Monday, April 03, 2006

Opening Day

Opening Day is here, and with it the Inner Columnist's 2006 baseball preview...

AL East
New York: The most potent lineup in the game will be enough to overcome the suspect pitching in the regular season. But not in the playoffs.
Boston: New York lite.
Toronto: A contender in any other division.
Baltimore: They've finished fourth in seven of the last eight seasons and are poised to make it eight of nine.
Tampa Bay: Could challenge the franchise record of 70 wins.

AL Central
Chicago: Last year's champs won't sneak up on anyone, but they won't have to.
Cleveland: A pleasant surprise last year, they'll either regress or figure out how to get it done at the end. Says here they steal the wild card.
Minnesota: Could be contenders for the wild card or even the division title. But probably not.
Detroit: Better. Still not good.
Kansas City: Well, maybe this year they won't lose 100 games.

AL West
Oakland: Good lineup. Solid staff. Just solid enough.
Los Angeles: Key series: vs. Oakland, September 28 - October 1.
Seattle: Jamie Moyer, Satchel Paige.
Texas: They'll hit a lot of home runs. They'll give up a lot, too.

NL East
Atlanta: I'm not picking against them until they lose.
New York: Fewer holes in the lineup, but still plenty in the rotation.
Philadelphia: They'll hit. Will they pitch?
Washington: Not even Donald Rumsfeld could solve the problems of this Defense Department.
Florida: Could win the World Series. The Triple-A World Series.

NL Central
St. Louis: They might not win 100 games this year. But 95 will be enough.
Chicago: A strong lineup which, if the pitching can hold up, will take the wild card.
Houston: Not as good as they were a year ago. The pitching is still solid, even if Roger Clemens doesn't return, but the lineup is still aging.
Milwaukee: Surprisingly good at .500 last year. Not a contender, but they should win a few more games this year.
Pittsburgh: A team headed for a turn-around. Which, in their case, means finishing fifth instead of sixth.
Cincinnati: Last year they were first in the NL in runs scored. Unfortunately, they were also first in runs allowed.

NL West
San Diego: Their 82 wins last year were 15th in the majors. And they won their division.
San Francisco: All Barry, all the time. That might not be a good thing.
Los Angeles: An unspectacular team in an unspectacular division.
Colorado: One of my favorite names in baseball is Choo Freeman. Used to watch him when he played for the Double-A Carolina Mudcats.
Arizona: Good stadium. Lousy team.

Chicago over New York
Oakland over Cleveland

St. Louis over San Diego
Chicago over Atlanta

Chicago over Oakland

St. Louis over Chicago

World Series
St. Louis over Chicago


Blogger Anon_e_mouse said...

You always have been a dreamer, haven't you? St. Louis???? I guess those two years in a Bunn Cardinals uniform still hasn't worn off :-)

11:50 PM  
Blogger Theodore said...

They've won 205 regular-season games over the last two years, made the playoffs in five of the last six years, and their roster includes last year's MVP and Cy Young Award winner. I sure wouldn't count 'em out.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Anon e Mouse Jr. said...

A former Mudcat playing for Colorado? I know who I'm rooting for this year...

3:22 PM  

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