tough to stop.
2. Texas (WC) – Losing Hamilton hurts, but Berkman could be a sneaky good free agent pick-up.
3. Oakland – The A’s are going to be in the hunt again…and I wouldn’t be shocked if they actually win the division again.
Looking back: Ummm….
1. Atlanta – The Nationals are getting the headlines, but I think the Braves are perfectly constructed for the regular season.
2. Washington (WC) – I would worry about a sophomore slump for Harper, but that rotation is nasty.
Looking back: I knew the Braves would win the East. The Nats were a disappointment though.
1. Cincinnati – Defense is going to stink, but that bullpen is going to be key to a lot of wins.
2. St. Louis – Because they are always in the playoff chase.
3. Pittsburgh – I think this is the year the Pirates finally finish over .500.
Looking back: I didn’t do too bad here.
1. Los Angeles – I mean, with that payroll, they better win the division.
2. San Francisco (WC) – The defending champs have the pitching staff to make the playoffs again.
Looking back: The Dodgers came through for me. The Giants…not so much.
Divisional: Detroit over Texas; Los Angeles over Tampa Bay
Championship: Los Angeles over Detroit
Looking back: Needless to say, the Angels let me down…
Divisional: Washington over Atlanta; Cincinnati over Los Angeles
Championship: Washington over Cincinnati
Looking back: So did Washington and Cincy…
Los Angeles over Washington
Looking back: Hey, I don’t call them horrible predictions for nothing!
Now then, with the playoffs here, let’s see if I can get my predictions right in October (Doubtful).
Divisional: Tampa Bay over Boston; Detroit over Oakland
The Rays are rolling and carry that momentum over Boston. The Tigers and A’s slug it out over five games.
Championship: Tampa Bay over Detroit
This is a pretty even match-up, but I trust Tampa’s bullpen a little bit more.
Divisional: St. Louis over Pittsburgh; Los Angeles over Atlanta
The Cards may sweep, but more likely win in four games. Los Angeles will also dispatch of Atlanta in four.
Championship: Los Angeles over St. Louis
This will be an interesting match-up, but the Dodgers offense comes through to win in six.
Tampa Bay over Los Angeles
Small Market vs. Big Budget. Expansion vs. Tradition. Good vs. Evil?
There will be plenty of story lines as these two teams took entirely different approaches to reach the WS. I think this is the year the Rays finally come through and win the title in a six-game thriller.
Editor’s Note: Mad Ramblings column coming next week.
Bear Down and Keep the Faith!