With only about a quarter of the season left, and play-off pictures starting to form into a clearer picture, I would like to look back to some of my mid-April predictions. If you read my previous predictions column, one might think I blind-folded myself and played pin-the-tail on the division winner. Some picks seem reasonable, some I picked as sleepers, and others were just down right absurd. So lets get down to business.
To get the bad over with first, I picked to Cleveland Indians to win the AL Central. Seriously. Dont believe me? click here and read for yourself. To defend myself the slightest bit, the basis for my prediction was that Fausto Carmona and Travis Hafner would have strong, successful comebacks after an injury plagued '08 campaign. Well, Carmona has posted a 2-6 record along with a 7.34 ERA and a near 2.00 WHIP. Needless to say, despicable would be an understatment.(Those numbers are just from the majors by the way, as Carmona has been sent down to the minors several times throughout the season). Hafner on the other hand is the MLB's version of Shaquille Oneil, a big guy thats no good without a day off every other day. He hasn't even seen 200 at bats, and has posted 11 homers and 29 RBI's for the once promising slugger.
In the NL East I went with the Marlins. Not as senseless of a pick as the AL Central, but an obvious one that is pretty much out of the question. Phillies look better than last year, Braves are hanging around, and somehow the Mets, who seem like their going to all-ends of the earth to get Jerry Manuel fired and lose every game, are hanging around as well. Bottom line, the fish just aren't strong enough in either pitching or with the bats to make a run.
Thankfully, thats all for the rough stuff. In the NL Central, I picked the Cubs, which seems likely, and in the West I picked the Dodgers which was pretty much a no-brainer. I was weary at first of picking the Giants to win the wild-card but I'm glad they did. Even if they don't, I'll be happy because I expected them to lead the league in pitching, (which they do) and to have major problems with the bats(which they do as well).
The rest of the painful isn't to painful either. I picked Boston in the East, (which is by no means a given however as they Yankee's look as dominant as the Bronx bombers of the late 90's), and the Angels to win the west. Though I detest the Yankee's my pride wasnt strong enough to choose any other team for the wild-card, especially with a line-up that one would believe was a starting line-up in the all-star game 2 years ago.
So all in all, it's possible I could go 4-2 in terms of division titles. Not too bad eh? I picked the classic Cubs vs. Red Sox in the World Series, which well, you never know I guess. It very well could happen.
For individual awards, my CY Young award winners are Roy Halladay and Josh Johnson. Both have reached 10 wins and post ERA's of under 3, so that one's in the air too.
My MVP's are a different story though. In the AL, I picked Carlos Quentin who has been on the DL for 2 months of the season and numbers are in a different universe of the like of Mark Texeira and Carlos Pena. In the NL, I picked Hanley Ramirez. Solid numbers, but once again, not even close to the likes of Pujols and Prince Fielder.
It's been a fun and interesting season so far, but the best has yet to come. Nothing is better than baseball season, so enjoy it while it lasts. And hey, If things shape up, maybe we'll do it again at the end of September.