The first pitch of the new season is just about ready to be thrown, which means there is no better time to make my predictions for 2010. Aside from drafting my fantasy teams, making predictions is my favorite off-season pastime to get me in competition with my friends and colleagues.
What do I get if my predictions come true? A nice warm smug feeling on the inside and bragging rights for the next four to six months.
Gotham Baseball LIVE 2010 Predictions!
AL East: Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, O’s, Jay’s
AL Central: White Sox,Tiger,Twins,Indians,Royals
AL West:Mariner’s, Texas,Angel’s,A’s
Wild Card: Red Sox
American League Champions
New York Yankees MVP: Nick Johnson
For the first time in close to a decade the Yankees will win back-to-back pennants and another AL East crown. As their quest for 28 begins, their rotation, bullpen, and bench have improved from this time last year, not to mention a full month of Alexander the Great at third base and Joba locking down the eighth inning. Nick Johnson is going to have a monster year and continue that play into October winning the ALCS MVP.
The Red Sox will battle the Yankees back and forth all year and win the Wild Card for a second straight season. Their rotation is arguably the best in baseball and their bullpen is poised for a bounce back year. Their offensive will ultimately be the downfall for beantown because Beltre and Cameron are no replacement for Jason Bay. Having said that, I predict Adrian Gonzalez will be suiting up for Boston before seasons end, which could drastically change the Red Sox lineup.
The AL Central crown will fall to the boys on the south side. Ken Williams retooled for 2010 with Alex Rios, Jake Peavey, Juan Pierre, Mark Teahen, and JJ Putz. The Twins, unable to overcome the loss of Joe Nathan, will fall to third in the division. Closer by committees do not work and the effects of Target Field will literally rain (and snow) on the Twins parade. The Tigers will have a solid season and Austin Jackson will surprise a lot of folks.
How the West was won: Cliff Lee, Chone Figgins, Ichiro, Franklin Gutierrez, and The King. The Mariners will finally take away the West crown from the Angels. Lee and Hernandez are the best 1-2 in the American League and Gutierrez will have his coming out party going 30-100. The Angels lost Lackey, Vlad, and Figgins and replaced them with Hideki Matsui. I don’t care what Angels management thinks, Matsui cannot play the outfield and they didn’t retool enough to win a division.
NL East: Phillies, Braves, Marlins, Mets, Nationals
NL Central : Cardinals, Reds, Brewers, Cubs, Pirates, Astros
NL West: Dodgers,Giants, Diamondbacks,Rockies,Padres
Wild Card: Braves
National League Champions
Philadelphia Phillies MVP: Jayson Werth
The Phillies take the East again, even with improved Braves and Nationals squads. They will win back-to-back-to-back pennants and Jayson Werth will take home the hardware in the NLCS. A rematch of the 2009 World Series will be one for the ages.
Phat Albert, Matt Holliday, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright. Need I say more? The Brewers and Reds both have strong campaigns and Joey Votto will finish third in MVP voting. The Pirates will climb out of the cellar and the Astros will fall in.
Joe Torre’s boys have too much talent not to win the division and Kershaw or Billingsley will have their break out season and carry the rotation. I still think they should have brought Garland back and the loss of Wolf won’t go unnoticed. If the Giants had an offense we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.
Bobby Cox’s swan song is accompanied by a Wild Card birth. Cox’s ability to manage a bullpen means that their rotation is solid, even with the subtraction of Vasquez. Heyward and Melky spark the offensive all the way to October.
World Series Champions
New York Yankees MVP: Robinson Cano
The Yankees will win world championship number 28 following an epic seven game series versus the Phillies. Robinson Cano will bat over .400 with 5 bombs to capture the 2010 World Series MVP.
American League Accolades
MVP: Alex Rodriguez
CY Young: Justin Verlander
Manager of the Year: Don Wakamatsu
Rolaids Relief Man: Mariano Rivera
Comeback Player: Grady Sizemore
ROY: Austin Jackson
National League Accolades
MVP: Albert Pujols
CY YOUNG: Roy Halladay
Manger of the Year: Bobby Cox
Rolaids Relief Man: Brain Wilson
Comeback Player: Tim Hudson
ROY: Ian Desmond
Jay Ferraro is the Executive Producer of Baseball Digest LIVE and Gotham Baseball LIVE. He is also the Fantasy Editor for Baseballdigest.com as well as a columnist for Baseball Digest Magazine and Gothambaseball.com. You can reach him at Jay_Ferraro@Juno.com , follow him on Twitter and add him on Facebook.