My Last-Minute Attempt at 2011 MLB Predictions

2011 March 31
by CajoleJuice

Anyone else glad that baseball has an Opening Day this year as opposed to an Opening Night on ESPN? I’d like all the teams to kick off the season on one day, but I’m not going to complain about baseball starting today. Without further ado, here are my predictions for the season so you can laugh at them later.


Red Sox 94 - 68
Yankees 91 - 71
Rays 89 - 73
Blue Jays 82 - 80
Orioles 75 - 87

Every team in this division is so good that it pulls the top down. I really, really want to pick the Rays over the Yankees, but when I think about the Yankee lineup top-to-bottom, it’s just too good. The Red Sox might be the biggest favorite in any division this year, though. Just disgustingly stacked. The Rays have done their best to make up for the losses of Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, Matt Garza, and practically their entire bullpen. The Blue Jays might well be better than last year, but I can’t predict another 85-win season for them in this division. The Orioles went out and created a good lineup for themselves, but their pitching leaves much to be desired.


Twins 87 - 75
Tigers 84 - 78
White Sox 84 - 78
Indians 70 - 92
Royals 67 - 95

Another year, another crapshoot of deciding which of the top three teams to pick to win the AL Central. Since the Twins seem to emerge victorious more often than their rivals, I’ll go with them. Plus they have that shiny new stadium and the cover boy for MLB the Show two years running. The Tigers have two strikeout kings at the top of their rotation in Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, and their lineup is nothing to sneeze at. The White Sox have the deepest rotation in the division and added Adam Dunn. Maybe they should be higher. The Indians and Royals are both pitiful, but at least the latter has a stockpile of talent in waiting.


Rangers 86 - 76
Athletics 84 - 78
Angels 80 - 82
Mariners 71 - 91

The Rangers are due for some major regression this year, with the reigning AL MVP heading the list. The A’s improved their lineup over the winter and their rotation is solid, especially if Brett Anderson stays healthy. The Angels added an overpriced outfielder and not much else. The Mariners have to be better than last year.

AL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox

Going from Petco Park to Fenway Park as a power hitter is like going from Madonna to Kate Hudson. I guess Adrian Gonzalez needs to go Dodger Stadium next.

AL Cy Young: Jon Lester, Red Sox

Two Red Sox winning the two big awards. Sorry, the dude is really good. He and Lance Armstrong have magic powers they gained from cancer.

AL ROY: Jeremy Hellickson, Rays

Obviously, the AL East is the only division in the American League.

AL Champion: Red Sox

Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Odd-Year Beckett, and John Lackey is a decent playoff rotation. With lights-out defense behind them, I see them rolling through the rest of the league. And have I mentioned their lineup?


Phillies 93 - 69
Braves 91 - 71
Mets 80 - 82
Marlins 79 - 83
Nationals 69 - 93

I’m not going to jump on the Braves bandwagon just yet. The Phillies still have four of the top dozen pitchers in the National League. Even if one goes down, that’s still three of the top ten. But if this isn’t the Braves’ year, it probably will be next year. And the next. Sigh. The Mets may already be starting 2011 off on the wrong foot, with Jason Bay already hurt, and Carlos Beltran still not 100%, but I think they threaten to crack .500 this year. The Marlins will be right in the middle of the pack like they always are, and the Nationals will bring up the rear while they wait for Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.


Brewers 85 - 77
Cardinals 83 - 79
Reds 83 - 79
Cubs 81 - 81
Astros 69 - 93
Pirates 68 - 94

The Brewers, even with injury concerns with their two big offseason pickups, Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, are the favorites here if only because they are obviously going all out this year. If they are in the race, I could see them targeting Jose Reyes at the trade deadline. The window closes when Prince Fielder leaves, and that’s after this season. The Cardinals even without Adam Wainwright will be a solid team as usual, and the Reds will come back down to earth a bit. The Cubs will surprise with a decent season, while the Astros and Pirates will continue being model trainwrecks.


Rockies 89 - 73
Giants 89 - 73
Dodgers 83 - 79
Padres 75 - 87
Diamondbacks 69 - 93

The Rockies and Giants will face off in a one-game playoff and somehow the Rockies will be the team to advance. The Rockies’ pitching staff may not be the Giants’, but they are dangerously underrated. But I’m probably picking the Rockies to win only because I want to see Troy Tulowitzki win an MVP award. Brandon Belt will be this year’s version of Buster Posey for the Giants. The Dodgers will be solid — I could easily see them outperforming this prediction. The Padres and Diamondbacks I can’t bring myself to write about. Don’t care now that Mat Latos is hurt, sorry.

NL MVP: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies

I picked him last year, and I’m going with him again. Did you see him hit in September? He could hit 35 HR this year while hitting .300 and playing tremendous defense at shortstop.

NL Cy Young: Tim Lincecum, Giants

I don’t want to break my rule of avoiding back-to-back winners. I’d say you shouldn’t bet against Roy Halladay, but you would have lost that bet in the playoffs last year. Against Tim Lincecum. Well ok, Halladay won Game 5, but that Jayson Werth home run was Citizens Bank Park bullshit.

NL ROY: Brandon Belt, Giants

I already said he was this year’s version of Buster Posey, didn’t I?

NL Champion: Phillies

I didn’t pick them last year, so I’m allowed to be boring and go with them this year. Sure, the lineup might be a shell of its former self, but we all saw the Giants’ pitching staff carry the team the last two months in 2010.

World Series Champion: Red Sox


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  3. 2007 Baseball Predictions