The 2011 MLB season is officially upon us and it is time to make the Official MikesPickz MLB Predictions for each division during the regular season and the entire postseason. Without further ado:
- New York Yankees – I wanted to go with the Red Sox after all of their off-season additions, but when you breakdown the rosters – the Yankees have the more complete team. They have arguably the best infield in the American League and they have a top five bullpen in the entire MLB. The weak spot is the starting pitching, but I don’t expect the same AJ Burnett that appeared last season (it was the worst year of his lengthy career and not the norm).
- Boston Red Sox – Clearly the Yankees and Red Sox will be 1-2 this season (and it truly could go either way).
- Tampa Bay Rays – The Rays over hauled their roster in the off-season and it will show this season. I don’t expect them to come near the Yankees or Red Sox.
- Toronto Blue Jays – Jose Bautista will not come near last year’s performance.
- Baltimore Orioles – I like what the Orioles are doing and I can see this being their last year in the AL East basement. It actually wouldn’t even surprise me if the Orioles finish ahead of the Blue Jays this season.
- Chicago White Sox – The White Sox have a solid rotation top to bottom and they will be able to score runs with anyone.
- Minnesota Twins – I think Carl Pavano will regress slightly this season.
- Detroit Tigers – They have some nice young pieces.
- Cleveland Indians – Keep your eye on Carlos Santana
- Kansas City Royals – Is this the year Alex Gordon lives up to his potential? I don’t think so.
- Texas Rangers – Without Cliff Lee and Vlad, the Rangers have a different look, but they still have what it takes to compete for the World Series.
- Oakland As – Young pitching staff with tons of upside
- Los Angeles Angels – The AL West will be a close three team race that will be decided down the final stretch.
- Seattle Mariners – I actually feel bad for Felix Hernandez.
- Philadelphia Phillies – If they don’t win the division, it will be a huge failure.
- Atlanta Braves – Love the addition of Uggla.
- Florida Marlins – The Marlins will need to hope the young hitters can get it done this season. Watch out for Javier Vazquez, two years ago he contended for the NL Cy Young with the Braves.
- Washington Nationals – The Nationals are making progress, but they still need some time to develop.
- New York Mets – The staff isn’t good and they didn’t make any meaningful roster changes in the off-season. I do have hope that the new front office will be able to begin the rebuilding process.
- Cincinnati Reds – It won’t surprise me if Aroldis Chapman closes for the Reds by the end of the season.
- Milwaukee Brewers – Adding Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum are key.
- St. Louis Cardinals – The loss of Adam Wainwright hurts more than most people think
- Chicago Cubs – I like the addition of Matt Garza, but Carlos Pena doesn’t really satisfy me.
- Pittsburgh Pirates – The Pirates will be fun to watch with all of their youth.
- Houston Astros – I can only see the Astros battling to stay out of the basement this season.
- San Francisco Giants – Great pitching staff.
- Colorado Rockies – Ubaldo Jimenez will be more like he was in the second half of last year, but if Tulowitzki stays healthy, they will challenge the Giants
- Los Angeles Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw could possibly win the Cy Young this season.
- San Diego Padres – Last season was more of a fluke than the norm.
- Arizona Diamondbacks – They haven’t done much to improve from last season.
- Yankees over White Sox
- Red Sox over Rangers
- Yankees over Red Sox – The division winner wins this match-up due to home field advantage. It could go either way
- Phillies over Rockies
- Reds over Giants
- Phillies over Reds – This will be a much better series than last year’s.
- Phillies over Yankees – It’s hard to compete with the Phillies’ rotation in a playoff setting. Cliff Lee seems to be the Yankees’ kryptonite.
I would love to have your thoughts in the comments below.
[Photo Credit: FullCountPitch.com]