Bring me some peanuts, cracker jacks, and some fucking cold brewskis because baseball is back! The cumweed is fresh, the pitchers arms haven't yet fallen off, and every fanbase thinks they have a shot at going to the playoffs. You gotta love the start of the baseball season!
Here are my preseason predictions.
AL East Champs-Tampa Bay Rays. I got the Rays because of their excellent pitching winning a close divisional race over the Yankees. The Yankees have the better lineup but the Rays have the much better starting pitching and also the better manager while also playing in an environment that isn't the pressure cooker of the Bronx.
Predicted finish: Rays, Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles
AL Central Champs-Detroit Tigers. The Tigers should run away with this division. They added Prince and their pitching will be better. Plus the Central is rather weak this year with the White Sox and Twins crumbling.
Predicted finish: Tigers, Indians, Twins, Royals, White Sox
AL West Champs-I obviously like the moves the Angels made in the offseason but I still gotta stick with the two time defending AL Champs in the Texas Rangers. The Rangers lineup is outstanding and although they lost CJ Wilson to the Angels I wouldn't be surprised to see his replacement in Yu Darvish put up better numbers.
Predicted finish: Rangers, Angels, A's, Mariners
Two Wild Cards-New York Yankees and Anaheim Angels. Yes this year there are two Wild Card teams in each league. Joy. We wouldn't want to focus on a salary cap or anything.
AL Champs-New York Yankees. Nope that is not a typo. It's a gut feeling the Yankees win the AL. Trust me I don't want it to happen.
AL MVP-Albert Pujols
AL Cy Young-Felix Hernandez
AL Rookie of the Year-Matt Moore
NL East Champs-The Phillies might not have a great lineup but their starting three of Halladay, Lee, and Hamels is unmatched in baseball. It will be a closer race than in the past with the Marlins and Nationals improving but the Mets should be horrible and the Braves will take a step back after a horrific September collapse.
Predicted finish: Phillies, Marlins, Nationals, Braves, Mets
NL Central Champs-Cincinnati Reds will bounce back after a disappointing 2011. The Cardinals still have a fighting chance despite losing their best player, their manager and their pitching coach and quite possibly their best pitcher if Chris Carpenter can't come back. This is going to be the best division not named the AL East. The Brewers still have a shot despite losing Prince and the Pirates should be better. Don't worry the Astros and the Cubs will still suck donkey balls.
Predicted finish: Reds, Cardinals, Brewers, Pirates, Cubs, Astros
NL West Champs-The San Francisco Giants should win the division because they have the best pitching. But then again they didn't last season and the surprising D' Backs took it so you never know what could happen. The Dodgers should be better with the best player and pitcher in the league leading the way. The Rockies and Padres just don't have enough talent to compete.
Predicted finish:Giants, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Padres
Two Wild Cards-St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins. Both the Cards and the Marlins will barely miss out on winning their divisions but get the Wild Card as a consolation prize.
NL Champs-San Francisco Giants. I think the Giants bounce back in a big way this season and go back to the World Series.
NL MVP-Matt Kemp
NL Cy Young-Clayton Kershaw
NL Rookie of the Year-Bryce Harper
WORLD SERIES CHAMPS-San Francisco Giants over the New York Yankees in 6 games.