Play Ball!

So I got out of marketing class a little early tonite, as we totally rocked a case study in record time.

Before class I happened to catch the late innings of two baseball games, the Braves vs Phils and Yanks vs Rays. Did I happy to mention that today was opening day?? Thank god…I love college basketball and whatnot, and I start getting the shakes in mid January for baseball season to start up again. Baseball has been the one constant in my life. For instance…its how I learned how to read, as I learned how to read boxscores in the paper to figure out what my favorite players did. And I played it for almost 20 years until my right arm didn’t cooperate anymore. So I am psyched the new season is upon us…and with it my picks. As you all know based on my other sports picks, you should absolutely pick the opposite if you are actually betting (that’s for you Pete Rose).

Today will be the National League, tomorrow the American League.

Predicted Order of Finish for the National League

NL East

1) Mets – ugh i friggin hate the Mets…I am actually picking them in hopes they tank badly…but their lineup is frightening with the murderers row of Reyes, Beltran, Delgado, and Wright. Their real big weakness is a shoddy pitching staff and the fact they continue to give atbats to Shawn Green, who has a fork in his back.

2) Braves – the bullpen is vastly upgraded, Andruw Jones is in a contract year, and Tim Hudson can’t possibly be as bad as the year before. Then again, the starting pitching could be real thin, and they have a converted leftfielder as their second baseman. And no real first baseman. Will they regret trading Adam LaRoche for Mike Gonzalez?

3) Phillies – pretty good squad, and they have the masher of all mashers in Ryan Howard. I remember seeing him play in the minor leagues as he hit a homerun in Durham that never came back into our atmosphere. Their second baseman, Chase Utley is probably the best offensive 2nd baseman in the majors. Again starting pitching is suspect.

4) Marlins – I am big fan of Miguel Cabrera, just a ridiculous hitter at such a young age. I always pull for the Marlins just because no one in Miami gives a rat ass about this team and they are made up of bargain basement players. Plus they have Dontrelle Willis, and you can’t root against him. This is the kind of team I’d have if I was running a major league team.

5) Nationals – I couldn’t even tell you who is in their starting lineup, and that pretty much says it all. Ryan Zimmerman is the only one worth watching, and I feel bad for him already. This team easily loses 100 games.

NL Central

1) Houston – good squad, and probably better than the Cardinals if Roger Clemens is coming back. Probably overpaid for Carlos Lee, but they needed a right-handed power in there with Lance Berkman who is a hitting machine. Roy Oswalt is the best pitcher in the national league.

2) Cardinals – they got this guy Albert Pujols, who is the turning into the greatest right-hand hitter of all time. Just on Pujols alone they will contend, but their everyday lineup is not very good. They do have 2 stud starting pitchers with Chris Carpenter and re-converted closer to starter Adam Wainwright. I still can’t believe the Braves traded Wainwright for friggin JD Drew.

3) Reds – I am hoping Josh Hamilton overcomes the demons from the past 7 years and becomes a star, then signs a huge movie deal. Also, it would be nice for Ken Griffey to play a whole season. Honestly, they aren’t any better or worse than Houston, Chicago, or Milwaukee

4) Brewers – really exciting young team, with the likes of Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder. I can’t recall ever saying Brewers and exciting in the same sentence before. It looks like they are finally building a team from within that can compete, like the Oakland model.

5) Cubs – just cuz you spend a lot of cash it doesn’t make you a contender. Carlos Zambrano is crazy, but really good. Spent Monopoly money on Alfonso Soriano, who isn’t worth it if he’s playing outfield. Will Kerry Wood and Mark Prior ever come back? Derek Lee and Aramis Ramirez are great players, but there is a ton of scrubs in their everyday lineup. And no one gets on base. Did no one read Moneyball?

6) Pirates – actually not a bad squad in a deep division. Jason Bay would be a household name if he wasn’t playing in Pittsburgh. Getting Adam LaRoche helps protect Bay. They have some young players with talent but probably a year or 2 away from doing anything. which means they’ll probably win the world series.

NL West

1) Diamondbacks – If their young hitters play to their potential, they are a really strong team. Deep pitching staff with Brandon Webb and the return of the Big Unit (though he is like 70 years old now and on the DL).  Wouldn’t want to play them in a short playoff series.

2) Dodgers – got a few decent hitters with Nomar, Betemit (why the hell did the Braves trade him?), and Kent. But no one on this club hit even 20 homeruns last year. Good pitching staff with Jason Schmidt, Randy Wolf, and Derek Lowe. The pitching alone will keep them in the hunt.

3) Rockies – Loads of talented young hitters like Matt Holliday, Garrett Atkins, and Brad Hawpe. And potentially a return to form by Todd Helton, which would definitely help the cause. Bunch of unknowns in the pitching department and they play at a funhouse known as Coors field. If anything they’ll be fun to watch.

4) Padres – Unless rookie Kevin Kouzmanoff is Albert Pujols I doubt the Padres are making a run. I just don’t see that much offense there. They do have ok starting pitching, but Jake Peavy has never gotten to where his potential is.

5) Giants – man, I hope Barry Bonds gets injured early on. Hank Aaron probably has snipers or something planned. With that sideshow going on and the fact that everyone in their starting lineup is the same age as Keith Richards, I dont like their chances. And while Barry Zito is ok, he won’t be worth the insane contract.

In the playoffs…

Mets, Braves, Astros, D’Backs


2 thoughts on “Play Ball!

  1. I think the Padres will finish above the DBacks, but the Dodgers (Pedro Guererro) and Giants have too much for them.

    I have to painfully agree with you on the Mets in the east as well. But, you never know.

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