MLB: Second Half Predictions

We’re just over half way through the 2011 MLB season, as the first games after the allstar break begin today.  We’ve seen plenty of surprises: the Pirates are over .500, the Marlins were pushing the Phillies for a month and a half, then didn’t win for three weeks.  And as we head into the 2nd half of play, here are some predictions.

NL EAST:

1. Phillies – Philly has been great in the first half, in large part thanks to their pitching.  Halladay and Lee anchor the best rotation in baseball, and they can hit.  Howard, Utley, Rollins, Victorino and the rest of the lineup makes them heavy favorites to take the east–again.

2. Braves – Jair Jurrjens has been great again, and the Braves young hitting has gotten them through.  They’ll hang on to second, but won’t have enough for the Phils.

3.  Mets – They just traded K-Rod but are still OK.  Reyes and Beltran have had nice bounceback years.  It’s going to take a lot, though to get them in playoff contention.

4. Marlins – McKeon will get them in the right direction, but they doug themselves a trench in June, with only a 5-foot ladder to get out.

5. Nationals – Have been a nice surprise in the first half, but top to bottom they can’t hang with this powerful division.

NL CENTRAL

1. Brewers – They’ve got the pitching, and they’ve still got Fielder for a few more games.  K-Rod will bolster the bullpen, and be enough to just hang on vs. STL.

2. Cardinals – STL had the best record in baseball in mid-june… without their best pitcher Wainwright.  Can Berkman hold up?  With Adam STL is the favorites, but he’s not going to be back this year.

3. Reds – All of the close games the Reds won last year they are losing this year.  They’ll stick around .500 but likely won’t push to win the division again.

4. Pirates – It was a feel good story for half a season.  But these guys are too young and too inexperienced.  Pitt falls just below .500 and keeps the streak alive.

5. Cubs – When Starlin Castro is your only all-star, you’re hurting.  Chicago is a long way away from where they were in the early 2000’s

6. Houston – As far as CHI is, Houston is even further.  These guys may finish with the worst record in baseball.

NL WEST

1. Giants – SF is winning and inordinant amount of close games.  That may catch up to them, but the starting pitching is still too good to not win the West.

2.  D-Backs – Arizona has been a nice surprise this year, but they are in no position to compete with SF just yet.

3. Rockies – Tulo is going to heat up at somepoin, and Colorado will improve, it just won’t mean much in the long run.

4. Dodgers – LA is just as much of a mess on the field as they are financially.

5. Padres – Last year was their chance, and they just missed.  Expect Heath Bell to be gone soon.

NL WILDCARD

1. Atlanta Braves

2. St. Louis Cardinals

3. Arizona Diamondbacks

AL EAST

1. Red Sox – They’re leading the Yankees now, and have had all sorts of injuries in their rotation.  This one’s going down to the last series, but the sox pull it out.

2. Yankees – NY may make a push at the deadline, and are maybe still the odds on favorite to win the east.  But with Colon starting to show his age, they’re going to need SP help.

3. Rays – This is a nice tampa team, but without Crawford they’re no longer division contenders.  Could be the first team out.

4. Blue Jays – They won’t win the East, but watching Bautista is fun enough.  Take away the steroid era, he has an outside chance of hitting Roger Maris’ magic #.

5. Orioles – They started off well, and have tanked since.  Have a lot of young talent in the outfield, but are still multiple pieces away.

AL CENTRAL

1. Tigers – Too much Miggy, too much Verlander, too much talent.  Detroit takes the Central.

2. Indians – It was a nice story, and they’re still just as in it as Detroit, but top to bottom they’re not as talented.  They can grieve with the ’10 Padres.

3. White Sox – This could be a fun team to watch in the 2nd half.  Definitely better than their record speaks, but just like FLA, may have dug too big of a whole.

4. Twins – Mauer is going to play 1B and stay more healthy, they have a nice new stadium… I’m running out of compliments.

5.  Royals – Remember when they had Carlos Beltran?

AL WEST

1. Angels – They’re a game back now, but have 81 left to make it up.  Weaver could contend for the Cy Young, and if Kendrick can stay hot, I like them in the west.

2. Rangers – This Rangers team is good, but without Lee it’s not World Series good.  They get nipped by the Angels.

3. Mariners – King Felix single-handedly keeps them out of the cellar.

4. A’s – Just too many steps away, even to get out of the basement.

AL WILDCARD:

1. New York Yankees

2. Texas Rangers

3. Cleveland Indians

NL MVP: Prince Fielder – He’s got 22HR and hitting .297 at the break.  Probably puts him in about 5th now.  But he’s in a divison race and contract year.  He’s never had more motivation.

NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay – On pace for 20wins and a 2.45 ERA on the best team in the NL.

AL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez – What happens to a top 10 hitter when the ballpark shrinks and the lineup around him gets much better? MVP.

AL Cy Young: CC Sabathia – On pace for 22 wins and an ERA in the 2’s.

3 Responses to MLB: Second Half Predictions
  1. Doug Malott
    July 26, 2011 | 12:30 pm

    Your predictions are pretty much on track. I would just like to remind everyone of how ignorant and hypocritical the Red Sox and their band wagon fans are. For years it was always, ” The Yankees buy the pennant.” or “The bankees get all the free agents etc., etc. First of all the core 5 of the great Yankee run from 1996 until now all came from the farm system. They don’t just buy talent they fill holes. Now the Red Sox are cloning them. It’s laughable. If you can’t beat’em, join ’em. Just remember, the only place you’ll get 27 rings is in your dreams. The Phillies will win it all with 4 great starters. Good pitching beats good hitting even though
    the Red Sox play in that softball park Fenway it won’t be enough.

  2. Sydney Chilton
    February 9, 2012 | 11:26 pm

    Looking forward to reading more. Great blog.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.

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