Well, it’s my favorite time of the year: college football is in full swing; the NFL — with all of it’s intriguing narratives — is already captivating my attention; for the third year in a row, my beloved Lobes are cruising to a championship in my dynasty fantasy league; but most importantly, the Major League Baseball season is winding down and that means playoff baseball is just around the corner. There’s just nothing like it in sports.
Each year, I post my predictions for each division. And each year, I look back six months later and laugh at how wrong I was about how it would all play out. This year is no exception; only this spring, instead of formal predictions, I posted team reviews for every MLB club. For the full length reviews, you can click on the links below.
Here are a few of my more prescient observations:
Speaking of the Yankees: “The Yankees are still a good team and should be the prohibitive favorites to win it all again in 2010. But this is far from a complete team.” I noted the loss of veteran bats Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon and the weakness of the bullpen. While the bullpen has been decent, I didn’t account for was the emergence of Brett Gardener and Nick Swisher as extremely productive corner outfielders. As it stands, the Bronx Bombers probably ARE the favorites to win it all next month.
I expected the Yanks to be pushed by another team in their division for the best record in baseball. I just thought it’d be Boston. I really missed it on their division competitors down in Tampa when I wrote, “I expect Tampa to finish above .500 again, but I don’t think they’ll have enough to catch either New York or Boston for the division crown.” Ooops. I also missed it a little on the Twins, saying I wasn’t sure if they’d have the horses to repeat as division champs (I actually favored the ChiSox). I was right to worry about Justin Morneau’s ability to stay healthy for a whole season, but the Twinkies look like they could be a formidable force in October, too. This AL playoff should be something to watch.
I fared a little better with my comments re: the National League. A smattering:
- Don’t be surprised if Colorado bucks the trend and plays their way into October again.
- I think the pitching is good enough for the Giants to contend for the division title.
- I like Cincy as a dark horse in this division.
- The Phils have to be considered the favorites in this division and the entire National League entering the season.
Of course, I missed it on the Cardinals. And I also thought the Marlins would improve on an 87-win campaign from a year ago. But overall, I’m pleased.