Monday, April 04, 2005
Last season, I started my own tradition of putting up a set of predictions with exact records. You can see those here and my recap of the predictions here.
This year, I've had another excuse to make these exact types of predictions, with an entry in the Baseball Prospectus Predicatron.
So, here goes, going west to east for a change of pace.
AL West: Oakland 90-72, Los Anaheim 88-74, Texas 87-75, Seattle 78-84
Analysis: Oakland's still got the horses. Harden's going to break out this season, and Blanton, Haren, and Meyer will be good enough to keep the A's in games, which will be enough for the A's offense, bolstered by Kendall, more from Crosby, and continued production from Chavez. The Angels will come up just short; I don't trust their pitching. Texas will prove they're not a fluke. Seattle still isn't that good, even with Beltre and Sexson
AL Central: Minnesota 93-69, Cleveland* 90-72, Detroit 80-82, Chicago WS 72-90, Kansas City 61-101
Analysis: Minnesota knows how to win the division, and they have Johan Santana. Period. Cleveland is ready to break out, and Millwood will have a bounceback season. The Tigers are going to continue to build on last year's momentum and will push at .500. The White Sox are trying to play small ball in a home run park. I also consistently underpredict the White Sox. Kansas City is just awful.
AL East: Boston 94-68, New York Yankees 86-76, Baltimore 77-85, Tampa Bay 77-85, Toronto 76-86.
Analysis: Boston is the class of this division, they're deep in hitting and pitching. The Yankees are going to fall apart, too old, and Wright and Pavano are going to have ERAs in the high 4s. Baltimore, Tampa Bay, and Toronto are just fighting for third, but they're all a little better, and will fight for .500.
NL West: Los Angeles 91-71, San Diego* 89-73, San Francisco 80-82, Arizona 74-88, Colorado 58-104.
Analysis: J.D. Drew and Derek Lowe will live up to expectations, in a tight race with San Diego and your 2005 NL Cy winner, Jake Peavy. I really like both of these teams. San Francisco is going to struggle without Bonds; this prediction could probably go 15 games in either direction depending on his return. Arizona's transactions won't do much, but they'll improve because they can't get any worse. Colorado is playing for 2006.
NL Central: St. Louis 96-66, Milwaukee 83-79, Chicago Cubs 81-81, Houston 75-87, Pittsburgh 72-90, Cincinnati 66-96.
Analysis: St. Louis is going to run away with this division. I really like Milwaukee's young pitching in Sheets and Santos, plus Doug Davis, and Carlos Lee is going to have a monster year. The Cubs simply aren't that good, especially since Wood or Prior will go down with an injury. Houston, despite Josh's protestations, are much much worse than last year, and I like Chris Burke. But the pitching behind Oswalt isn't going to hold up. Pittsburgh should be better, with Oliver Perez, Jason Bay, and Craig Wilson, but then they do stupid things like batting Tike Redman third (career OPS: .713). Cincinnati has no pitching, and that includes Eric Milton, who will have his ERA balloon in the Great American Ballpark.
NL East: Atlanta 88-74, Florida 86-76, New York Mets 82-80, Philadelphia 81-81, Nationals 79-83.
Analysis: The Braves should win this division. Again. It'll be even though, and I'm not as confident of that pick as I usually am, when I'm going against conventional wisdom by making it. Florida should be in the mix with their young pitching, as will the Mets with Beltran and Pedro, as well as a full season of David Wright. Philly should underachieve again, despite another big season from Jim Thome. The Nats will be better than people think, and will look towards .500 for most of the season, but the flaws of being the ex-Expos will doom them in the end to the basement.
Boston over Cleveland in 5, Oakland over Minnesota in 4.
St. Louis over San Diego in 3, Los Angeles over Atlanta in 4.
Oakland over Boston in 6, Los Angeles over St. Louis in 7.
World Series: Los Angeles over Oakland in 7.
Analysis: The DePodesta vs. Beane World Series wasn't planned, but doing it series by series, that's just how it worked out.
JH 1:40 AM