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Crystal Ball
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 4/1/2008 3:42:00 PM
View more posts by this author


NL MVP: David Wright – What doesn’t he do well? Wright plays defense, runs the bases and has a terrific batting eye. He had a .364/.465/.596 line after the All-Star break and even if you take away the entire month of April, posted a 30/31 season last year.

AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera – I probably wouldn’t be batting him fifth, but in a lineup as loaded as the Tigers’, it’s unlikely to matter much. It’s easy to forget, but Cabrera is still just 24 years old. It’s only a matter of time before he posts a gigantic .330-50-150 type season, and it very well may arrive in 2008.

NL Cy Young: Johan Santana – Boring, but Santana is the clear front-runner. Jake Peavy may be an equal pitcher, but he’s got more health concerns, and Santana has a solid offense supporting him as well. The switch to the NL could result in an extra 60 strikeouts.

AL Cy Young: Josh Beckett – Justin Verlander will be major competition, and Beckett’s increasing workload and health need to be monitored, but he’s also become possibly the game’s best pitcher. Over the final three months last year, he posted a 111:20 K:BB ratio.

NL Rookie of the Year: Kosuke Fukudome – Kind of boring since he’s 30 years old and all, but when you combine opportunity with skill set, he should finish 2008 with some pretty solid numbers. Johnny Cueto and Manny Parra are his main competitors, but it’s harder to learn the art of pitching than it is hitting.

AL Rookie of the Year: Evan Longoria – Like Ryan Braun last year, Longoria is going to have to make up for a lost six weeks after starting the year in the minors, but he has the stick to do so. Clay Buchholz and Joba Chamberlain are the obvious contenders.

NLCS: Mets over Dodgers

ALCS: Yankees over Red Sox

World Series: Yankees over Mets


Way to got out on a limb there with the NL awards there 3D - though of course I agree with both. If Clayton Kershaw is promoted in May, he may very well give Fukudome a run for his money, though being on an innings count this year probably limits his ability to win the award.

Posted by vtadave at 4/1/2008 4:20:00 PM
I agree with almost everything...but do you really think the Yanks have enough pitching to win it all? I tend to doubt it.
Posted by MPStopa at 4/1/2008 5:03:00 PM
Good call with Yanks. Theyre gonna wipe the floor with Boston.
Posted by djm1144 at 4/1/2008 5:04:00 PM
I only disagree with Beckett- Hes out of shape and already injured. Hell wind up with a 5.5 era this season.
Posted by djm1144 at 4/1/2008 5:05:00 PM
Dave - Ya, ya, I know, boring. Sometimes I fight not to go out on a limb just to be different, and I accomplished that here. I hope you're right about Kershaw.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 4/1/2008 5:10:00 PM
Stopa - Is the Yanks pitching that much worse than Boston's? I don't think so, especially once Joba joins it during the 2nd half. That said, I seem to be in the minority thinking NY has a legit team.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 4/1/2008 5:12:00 PM
DJM - This looks like someone in tip-top shape to me:
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 4/1/2008 5:15:00 PM
3D, I could see the Yanks finishing 3rd or even 4th (I'm a Yanks fan, and the Rays will come through some point). I'll never understand why you give Arod the money but not Santana.
Posted by kevinccp at 4/1/2008 5:15:00 PM
It's deja vu all over again. Last year I said the Yanks would still make the playoffs when they were down like 7.5 games in June, and every commenter on here disagreed with me. Listen, I hate the Yanks, so there's no bias here, but this is a team that led MLB in runs scored by nearly 100 last season and has everyone returning. The veterans showed up in much better shape too, knowing that the new Joe wasn't going to let them get away with murder. Their pitching staff is infused with younger talent. Guess we shall see, but I'd be shocked if they finished third, that's for sure.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 4/1/2008 5:24:00 PM
I talked this over with Ferris Monday, this is what he said:

MVP: Wright, Sizemore (though gun to head, I'd always pick A-Rod)
Cy: Santana, Verlander
Rookie: Fukudome, Buchholz

NLCS: Mets over Cubs

ALCS: Indians over Red Sox

World Series: Mets over Indians

Posted by spianow at 4/1/2008 6:01:00 PM
Dodgers won't sniff the NLCS
Posted by thepearl-673 at 4/1/2008 6:44:00 PM
Pianow, I also have Mets over Indians, fwiw.

3D, also have the Yankees winning the AL East. Not nuts about Boston's starting pitching. If Beckett misses significant time, they've got issues. Still have Boston edging Detroit for the Wild Card, though.
Posted by joneseyjones at 4/1/2008 10:46:00 PM
No doubt there are five really good teams in the AL (really four, but none play in the West), so one worthy squad will be left out. I have the Tribe missing, but that's two smart people disagreeing - should be fun to follow. The Mets' chances took a blow tonight when Pedro's hamstring fell off his leg.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 4/1/2008 11:51:00 PM
Dalton, Yes, I think Boston's pitching is better. The bullpens are roughly equal, I think (Joba and Rivera against Papelbon, Okajima, Delcarmen is roughly a push - at best any NY advantage is minimal). Buchholz and Lester roughly equal Hughes and Kennedy, so that leaves Beckett, Dice-K, and Wakefield/Tavares against Wang, Pettite, and Mussina. I think Mussina is about done, and Wang is not a postseason pitcher. And Beckett's postseason history speaks for itself.

I can see the Yanks making the postseason merely by their offensive firepower, but I don't see anything that makes me think, once they get there, the outcome will be any different than the past few years.

Posted by MPStopa at 4/2/2008 6:43:00 AM
There is NO WAY the Yankees win the World Series. Whoever wrote the above should be writing for ESPN.
Posted by eallen333 at 4/2/2008 11:46:00 AM
Actually, out of the 19 panelists on predicting this season, ZERO of them picked the Yankees to win the World Series. 11 of them had them missing the playoffs altogether. So in reality, my shrewd/insightful/clairvoyant pick is rather contrarian.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 4/2/2008 9:27:00 PM

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