Posted on March 25, 2011 at 11:39 PM
Filed Under: United Cardinal Bloggers
OK, we've taken a look at all the different divisions. Now let's take a guess at how October will pan out.
ALDS: Boston vs. Texas. With the wild card likely coming out of the AL East, Boston as the presumptive best AL team will face the weaker of the other two divisional champs. I think Texas can take a step back and still win the division, so let's guess it's them. Without Cliff Lee, I don't think Texas has enough to overcome the Boston juggernaut. Boston in 3.
ALDS: Minnesota vs. Tampa Bay. With the Twins not having to take on the Yankees for once, they have a much stronger chance of getting past the first round. This could be a struggle, though, as the two teams seem pretty even. Minnesota in 5.
ALCS: Boston vs. Minnesota. Again, Boston just looks to have too much for the rest of the division. Boston in 5.
NLDS: Philadelphia vs. Colorado. I like Colorado's chances to take the wild card, but not to go much farther. When the Phillies might not even have to through Cole Hamels in the series, you know they've got some aces. Philadelphia in 3.
NLDS: San Francisco vs. St. Louis. A good postseason rematch, harking back to 1987 and 2002. If the Cards had Adam Wainwright, I'd give them the edge, but they won't, so Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain would probably be enough to get them past the Birds. San Francisco in 4.
NLCS: Philadelphia vs. San Francisco. A rematch of last year, but the addition of Cliff Lee tilts the scales the other way. Philadelphia in 6.
WS: Philadelphia vs. Boston. It's what everyone has penciled in, a safe money pick, but there's a reason. Both teams look pretty great on paper, though we'll have to see how that translates to actual results. Philadelphia has better pitching, Boston has a better offense. Some close games and the bullpens might make a difference. Boston in 7.
Now, let's take wild random stabs at some of the awards.
Manager of the Year: Terry Francona (AL), Jim Tracy (NL). Francona is going to have the best team, but there won't be any other obvious candidates. Tracy will have the Rockies in a tight race with San Francisco all year and get some credit for that.
Rookie of the Year: Desmond Jennings (AL), Brandon Belt (NL). Neither of these guys will be opening day starters, but will have a Buster Posey-like impact on the races during the summer and garner lots of attention.
Cy Young Award: Francisco Liriano (AL), Cliff Lee (NL). Liriano will be back to his pre-surgery form on a winning team. Lee will continue his run of good pitching in a place where he's comfortable.
Most Valuable Player: Adrian Gonzalez (AL), Albert Pujols (NL). I think Gonzalez's move to Fenway might be a bit overrated, but even if he's close to the projections, the offseason attention will help boost him past others. As for Albert, well, he's the best player in the game and is healthy for the first time in a few years. Plus if the Cardinals do wind up winning the division, he's going to get a lot of credit for it.
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