2009 American League East Preview

Time to reveal my predictions for the best division in baseball, the AL East.

Predicted Standings
1. Boston Red Sox
2. New York Yankees
3. Tampa Bay Rays
4. Toronto Blue Jaysjon-lester1
5. Baltimore Orioles

Best Hitter: Kevin Youkilis
Best Pitcher: C.C. Sabathia

Red Sox

The Sox have an aging, but powerful lineup and a strong, deep pitching staff that will eventually lead them to the division title. Reigning AL MVP Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis lead a lineup that also includes Jason Bay, David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, and J.D. Drew. The final three all have injury concerns though and Jason Varitek isn’t going to provide much offense at the bottom of the order. Josh Beckett and Jon Lester lead a rotation that is deeper than any other starting staff in the majors with Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, and Brad Penny rounding it up. John Smoltz is due back in June and Clay Buchholz is still in Triple-A though he is major-league ready. Papelbon leads a dominating bullpen that posses multiple pitchers capable of being set-up men. The Sox dominating pitchers and powerful lineup make them a definite candidate for the AL East. For a more in depth preview of the Sox, check the Red Sox page in the upcoming days. Continue reading “2009 American League East Preview”

2009 National League West Preview

On to the the NL West where the competition isn’t exactly as talented as in the NL East and NL Central:

Predicted Standings
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. San Francisco Giantsmanny-dodgers
3. Arizona Diamondbacks
4. Colorado Rockies
5. San Diego Padres

Best Hitter: Manny Ramirez
Best Pitcher: Tim Lincecum

Dodgers

After managing to resign Manny Ramirez, the Dodgers have the talent necessary to win this division. Nothing about this team is particularly special as even with Ramirez, the lineup is not overpowering, and the pitching staff is nothing to brag about. Besides Mannys, Russell Martin and Rafael Furcal lead the offense, which is one of the best in the NL West, though nothing compared to the rest of the league. Chad Billingsley leads the rotation, though he is not an overpowering ace, and he is followed by Hiroki Kuroda and Clayton Kershaw. They may get some outs, but the offense is going to have to carry a large load. In the bullpen, Jonathan Broxton leads a strong relieving core that is one of the reasons I am expecting the Dodgers to win this division. Continue reading “2009 National League West Preview”

2009 National League Central Preview

Time to preview the NL Central for the upcoming season:

Predicted Standings
1. Chicago Cubs
2. Milwaukee Brewers
3. St. Louis Cardinals
4. Cincinnati Reds
5. Houston Astros
6. Pittsburgh Pirates

Best Player: Ryan Braun
Best Pitcher: Chris Carpenter

Cubs

The Cubs are the clear favorite in the NL Central as they return a powerful lineup and an experienced, dominant pitching staff. Led by Alfonso Soriano and Derek Lee, the Cubs lineup has the potential to put up a crooked number any inning. In the rotation, Carlos Zambrano and Rich Harden lead a staff that is front-loaded, with the 4 and 5 pitccubs-09-previewhers (Ryan Dempster and Sean Marshall) a cause for concern. However, a strong bullpen with Kevin Gregg and Carlos Marmol should keep the Cubs in any ballgame. Overall, the team has a tremendous amount of talent and will likely be a contender for the NL pennant.

Brewers

The Brewers lost C.C. Sabathia and Ben Sheets from their starting staff and that will seriously hurt their playoff chances, but their lineup is still stacked, giving them the ability to overcome mediocre pitching. With Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, runs will not be hard to come by, especially considering J.J. Hardy and Richie Weeks bat in front of those two sluggers. Jeff Suppan is the number one starter for Milwaukee and that is a sign for concern in itself as Suppan is not quite an ace. Follow him up with Yovani Gallardo, Manny Parra, Braden Looper, and Dave Busch, and the rotation is shaky at best. Recently-acquired Trevor Hoffman leads the bullpen, but even if he is terrific, Milwaukee is still going to need a lot of run-production to stay in the NL Central race. Continue reading “2009 National League Central Preview”