The first-ever JeffPearlman.com predictions page. Guaranteed to be 100% (not) accurate …
1. New York Yankeesâ€”Will run away with everything. Sabathia and Burnett will both win in double figures. In fact, Sabathia will probably be the first guy to win 15.
2. Boston Red Soxâ€”Just not in the same class. David Ortiz will have a rotten year, likely plagued by steroid allegations. They’ll probably release Smoltz, and he’ll be signed by, oh, St. Louis.
3. Tampa Bay Raysâ€”Hard to do it again. But they’ll hang around.
4. Toronto Blur Jaysâ€”They’ll surprise for a while, then slip back to earth, then consider trading their ace. But they won’t.
5. Baltimore Oriolesâ€”Added nothing.
1. Detroit Tigersâ€”Edwin Jackson is the man.
2. Chicago White Soxâ€”I could see them adding Alex Rios.
3. Minnesota Twinsâ€”I can almost guarantee Joe Mauer is an MVP candidate.
4. Cleveland Indiansâ€”Victor Martinez will be traded to Boston. Mark my words.
5. Kansas City Royalsâ€”For three-straight years in the early 2000s I picked KC to shock the world (Where have you gone, Mark Quinn?). I’m not falling for it again.
1. Los Angeles Angelsâ€”The class of the division.
2. Texas Rangersâ€”Admittedly a stretch. But I’m probably America’s lone Ron Washington fan … and this division suddenly stinks.
3. Seattle Marinersâ€”Don’t be surprised if they add Jack Wilson from the Pirates. Maybe Ian Snell, too.
1. Philadelphia Philliesâ€”Raul Ibanez is a stud, as if Jason Werth. I’m guessing they’ll trade for Cliff Lee and sign Pedro Martinez.
2. Florida Marlinsâ€”Hanley is the man. But Andrew Miller? Boy, does he stink.
3. Atlanta Bravesâ€”They have lost their way. Look for a deal for Ryan Church.
4. New York Metsâ€”I just have a hunch that everyone will get hurt and Omar will, at some point, call a press conference to humiliate himself.
5. Washington Nationalsâ€”Lastings Milledge, the modern-day Darren Bragg. That’s not a compliment.
1. St. Louis Cardinalsâ€”Too deep, too strong. And John Smoltz, who will arrive at some point, kicks butt.
2. Milwaukee Brewersâ€”I like it.
3. Chicago Cubsâ€”They’ll likely lose 10 of 13 in August. Just because.
4 Houston Astrosâ€”Not good enough.
5. Cincinnati Redsâ€”Terrible.
6. Pittsburgh Piratesâ€”Paging Ed Ott … Mister Edward Ott …
1. Los Angeles Dodgersâ€”Manny, 2008: Bliss. Manny, 2009 (assuming he returns to this planet to play baseball): Headaches. But they still rule.
2. San Francisco Giantsâ€”Great young pitching, plus a surprising young star. Maybe an infielder.
3. Colorado Rockiesâ€”Goodbye, Clint.
4. Arizona Diamondbacksâ€”Pitching overcomes all this year … and they have none.
5. San Diego Padresâ€”A mess.
AL MVP: Joe Mauer, Twins
NL MVP: Albert Pujols, Cards
AL Cy Young Award: Zack Greinke, Royals
NL Cy Young Award: Tim Lincecum, Giants
AL First Manager Fired: Probably no one.
NL First Manager Fired: Clint Hurdle, Rockies