SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
2011 Pre-Season Predictions [WMQ]
Mar 31st, 2011 by Dan

Hit! - Florida Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies 17 April 2010

Baseball is BACK!

Games start at 1300 today, so I’m still pre-season. This is also a much shorter prediction post than years past, but that’s what you’re getting.

NL Playoffs:

East: Braves
Central: Reds
West: Giants
Wild Card: Dodgers

I love Philadelphia’s rotation, but their offense has too many holes. No Utley, no RF, Ibañez is not great, Howard is getting figured out and has no protection…it just leads me to the Braves because they don’t have any huge issues, but are solid.

In the Central I don’t think the Cards can do it again this year and I definitely don’t think the Brewers (bad defense, poor pitching) or the Cubs (you’re kidding, right?) can do it. Houston and Pittsburgh aren’t even close to competitive.

The Giants have a better team than last year and they know they can win. So long as 3/5 of that rotation stays strong and healthy, they’ll win it handily. The big bold prediction is thinking that LA can rise out of the doldrums of last season and put in a good year, but I like their chances.

AL Playoffs:

East: Red Sox
Central: Twins
West: Rangers
Wild Card: Toss up…White Sox or Yankees

New York does not inspire confidence in me this year. It’s that aging field and mediocre pitching after Sabathia. Boston has a strong offense in front of good pitching and Tampa can’t quite keep up this year without too many things going right.

I never bet against the Twins in their current form. Chicago might give them trouble, but I don’t see it happening. Detroit is missing a few key pieces in their lineup and rotation and Kansas/Cleveland don’t stand a chance.

Texas’ pitching is still strong without Lee (assuming that Colby Lewis and CJ Wilson have great seasons again) and their only real competition in this division is Oakland (LA’s pitching is weak). I only say this because you never really know what you’re gonna get with Oakland.

Wow, A LOT Has Happened [Wednesday Morning Quarterback]
Jan 6th, 2010 by Dan

I’m pretty sure that I haven’t mentioned anything about the NFL this year, which I find hilarious, considering that I use a modified football saying as my sports category. Now’s as good a time as any to talk about it, I guess, since the regular season is over. As far as the playoffs go, I’d like to see the Ravens advance to the Super Bowl, but that’s just because they’re the local team. If we’re lucky, we’ll also get to see Brett Favre face-off against the Green Bay Packers (and hopefully knock them out) too in this postseason. Beyond that, I haven’t paid enough attention to the NFL this year to really care one way or another.

While I’m talking about football, I also haven’t talked too much about the Gators, who handily won their bowl game 51-24. It was Tim Tebow’s final game for UF and I’m excited to see where he ends up in this year’s draft class.

Again, let’s keep the subject on football, only to mention that I’m actually glad that the USA is in the same pool as England for the World Cup. One victory against the Queen’s team would be enough for me to make fun of Phil for the rest of my life. If Team USA can knock them out of the World Cup, I’d die a happy man, even if they were to lose every match afterward.

Beyond that, I’ve mostly been focusing on baseball (no surprise there!) in both the USA and Japan. A lot of huge moves have gone on so far, most notable among them Matsui leaving the Yankees for the Angels, but the other big move (to me) was the whole Cliff Lee/Roy Halladay trade involving Philadelphia and Seattle (and Toronto and Oakland (I think)). After seeing Cliff Lee absolutely dominate the Yankees in the World Series, it makes nearly zero sense to see the Phillies trade him away, but Halladay should be a fully adequate (and scary) replacement for the team that will most likely top the NL East yet again. Seattle also gets their hands on one of the finest pitchers in the league which should allow Wakamatsu to make a real move against the Angels who lost a lot of pitching and some offense this off-season.

In Japanese baseball news, the Seibu Lions drafted the best pitching prospect, Yusei Kikuchi, who should be ready to start tossing for the team as early as next year. Whether or not he appears in relief in 2010 is an interesting question.

My team, the Carp, avoided picking Kikuchi to go mostly for pitching, getting some of the best talent left in the pool. Their season was looking up until they lost one of their aces, Colby Lewis, to family issues stateside. It will be interesting to see if they can actually finish this season in the top three this year as they haven’t reached a Japan Series since 1991. They’re the team most removed from their last league championship and last Japan Series victory, so they’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

Man, I miss baseball season. Hurry up April!

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa