Sunday, April 02, 2006

Man I could really use Gray's Sports Almanac

Ok, a few disclaimers as a I pray that the 3 hour rain delay in Chicago isn't going to be greeting us tomorrow at Shea:

1. I considered the possibility that my predictions might be impossible when taken together - that the total records of all my predictions wouldn't equal a .500 record across baseball. I opted not to worry about this, because I'm already on the precipice of insanity and don't want to do anything that will push me over prematurely.

2. The A's, as Ander pointed out, can't go 92-71 unless the Red Sox are going 91-72. I actually originally predicted the A's to go 91-71, then realized this would in fact tie them with the Sox. Not believing this will happen, I decided one of them is going to win it outright, and gave the A's an extra win, but forgot to take away a loss.

3. I'm not comfortable writing the Red Sox out of the postseason. As I said, it kind of just happened after I predicted each team's win total. But I'll be bold and stick with it.

NL Central:

Astros 89-73
Cardinals 88-74
Cubs - 82-80
Brewers 78-84
Pirates 74-88
Reds - 67-95

I have the defending division champs taking a 12 game hit in the standings. I feel like their lineup isn't so scary anymore. I think Rolen will bounce back, and Pujols is Pujols. But Edmonds is getting older, and I'm not especially fond of the rest of their starters. As for the pitching, I like Carpenter-Mulder as a 1-2. But the law of averages (and I'm a lawyer, so I know) says that Carpenter won't be as good again. Plus, Sidney Ponson is on the team. That's never good.

So my NL Central Champs are the defending league champs, coming in with the same record as last year. I can't say I feel great about this pick. Gotta love Oswalt and Pettitte, but they're both fragile. Don't love the back end of the rotation. And I feel like Phil Garner is supposed to revert back to being a bad manager at any point now. But I do like the lineup, and I can see Preston Wilson having a big year there. And they'll play enough garbage teams in the division to get their wins. This is a team I could see making a noteworthy trade on July 31st.

The Cubs. Hmmm. I don't really like them that much. I've written off Mark Prior until he can stay healthy for a full year. Greg Maddux? He's starting to pitch more like MIKE Maddux!! WOW, I am witty. Yeah, I really can't believe people still get their shits and giggles by making jokes like that. We get it. Greg Maddux is a hall of famer. Mike Maddux was a journeyman pitcher of little note. They are brothers, therefore making this contrast humorous. You should go into comedy.

Ah hell, now I'm off track. Oh yeah, the 2006 Cubs. I just see them as average again.

The Brewers are a sort of popular pick to surprise people in light of their 81 win campaign last year. And if you're into the pythagorian W-L record, they actually "should" have won 84 last year, so it wasn't an unrealistic win total based on their team. And you have to like the Brewers future. Even their present isn't that bad considering their recent history. But I just think 2006 will be more of a learning curve year for their young infielders, resulting in a small step back this year.

The Pirates are starting too many young pitchers to be good this year. I know the A's did it last year. A better man than I would give a reasoned explanation detailing the differences between last year's A's and this year's Pirates. I'll hang my hat on, "just trust me, ok?"

The Reds stink. And that isn't just sour grapes over them not assuring Ryan Freel a starting job. I mean, it is sour grapes I guess. But coincidentally, they also stink.

Ok, we'll conclude with the NL East and awards tomorrow.

Wait, I'm not a robot, I can't leave without shouting:



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