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NIHD 2009 MLB Season Predictions

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With the 2009 MLB season four days old, it’s time for some predictions… NotinHD.com style.

Playoff teams? World Series picks? MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Rolaids Relief awards?

Yeah, we’ve got those too.

PLAYOFF TEAMS:

Ben:          AL: West- Angels                              NL: West- Dodgers

                             Central- Tigers                                 Central- Cubs

                             East- Rays                                             East- Mets

                             Wild Card- Red Sox                         Wild Card- Phillies

Britton:     AL: West- A’s                                            NL: West- Dodgers

                             Central- Indians                                      Central- Cubs

                             East- Yankees                                           East- Mets

                             Wild Card- Rays                                       Wild Card- Phillies

Dan:       AL: West- Angels                                 NL: West- Dodgers

                          Central- Indians                                   Central- Cubs

                          East- Red Sox                                          East- Mets

                         Wild Card- Rays                                     Wild Card- Phillies

All three of us see the divisions and wild cards unfolding about the same. We all have the Dodgers, Mets, Phillies, Cubs and Rays in. The main difference is one of us made their AL Central pick about a month ago, long before Gary Sheffield was shown the door. Nonetheless, my Tigers pick stands. Manager, Jim Leyland, has shown the willingness to make this season a no-holds-barred type of brawl. Anything goes. Detroit will do anything to win. I think they will. Dan and Britton disagree.

Britton takes the A’s and Yankees, and while with a healthy dose of the right stuff (let’s leave Jose Canseco out of this) from their young but talented arms, Oakland should certainly be in the mix in the West, and if you read my AL East preview you are already well aware of the reasons I can’t jump on-board with this pick.

 

WORLD SERIES WINNER:

Ben:           Rays over Mets

Britton:      Dodgers over Yankees

Dan:          Red Sox over Cubs

The AL East is well accounted for in our World Series, with their representative winning it all in Dan’s eyes, as well as mine. Britton chooses to go true-blue with LA knocking out the Yanks.

Here’s an interesting thought: What would be worse for Cubs fans; making it to the World Series and losing to the last team to “break a curse” or to not make it at all?

MVP:

Ben:          AL- Miguel Cabrera, DET

                     NL- Albert Pujols, STL

Britton:     AL- Evan Longoria, TB

                     NL- Albert Pujols, STL

Dan:         AL- Evan Longoria, TB

                    NL- Manny Ramirez, LAD

Britton and I both justify the Pujols pick by thinking the Cardinals will remain in the playoff chase late enough in the season for him to win it. If they can compete, or even make the playoffs, Pujols may run away with the award.

Britton and Dan agree on Evan Longoria. Hey, I can’t fault them for that. The kid proved to have very few weaknesses at the dish as a rookie in 2008, and could take the leap this year into the next level of production.

Miguel Cabrera was the concencious pick to win the award last year and while his average dipped below expectations, he answered the bell with 37 home runs and 127 RBI. People were actually dissapointed with his year. I think he raises his play, the Tigers make the playoffs and Cabrera wins the MVP.

CY YOUNG:

Ben:          AL: Daisuke Matsuzaka, BOS

                     NL: Tim Lincecum, SF

Britton:     AL: C.C. Sabathia, NYY

                     NL: Brandon Webb, ARI

Dan:         AL: C.C. Sabathia, NYY

                    NL: Tim Lincecum, SF

Tim Lincecum has been a popular choice among writers and Dan and I are falling right in line with it. Britton is not. Webb isn’t a bad pick at all, though having a starter as good as Dan Haren on his own team may hurt his chances a bit.

Britton and Dan agree upon C.C. Sabathia and who could blame them? The Yanks gave him $161-million this spring and he is consistently one of the first three pitchers off the board (Lincecum and Johan Santana are the others) in fantasy baseball drafts.

My pick would merit a bit more head scratching if Dice-K didn’t spend much of March ringing up WBC hitters. In addition to his success this spring, he went 18-3 last year with a 2.90 ERA.

ROLAIDS RELIEF MAN OF THE YEAR:

Ben:         AL: Jonathan Papelbon, BOS

                    NL: Brad Lidge, PHI

Britton:    AL: Joakim Soria, KC

                    NL: Jonathan Broxton, LAD

Dan:        AL: Jonathan Papelbon, BOS

                   NL: Brad Lidge, PHI

Dan and I see these awards shaking out to a tee. Britton goes young with Soria and Broxton. The Soria pick is a great one, perhaps better than our Papelbon pick, but the Broxton one is a bit more risky. He had a rough spring training and has yet to show how he will react to full-time ninth inning duties. Still, he is extremely talented.

None of us went out on a limb with this award.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:

Ben:         AL: Brett Anderson, OAK

                    NL: Jordan Zimmermann, WAS

Britton:    AL: Matt Wieters, BAL

                    NL: Jordan Schafer, ATL

Dan:       AL: Derek Holland, TEX

                  NL: Cameron Maybin, FLA

Rookie of the Year picks are nearly always a shot in the dark, as you never quite know how much a club will play their stud in the making. The key is to make a calculated shot in the dark. Britton, for example easily took the best player to win the AL award, but if Wieters isn’t called up until mid-June his candidacy may be severely stunted.

Schafer isn’t a bad pick at all as the Braves have completely paved his path clear, all but leaving him and only him as their lone starting center field option.

Maybin has talent to burn and would be my second choice if I was granted one. But I’m not, so I took Zimmermann and Anderson. Both have extremely live arms and are in situations where their clubs have nothing to lose (or in Oakland’s case, nothing else to do) by taking off the reigns and cutting them loose.

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