With the 2012 season officially underway, it’s time to predict how things will end up around Major League Baseball this year. Here are my and Mike’s picks and predictions: Continue reading
The American League’s 2011 season culminated in quite possibly the best
finish of all time – two walk off wins coming within three minutes of one another determined the winner of the Wild Card, the Tampa Bay Rays. The division winners were the Texas Rangers, the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers. In the ALCS, Texas bested Detroit in six games before losing to the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Detroit’s Justin Verlander took both the American League Cy Young and MVP awards — the first time since 1986 that a starter won both honors in the same season.
Will any team challenge the three reigning division champs? Who will take the two wild card spots? Find out after the jump: Continue reading
The wild wild west ended with a surprise victor last season: the Arizona
Diamondbacks. The defending World Champions, the San Francisco Giants, had their hopes of a repeat hindered when their rising star catcher, Buster Posey, went down with an ankle injury on May 25. The Dodgers had their ups and downs both on and off the field; Clayton Kershaw won the Cy Young and the pitching Triple Crown and outfielder Matt Kemp finished just one homer short of what would have been the fifth 40-homer, 40-stolen base season in baseball’s history. Off the field however, the team’s owners, the McCourts, continued their divorce proceedings and dispute over ownership of the team. The Rockies’ pitching struggled and they just couldn’t catch fire late in the season, as they’ve become notorious for doing in the past few years. The Padres, well, their fans may have been better off trying out for the team themselves — okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but 20 games below .500 is never good. For a team that lost the division on the last day of the season in 2010, the Padres let fans down by fading early on in the ’11 campaign.
Will the Dback’s youth be enough to stop a healthy, revamped Giants team? Is there a sleeper out West? Let’s find out: Continue reading
After this season, the National League and baseball as a whole will never be
the same. After this season, the NL Central will revert to a five-team division and the Houston Astros will move to the AL West, giving each division five teams and making the traditional one month of Interleague Play a thing of the past. But first, the 2012 season must play out. Here’s how things will go down in the National League Central: Continue reading
A lot can be said about the Braves’ historic collapse at the end of last year.
The blame could be placed on anyone and everyone, from the team that narrowly snatched the National League Wild Card from them, the St. Louis Cardinals — who eventually went on to win the World Series — to the Braves’ closer, NL Rookie-of-the-Year Craig Kimbrel. No matter what you say or who you choose to blame, one question stands out for Atlanta this season: How do you come back from the largest collapse in the history of baseball?
On August 25 last season, the Braves led the Cardinals by 10 1/2 games in the NL Wild Card Race — although at that point, it was more like a speed walk for Atlanta, who had all but wrapped up a postseason berth. Then, almost as if the entire team forgot to wear their slump-busting undies at the same time, they lost 18 of their 27 games in September and missed the playoffs, with their absolute breakdown culminating in a three-game sweep at the hands of your Philadelphia Phillies that knocked the Braves out of contention on the last day of the season.
Now, the redemption project begins. Continue reading