Like every other sports journalist on the planet, I decided to get my predictions for the upcoming baseball season on record. So, without any further delay, I present to you how I foresee the 2010 Major League Baseball season playing out. First, to the awards…
American League MVP: Alex Rodriguez, NY Yankees
This might seem like picking chalk in the NCAA tournament, but I really believe after how A-Rod ended last season, you are going to see a banner year for him. He’s healthy and primed to leap some major names on the all-time home run list. He should end the season fifth on that list.
National League MVP: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
The Machine will win his 3rd in a row in 2010 and there isn’t an end in sight. Albert is in his prime right now and there is not a better player in baseball.
American League Cy Young: Mark Buehrle, Chicage White Sox
I’m expecting pretty big things from the White Sox this season and for that to happen their ace will have to lead them there. He might not pitch another perfect game this season, but the Sox don’t need him to do that to win the AL Central.
National League Cy Young: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies
It’ll take Roy coming over from the AL to knock Tim Lincecum from his perch a top the NL pitching elite, but don’t expect it to be easy. I think this race will shape up to be one of the best in recent memory.
American League Rookie of the Year: Michael Taylor, Oakland Athletics
Between stops in Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Taylor batted .320 with 20 HR and 84 RBI. If not Taylor, look for 3B Brett Wallace from the Blue Jays or LHP Brian Matusz from the Orioles to take home the hardware.
National League Rookie of the Year: Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves
This race had an opportunity to be a three-way battle between Heyward, the Nationals’ Phenom RHP Stephen Strasburg, and the Reds’ Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman. But, since Strasburg and Chapman are starting their seasons in the minors, Heyward wins by a TKO in April.
American League Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Rays
Everybody has already penciled in the Yankees and Red Sox into their post-season predictions, so when the Rays prevent the Red Sox from making the playoffs, Joe will win this in a landslide.
National League Manager of the Year: Bobby Cox, Atlanta Braves
Bobby leads his young Braves back to the post-season, and he will be rewarded with his fifth Manager of the Year trophy as he exits the building for good.
…and onto the Division Winners…
American League East: NY Yankees
Yankees are just too powerful.
American League Central: Chicago White Sox
Chicago comes out on top in a tight race between the Sox, Tigers, and Twins.
American League West: Seattle Mariners
May be the most entertaining divisional race of them all. The Rangers and Angels are not going down without a fight, but the one-two punch of Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee will be too much to overcome.
American League Wild Card: Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays know that this may very well be the last year that their core group is together with Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena in the last year of their contracts. Expect the Rays to play with a sense of urgency. If they falter, expect the Red Sox to step-in and the Rays to be sellers at the trade deadline.
National League East: Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies are the class of the NL, but they will be pushed by the Braves and a healthy Mets team. In the end they will survive and win their third straight NL East crown.
National League Central: St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals might have this division wrapped up by the end of August. The gap between them and the rest of the division is vast. Look for a surprise second place finish from a young Reds team behind their star, Joey Votto, and Chapman, if he gets to the majors soon and pitches as advertised.
National League West: Colorado Rockies
Another good division battle is brewing out west, where any of the teams, minus San Diego, could jump up and take the crown.
National League Wild Card: Atlanta Braves
Great mix of veterans and young studs give Bobby Cox one last run into the playoffs.
…and how the playoffs break down…
Yankees over Mariners, 3-2
Hernandez and Lee will win a couple, but the Yankees have too much fire power to lose this series.
Rays over White Sox, 3-1
Too much power in that Rays line-up.
Yankees over Rays, 4-2
Yankees take home their second straight AL Championship and bazillionth all-time.
Cardinals over Rockies, 3-0
Too much pitching and power for the Redbirds.
Braves over Phillies, 3-2
Phillies miss Cliff Lee’s clutch pitching and stumble on their way back to the World Series.
Cardinals over Braves, 4-2
Should be a fantastic series featuring the present and future best power hitters in the game.
Cardinals over Yankees, 4-3
One for the ages featuring the two teams with the most titles between them. The National League’s victory in the All-Star game helps the Cardinals celebrate their game seven victory in front of the home crowd and the best fans in baseball.
So, there you have it, my predictions for the upcoming Major League Baseball season. They should probably be blown apart by mid-June, but it was some fun writing no matter what happens.