Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Revisiting preseason picks at the halfway mark

Gumbercules NL predictions have turned out to be pretty accurate so far. Let’s see how he did in the American League.

AL East
gumbercules’ predictions:
1. I think it will come down to New York, Louisville, and Huntington, as Baltimore has too many question marks on the pitching staff. Huntington's defense might end up costing them some games, which I don't think they can afford to do. I'm not sure New York can keep up what they have been doing, so it looks like Louisville by process of elimination. By no means do I see a clear-cut favorite here.
2. The 2nd and 3rd place teams finish within 10 games of 1st. Not sure if that gets them a wild card.
3. If he stays in Huntington all year Bob Koplove will hit at least 60 home runs.

Well it’s definitely down to New York, Louisville and Huntington as Baltimore is playing for the number one pick in the amateur draft next year. New York leads Louisville by two games with Huntington just five back, so as of now prediction number two is right on as well. And with Bob Koplove’s 36 homeruns at the All-Star break it looks like gumber nailed it.

AL North
gumbercules’ predictions:

1. Hmmmm, best lineup and best pitching in the division? I think I'm going to have to go out on a limb and take Milwaukee to win the division here.
2. Cleveland could be an interesting team: if all goes well for them I think you'd have to at least throw them in the discussion for making the playoffs. They are going to need that top of the lineup in Guerrero and Strange to produce and could use another arm or two, particularly in the pen.
3. I think Ottawa finishes ahead of Pawtucket because of pitching.
4. Pete Rubel becomes our league's Barry Zito- decent pitcher who is way overpaid.

It’s starting to look like gumber is the Miss Cleo of the AL. Milwaukee has a strangle hold on the division with a 9 game lead over Cleveland. The Skidmarks are in the playoff conversation at the moment with a 50-41 record while the Naughty Kitties are ahead of Pawtucket to round out the division. Pete Rubel’s massive contract was actually traded from Pawtucket to Cleveland, if you can imagine that. Don’t know if even Miss Cleo could have seen that coming.

AL South
gumbercules’ predictions:
1. Monterrey takes the division. Way too much talent.
2. Nashville stays in the wild card race, although I'd feel much more comfortable about penciling them in as a playoff team if they had another arm or two.
3. Durham beats out Texas for 3rd.
4. Miguel Gonzalez ends the season in Nashville's starting rotation.

Monterrey leads this race by four games over Nashville though it doesn’t sound like gumber expected them to be as close to Monterrey as they are at the moment. Durham is currently the third place team but Texas isn’t far behind them in the battle for the basement. Miguel Gonzalez has not made the starting rotation for Nashville but he hasn’t exactly been lighting it up to earn that opportunity.

AL West
gumbercules’ predictions:

1. Las Vegas is the odds-on (get it?) favorite to win this division.
2. Vancouver, Anaheim and Colorado will score runs and give up more. The Sleepers barely beat out the Fighting Moose for 2nd place, but nowhere near wild card contention.
3. Drabek will be sought after by several teams near the deadline.

We may be able to crown Vegas the AL West champions right now with the team’s 55-36 record and no other team at .500 in the division. Prediction number two is dead on to the point that if I elaborate I would basically be repeating the prediction. Ajax Drabek has enjoyed an excellent season and finds himself still in a Sleeper uni for the time being.

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