Saturday, April 4, 2009

2009 MLB Preview Pt. 3

Well, this has been fun. I have done my AL Preview and my NL Preview and now it is time to add up all the loose ends. Who is going to win the World Series? Who will be the MVP? Who will simply be the best team in baseball in 2009? 

The answers to all these questions and more in the thrilling conclusion of to Bojay's Baseball Blog's 2009 MLB Preview!

PLAYOFF BRACKET

AL Division Series 1
Boston Red Sox: 3 games - Cleveland Indians: 2 games

AL Division Series 2
Oakland Athletics: 3 games - Tampa Bay Rays: 2 games

AL Championship Series
Boston Red Sox: 4 games - Oakland Athletics: 2 games

NL Division Series 1
Philadelphia Phillies: 2 games - St. Louis Cardinals: 3 games

NL Division Series 2
Los Angeles Dodgers: 3 games - Chicago Cubs: 0 games

NL Championship Series
St. Louis Cardinals: 3 games - Los Angeles Dodgers: 4 games

World Series
Boston Red Sox: 2 games - Los Angeles Dodgers: 4 games

REGULAR SEASON RANKINGS

30. Pittsburgh Pirates - 50-55 Wins
29. San Diego Padres 50-55 Wins
28. Washington Nationals - 50-55 Wins
27. Seattle Mariners - 55-60 Wins
26. Houston Astros - 55-60 Wins
25. Chicago White Sox - 60-65 Wins
24. Arizona Diamondbacks - 60-65 Wins
23. Toronto Blue Jays - 60-65 Wins
22. Colorado Rockies - 70-75 Wins
21. Detroit Tigers - 70-75 Wins
20. Cincinatti Reds - 70-75 Wins
19. Baltimore Orioles - 70-75 Wins
18. Florida Marlins - 70-75 Wins
17. Milwaukee Brewers - 75-80 Wins
16. Texas Rangers - 75-80 Wins
15. New York Mets - 80 - 85 Wins
14. Kansas City Royals - 80-85 Wins
13. Atlanta Braves - 80-85 Wins
12. San Francisco Giants - 80-85 Wins
11. St. Louis Cardinals - 85-90 Wins
10. Minnesota Twins - 85-90 Wins
9. Los Angeles Angels - 85-90 Wins
8. Chicago Cubs - 90-95 Wins
7. Cleveland Indians - 90-95 Wins
6. Oakland Athletics - 90-95 Wins
5. New York Yankees - 90-95 Wins
4. Los Angeles Dodgers - 95-100 Wins
3. Philadelphia Phillies - 95-100 Wins
2. Tampa Bay Rays - 100-105 Wins
1. Boston Red Sox -100 - 105 Wins

All Star Line-ups
AL
Line-up
1. Ichiro Suzuki RF - Seattle
2. Dustin Pedroia 2B - Boston
3. Mark Teixeira 1B - New York 
4. Josh Hamilton CF - Texas
5. Carlos Quentin LF - Chicago
6. Evan Longoria 3B - Tampa Bay
7. Victor Martinez C - Cleveland
8. Derek Jeter SS - New York
Rotation
1. James Shields - Tampa Bay
2. Jon Lester - Boston
3. Ervin Santana - Los Angeles
4. Cliff Lee - Cleveland
5. CC Sabathia - New York
Bullpen
1. Jonathan Papelbon - Boston
2.Brian Fuentes - Los Angeles
C. Joakim Soria - Kansas City
Bench
1. Grady Sizemore CF - Cleveland
2. Kevin Youkilis 1B - Boston
3. Matt Holliday LF - Oakland
4. Jose Lopez 2B - Seattle
NL
Line-up
1. Jimmy Rollins SS - Philadelphia
2. Chase Utley 2B - Philadelphia
3. Manny Ramirez LF - Los Angeles
4. Albert Pujols 1B - St. Louis
5. Carlos Beltran CF - New York
6. David Wright 3B - New York
7. Ryan Braun RF - Milwaukee
8. Geovany Soto C - Chicago
Rotation
1. Adam Wainwright - St. Louis
2. Cole Hamels - Philadelphia
3. Chad Billingsley - Los Angeles
4. Johan Santana - New York
5. Tim Lincecum - San Francisco
Bullpen
1. Brad Lidge
2. Carlos Marmol
C. Francisco Rodriguez
Bench
1. Hanley Ramirez SS - Florida
2. Russell Martin C - Los Angeles
3. Chipper Jones 3B - Atlanta
4. Andre Ethier RF - Los Angeles



Rookies of the Year
AL: Koji Uehara SP - Baltimore
NL: James McDonald SP - Los Angeles

Managers of the Year
AL: Bob Geren - Oakland
NL: Tony La Russa - St. Louis
Cy Youngs
AL: Jon Lester SP - Boston
NL: Chad Billingsley SP - Los Angeles

MVPs
AL: Evan Longoria 3B - Tampa Bay
NL: Albert Pujols 1B - St. Louis

So what are my final thoughts on the 2009 MLB Season?

I think the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I am not talking about dollar amounts, I am talking about WINS. Last year, baseball's middle class seemed to be pretty strong. The Indians finished at .500 and were above the median in terms of wins. To me this means there was a lot of parity last year and there were a lot of teams who had a chance at the Postseason. There were only about two teams who seemed to have punched their postseason ticket from the All-Star Break and on (the Rays and Angels) and there seemed to be as many as seven or eight teams who had NO shot from Opening Day on.

This year, things will be different. I think the better teams (see the top 8 of my rankings) suck up a lot more wins from the "Middle class"and I think the dregs remain the dregs. So the scenario looks like this: 10-12 teams playing to make the playoffs and win in the playoffs, 8-10 teams clearly playing for next year and 8-10 teams in no-man's-land just playing because they are legally obligated to participate in 162 games as members of Major League Baseball.

Of course, the cloud hanging over the season is no longer PEDs, but the economy. So what effect does that have on baseball? I think it depends on where baseball is being played. For the 10-12 teams in contention, this should not be a problem (provided that they offered appropriate ticket prices), and about half of the teams in the "bottom 8-10" don't spend enough money to be worried anyway (Pittsburgh, San Diego, Florida). The only teams in trouble as far as I'm concerned are the teams who are paying to be bad (Seattle, Detroit) and the teams who are in No-man's-Land. People will spend their disposable income on a competitive team, or on a bad team with hope for the future. But they won't spend their disposable income on a mediocre team that is "fighting" to get to .500.

That's my two cents. And hopefully, you now have everything you need from me for the upcoming 2009 Baseball season. If it isn't enough, here are three of my favorite baseball articles from the past couple of weeks.




While I basically live my life to read and write Previews for upcoming baseball seasons, even I get sick of the anticipation at some point.

Enough talking about it. Let's get playing!

*Update* That was an excellent opening game (more on this Saturday)! I forgot to link to Rosenthal's preview so here t'is.


2 comments:

mark cunningham said...

Big differences from my predictions: I have Arizona and Detroit doing a lot better than you do, while St. Louis and Oakland faring far worse. These should be fun to look back on in October.

At least the Phillies made it interesting in the bottom of the 9th last night.

Pitcher's due between Millwood/Lee early...

A.G.B said...

Ohhh boy. That was not a good Opening Day for either of us. At least the Phils have an excuse: Brett Myers wasn't supposed to be the original Opening Day starter.

Cliff Lee was ...

I can see Arizona surprising people. But as a person who watches the Tigers 19 games a year, I am really hard-pressed to believe that they will finish better than fourth in the division.