Nacho Grande: 2011 MLB Predictions

It's that time of year again - you know, prediction season.  Fresh of my total waste of paper that was my March Madness bracket (where about the only thing I had right was Richmond's wins), it's time for my 2011 MLB predictions.

Oh, and before you get too worried about what I think, here's my drivel from 2009 and 2010.  And yes, there's no better (PG rated word at least) than drivel to describe most of my picks...heck, I picked the Mariners (yep, those Mariners) to win the World Series last year.  Go me.

Anyhow, I can't do much worse this year, right?  Let's get on with it then.

American League:
AL East:
1.  Red Sox
2.  Yankees
3.  Rays
4.  Orioles
5.  Blue Jays
No real surprise at the top of the division, I think most people are probably picking either Boston or New York to win the AL East.  I think the Rays will be alright, but I don't expect them to compete given the personnel that they lost during the off season (and no, Manny won't make up for it).  I think the Orioles are due to finish some place other than last, which means Toronto sinks to the bottom of the division.  I'm actually not sold at all on Toronto - last year I picked the Blue Jays to finish too though, so take heart Canadian baseball fans.

AL Central:
1.  Twins
2.  White Sox
3.  Tigers
4.  Royals
5.  Indians
The Royals remind me a lot of the Reds two years ago - probably not a great season, but due to have one in which the young kids all get quite a bit of time after the All-Star break.  As such, I expect the Royals to be ranked much higher this time next year, maybe even making the playoffs for the first time in a long, long time!  As for the rest of the division, I think the Twins still have the best team on paper. The White Sox and Tigers could be flip-flopped if you prefer, though I like Chicago slightly better at the moment.  The Indians don't appear to have much, but then again, maybe they have young talent that simply isn't make much noise on the National stage...

AL West:
1.  Athletics
2.  Rangers
3.  Angels
4.  Mariners
Remember I said the Mariners would win the division (and the World Series) last year, so clearly I don't know anything about the AL West.  I did take the Rangers to win in 2009 though, so maybe I'm simply off by a year.  For 2011, I find it tough to believe the Rangers will repeat, and there's always a team that is off the collective radar of pundits at the beginning of the year that makes a lot of noise during the season (think the Padres last year).  For me, I'm pegging the A's as that team for 2011.  Oh sure, I know they don't have much offense - in fact, they'll be lucky to score more than three runs a game...but they have a lot of intriguing young pitching - and a line-up that appears to be more balanced than the rest of the division (even if that balance means its a line-up full of consistently mediocre talent).

National League:
NL East:
1.  Braves
2.  Phillies
3.  Nationals
4.  Marlins
5.  Mets
I think too many people have handed the Phillies a playoff berth already.  In fact, with all the praise the Phillies have been getting, I wouldn't be surprised if some of them have already been fitted for their 2011 World Series rings.  That said, I think the Braves will sneak past the Phillies - most likely due to a "one more time" Chipper Jones surge and a couple of bad breaks for the Phillies (and I wrote this before I heard about the severity of Utley's injury).

NL Central:
1.  Cardinals
2.  Reds
3.  Brewers
4.  Cubs
5.  Pirates
6.  Astros
I'd love to put my Reds in first this year, but honestly, with all the hits their rotation has taken over the last couple of weeks, I really can't.  St. Louis simply has more star power.  The Reds COULD run away with the division though if Votto hits like he did last year, Rolen stays healthy and productive, Bruce develops into a star finally, and the young pitchers all pitch like the highly touted stars they once were.  That's a few too many "ifs" though for me to put the Reds in first.  And hey Pirate fans, I've got you finishing fifth, you're welcome.

NL West:
1.  Dodgers
2.  Giants
3.  Rockies
4.  Padres
5.  Diamondbacks
Yep, another surprise pick here.  I think the Giants are ripe for a playoff hangover much like happens in football...and I think the Dodgers have enough good players that for once things will simply "click" for that team.  In many ways, the Dodgers have sort of become the Cubs of the NL West.  That is, they seem to have a lot of talent on the roster but it never seems to come together in the right way.  I'm predicting this year that the Dodgers' talent does mesh correctly, but the Cubs doesn't (at least, as a Reds fan that's how I hope it happens).  I also think the Rockies will make this a three team race this year - and I don't expect anyone in the division to have more than 85 wins.

Playoff Predictions:
It's never too early, right?

American League:
Round 1:
Yankees over Twins
Red Sox over Athletics
Round 2:
Red Sox over Yankees

National League:
Round 1:
Braves over Dodgers
Phillies over Cardinals
Round 2:
Braves over Phillies

World Series:
Red Sox over Braves

So, there you go - your 2011 MLB World Series winner will be the Red Sox.  Just like it was the Mariners in 2010 and the Reds in 2009 (or consider the Red Sox jinxed, your choice really).


  1. I'm liking your Red Legs to win their division

    but then again, I'm hoping for a Nationals / Orioles World Series :)


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