Jeff Pearlman

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2011 MLB Predictions …

Here I go again (no Brad Penny comments, dammit) …

AL EAST

1. Red Sox—It’d be illogical to pick anyone else.

2. Rays—I hate the Yanks’ rotation. I love the Rays’ rotation.

3. Yankees—87-90 wins, but a rough year.

4. Orioles—The rotation is thin, but I love Buck as long as he’s managing a young team willing to listen.

5. Blue Jays—Some nice young arms, but a ton of holes.

AL CENTRAL

1. White Sox—I’ve always been a big Adam Dunn guy. In this lineup, he’ll lead the AL in home runs.

2. Twins—Good, not spectacular. Some very thin spots.

3. Tigers—Victor Martinez is to baseball in the 2010s was Tony Campbell was to the NBA in the early 90s.

4. Royals—Let the youngin’s play.

5. Indians—Just nothing here.

AL WEST

1. Angels—I think Vernon Wells is about to have an insane season.

2. Rangers—I hate Michael Young as a DH and I hate Adrien Beltre not playing for something.

3. Athletics—You know it’s bad when Hideki Matsui, age 654, needs to bolster the lineup.

4. Mariners—Ichiro loses 90—again.

NL EAST

1. Phillies—This one seems quite obvious.

2. Washington—Stop laughing. I like their moves, and I think Jason Marquis has a banner year.

3. Braves—Tim Hudson is your NL Cy Young Award winner … Phils be damned.

4. Marlins—Well, they’re young.

5. Mets—This will be very, very, very ugly.

NL CENTRAL

1. Reds—Love everything about this team, starting with Dusty.

2. Brewers—If the back of the rotation holds up …

3. Cardinals—Very thin rotation.

4. Cubs—Two words: Carlos. Pena.

5. Astros—Brett Myers—Here today, gone by June.

6. Pirates—Not even worth mentioning.

NL WEST

1. Rockies—I like everything about his club. My World Series sleeper.

2. Giants—Doomed for a drop.

3. Padres—Tough to compensate for the losses.

4. Dodgers—If only Don Mattingly can suit up …

5. Arizona—So how’d the whole youth movement work out?

Playoffs:

AL:

Red Sox over Rangers

Angels over White Sox.

Red Sox over Angels

NL:

Rockies over Phillies

Reds over Giants

Reds over Rockies

World Series: Red Sox over Reds

AL MVP: Vernon Wells, Angels

AL CY YOUNG: Justin Verlander, Tigers

NL MVP: Albert Pujols, Cardinals

NL Cy YOUNG: Tim Hudson, Braves

  • blmeanie

    I’m ok with most of your picks, I think one you are missing is the Braves. I think they will be very good and challenge the Phillies. Boring old Bobby Cox is gone and with lots of young talent they will be good.

  • Classicist

    I’d swap Braves and Nats and I’d give the Braves the wild card over SF. Not sure the Rays finish ahead of the Yankees, either. You’re talking about a Yankees team that, while old, didn’t really lose any crucial pieces after an ALCS season.

  • Paulo

    How did you fare last year?

  • StringerBell

    No Andrew Miller Cy Young pick this year Jeff? I don’t know what’s more pathetic. You making that pick or me actually remembering it.

    • Jeff Pearlman

      I’d argue me making it. :)

  • Jim K.

    I love Dusty too, especially when he leaves his pitchers in until their arms fall off. But then, I’m a Cardinals fan.

  • #1 J.R. Richard Fan

    You forgot Comeback Player of the Year……J.R. Richard….that’s right!!!! The Astros will bring him back right before the All Star break….at age 60…and he will help them win their division and he will shatter his previous franchise record of 313 strikeouts. You heard it here first!!!!

  • jim k in cincy

    Jim k, might want to check your managers track record in regards to arm injuries. It’s taken a beating too

  • Sportswriting Refugee

    What do you love about Dusty Baker? He ruined Mark Prior’s career. And he thinks that it hurts teams to have a lot of players on base. He’s said it.

  • http://www.bradmarley.com Brad

    If Verlander can learn to keep his pitch count down, this could be the year he finally wins 20 games.

    His starts are must-watch TV at my house.

  • Jim K.

    jim k in cincy,

    You are correct. Many injuries during TLR’s tenure, although I don’t think he overworks pitchers like Dusty does. In Dusty’s defense, he has won a division or pennant with three teams now.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life