I decided to go back and look at what my thoughts were in my pre-season preview, so I could give some perspective on my evolving state of mind.
AL East- I thought that the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and yes, the Orioles would all finish within 10 games of each other. Oops on the O’s. My second half crystal ball sees the Red Sox winning the East, as the Yankees can’t overcome losing Sheffield and Matsui. I think the Blue Jays will fade, making it a 2 team race.
AL Central- The best division in baseball, I predicted that the Wild Card would come out of here and it does look to be a good bet to happen. I thought the Indians would have the best record in baseball, so I was way off on that measure. Look for the Tigers to fade behind Chicago in August, but I think they will have enough to hold off the Yankees and Twins for the final playoff spot. I’m not the Under the Knife part of the thejuiceblog.com, but I do see a lot of Detroit players being second-half injury risks. The idiot moves at the start of the season will cost the Twins the final spot in the AL.
AL West- I was one of the few that thought the A’s were vastly overrated, with worries about a young pitching staff and a lack of power. I also lamented the loss of Chris Young, by the Rangers, so I went with the Angels. I’m sticking with them to win the weakened West, as they have the best pitching staff and I think a couple of their top prospects will make the difference down the stretch.
NL East- Here is some vindication, as I liked the Mets to win their division, with the Braves falling to third. It looks like I was off on the Phillies, but with just a little better starting pitching, they still have a chance to be the NL wild card pick I dubbed them at the beginning.
NL Central- I wrote that I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cardinals won 10 less games than in 2005 and still won the division. Seems like a pretty fair chance of happening. While you can make a case for the Astros, Brewers, or Astros getting the wild card, I think they will fall just short. Should be a great race, though.
NL West- I had the Padres repeating and I will stick with them. While I suspect that Nomar will go on the DL soon, I still think they have enough to get the wild card. I had the Rockies finishing 4th and I still think that will happen, as I see the second half of the year being unkind to the Diamondbacks. The West will be a 2 team race.
I had the Yankees beating the White Sox and the Cards sliding by the Padres in the LCS, at the beginning of the year. Here is my revised choices.
White Sox over A’s
Red Sox over Tigers
Mets over Dodgers
Padres over Cards
White Sox over Mets
Please list your choices in the comment section, as the only way to win is to play.