Posted on: September 7, 2009 1:25 am

2009 MLB Playoff Predictions

My predictions for the 2009 MLB playoffs:

National League:
1. Los Angeles Dodgers - NL West Champions
2. St. Louis Cardinals - NL Central Champions
3. Philadelphia Phillies - NL East Champions  
4. Colorado Rockies - NL Wild Card Champions

American League:
1. New York Yankees - AL East Champions
2. Los Angeles Angels - AL West Champions
3. Detroit Tigers - AL Central Champions
4. Boston Red Sox - AL Wild Card Champions

National League Division Series:
Phillies over Dodgers in five games
Cardinals over Rockies in four games

National League Championship Series:
Phillies over Cardinals in seven games

American League Division Series:
Yankees over Tigers in four games
Angels over Red Sox in four games

American League Championship Series:
Angels over Yankees in seven games

World Series:
Phillies over Angels in six games

A Few Points:
1. This HAS to be the season that the Angels end their hex against the Red Sox.  Boston has dominated L.A. in the Division Series in each of the past two seasons.  This season, I don't feel like the Red Sox have near enough pitching to shut down the Angels' potent offense.  L.A. will finally put an end to their bad luck and get over to the hump to the ALCS.

2. I like what the Rangers have accomplished this season.  They have the pitching to stay in the race until the end, but I think they will prove to be too inconsistent to reach the playoffs.  The Red Sox have struggled in the second half with shoddy starting pitching, an inconsistent offense, and a lot of aging stars, yet they've still managed to stay in or be close to the Wild Card lead.  I think they have enough to hold off Texas. 

3. I like the Phillies to win it all again because of their starting pitching and their offense.  It is too difficult to shut down Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Jason Werth and co. for an extended period of time, and I think Cliff Lee will be able to recover from a rough last two starts to dominate down the stretch and throughout the playoffs.  However, Philly could just as easily be knocked out early because of a questionable bullpen, particularly Brad Lidge

4. The Giants have the starting pitching to stay in the NL Wild Card race until the very end, but their poor offense will prove to be their downfall.  The Rockies have a dangerous-enough offense and just enough starting pitching to hold off SF.   

Category: MLB
Tags: playoffs
Posted on: November 15, 2008 12:40 am

BCS Conference and Bowl Projections

The following are my predictions for each BCS conference and bowl game.
The numbers in parentheses indicate each team's win-loss record following its respective bowl.
*-denotes that the team has already clinched a berth in its conference title game

ACC Atlantic Regular Season Champion: Miami (FL) (10-4)
ACC Coastal Regular Season Champion: Wake Forest (10-4)
Big East Champion: Pittsburgh (11-2)
Big Ten Champion: Penn State (11-2)
Big 12 North Regular Season Champion: Missouri (10-4)
Big 12 South Regular Season Champion: Oklahoma (12-2)
Pac 10 Champion: USC (12-1)
SEC East Regular Season Champion: Florida (13-1)*
SEC West Regular Season Champion: Alabama (13-1)*
BCS Buster: Utah (12-1; Mountain West Champion)

ACC Championship: Wake Forest over Miami
Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma over Missouri
SEC Championship: Florida over Alabama

National Championship Game: Florida over Oklahoma
Fiesta Bowl: Texas Tech (12-1) over Ohio State (10-3)
Orange Bowl: Pittsburgh over Wake Forest
Rose Bowl: USC over Penn State
Sugar Bowl: Alabama over Utah

How I Came to My Conclusions:
1. Penn State's loss to Iowa last week ends its BCS championship hopes.  However, it still beats Michigan State in its final game to win the Big Ten and get the Rose Bowl bid against USC.
2. Texas Tech will fall to Oklahoma to drop out of the No. 2 spot, but the Red Raiders will earn the Big 12's other BCS bid because they beat the Longhorns and will have only one regular-season loss.  
3. I was reluctant to put the Buckeyes into the BCS again due to the last two seasons, but I don't see the BCS putting in a one-loss Texas team when it will finish third in the Big 12 South and lost to Texas Tech.
4. Utah will break into the BCS ahead of undefeated Boise State and Ball State.  The Utes play in a tough Mountain West Conference that includes 1-loss TCU and 2-loss Air Force and TCU, and they beat Michigan in the Big House to open the season, a very difficult accomplishment.  They also beat a now-ranked Oregon State, and they will beat BYU to finish the regular season undefeated.  The Broncos and the Cardinals are in weaker conferences and haven't had daunting schedules. 
5. Alabama wins its final two regular season games, but loses to Florida in the SEC title game to drop out of the No. 1 spot.  As a result, the Sooners move up and into the national title game.  The Tide still get into the BCS because they will only have one loss.
6. Cincinnati, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh are currently tied for the Big East lead with one loss apiece, but the Panthers beat both the Bearcats and the Mountaineers for the outright conference title. 
6. I essentially flipped a coin to determine the ACC outcome.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 19, 2008 12:57 am
Edited on: September 19, 2008 12:58 am

MLB Awards Projections

The following are my projected winners of the 2008 MLB awards:

National League
1. Tim Lincecum, Giants
2. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
3. Brad Lidge, Phillies
1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals
2. Ryan Howard, Phillies
3. Brad Lidge, Phillies
1. Geovany Soto, Cubs
2. Jair Jurrjens, Braves
3. Jay Bruce, Reds
1. Tony LaRussa, Cardinals
2. Fredi Gonzalez, Marlins
3. Lou Pinella, Cubs
1. Randy Johnson, Diamondbacks
2. Jorge Cantu, Marlins
3. Fernando Tatis, Mets

American League
1. Cliff Lee, Indians
2. Fransisco Rodriguez, Angels
3. Roy Halladay, Jays
1. Carlos Quentin, White Sox
2. Fransisco Rodriguez, Angels
3. Justin Morneau, Twins
1. Evan Longoria, Rays
2. Alexei Ramirez, White Sox
3. David Murphy, Rangers
1. Joe Maddon, Rays
2. Ron Gardenhire, Twins
3. Mike Scioscia, Angels
1. Cliff Lee, Indians
2. Milton Bradley, Rangers
3. Carlos Quentin, White Sox

A few notes about my projections:
1. I have put Brad Lidge into the top three for NL Cy Young AND MVP because he is 38-for-38 in saves with a 1.93 ERA this season.  Without him closing games, I don't see the Phillies on top of the NL East.  He's finally returned to his "lights-out" form from Houston three seasons ago.  He has a chance to finish this season without a blown save, a very difficult accomplishment.
2. The Cardinals won't make the playoffs this season, but Tony LaRussa has done an excellent job keeping the team above water and in contention this season.  On paper in spring training, they not only had an awful bullpen, but a jumbled starting rotation.  It also didn't look like they had much in the lineup outside of Albert Pujols.  The Cards' bullpen has still been bad and is the reason why they won't reach October, but that rotation has exceeded expectations, and Ryan Ludwick has emerged as a dangerous hitter in the lineup.  I didn't envision this team being above .500 or even in third place for as long as they were.  Fredi Gonzalez has also done a tremendous job keeping a young Marlins team who was expected to be terrible in contention all season long.

3. Randy Johnson is my pick for NL Comeback Player of the Year because he hs managed to win 10 games with a 3.99 ERA during a season in which he turned 45 years old.  He has had a couple of back surgeries over the last few years, and, with as badly as he pitched just after he came off the disabled list earlier this season, I thought that he should have retired.  But, he has been brilliant for about three months now, and he would have passed 300 wins in July if the Diamondbacks offense and bullpen didn't let him down so much.  I didn't expect the future Hall of Famer to pitch nearly as well as he has this season.

4. Brandon Webb has won 21 games, but Tim Lincecum is my Cy Young winner in the National League because his ERA (2.43) and strikeouts (237) are the highest totals in the NL, and his wins (17) are the second-best.  The Giants are 68-85 and have been mired in fourth place all season long.  A 17-4 record for one pitcher on a team this bad is very impressive.  If you put him on any of the playoff- contending teams in the NL, Lincecum is probably over 20 wins.  Webb has been on a contending team all season long and his three bad outings at the start of September really hurt his chances.  It doesn't seem like Lincecum has had a terrible outing this season.  Victories aren't everything with the Cy Young.   
Posted on: September 3, 2008 2:32 pm

My Take on the National League Cy Young Race

This may sound a bit biased seeing as I'm a die-hard Diamondbacks fan, but, as far as I'm concerned, the NL Cy Young Race at this point of the season is between Brandon Webb and Tim Lincecum.  I really don't think CC Sabathia should be eligible for the award because he has been dominating the NL for half the season.  He was just 6-8 with a 3.83 ERA with the Indians.  We all know that the AL has stronger lineups.  Sabathia started pitching well right before he was traded to Milwaukee, but he allowed 9 ER in back-to-back starts in early April, and 4 ER in his very first start of the season and in two May starts.  As soon as he came to the NL, he regained his Cy Young form from last season.  I think this has more to do with the weaker lineups of the NL than it has to do with CC himself.  I am intrigued to see how well he would be pitching right now if he were still in the AL. 

I also don't think it is fair to give a pitcher who switched leagues in the middle of the season baseball's most prestigious award over two pitchers who have been in one league for the entire season.  Rick Sutcliffe won the 1984 NL Cy Young Award after starting the season in the NL, but there weren't any other NL candidates capable of challenging Sutcliffe that season.  Joaquin Andujar led the NL with 20 wins in '84, but he also lost 14 games.  Bruce Sutter finished third in the balloting but his record was only 5-7, and runner-up Dwight Gooden had 9 losses.  Sabathia has stiff competition in the NL this season.  Webb has won 19 games, and looks to be the NL's first 20-game winner since 2005, and Lincecum has a 15-3 record and a 2.60 ERA for a Giants team that has lost 79 games this season.  Webb's ERA is 3.19.  Sabathia's current ERA sits at 2.82, but we have to keep in mind his poor starts from early in the season and the fact that he allowed 4 ER in 6.2 innings to the NL's best hitting team, the Cubs

I'm not saying that I hate Sabathia.  I really respect the man, and think that he's one of baseball's better pitchers.  It's just that he'd have a more strong case for the NL Cy Young Award had he started the season in the NL or pitched better in the AL before going to the Brewers.  If Webb turns things around for the remainder of his starts this season and leads the D-backs to the playoffs, I'd give the award to him; if the D-backs ace continues to struggle, I'd give the award to Lincecum.  The Cy Young is supposed to be based on performance over a full season, not half of a season.  
Posted on: August 31, 2008 5:32 pm

Major League Baseball Playoff Predictions

The following are my predictions for the 2008 MLB playoffs:

National League
1. Chicago Cubs - NL Central Champions
2. Philadelphia Phillies - NL East Champions
3. Arizona Diamondbacks - NL West Champions
4. Milwaukee Brewers - NL Wild Card Champions

American League
1. Tampa Bay Rays - AL East Champions
2. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - AL West Champions
3. Minnesota Twins - AL Central Champions
4. Boston Red Sox - AL Wild Card Champions

National League Division Series
Cubs over Diamondbacks in four games
Brewers over Phillies in five games

National League Championship Series
Cubs over Brewers in six games

American League Division Series
Rays over Twins in five games
Angels over Red Sox in five games

Aerican League Championship Series
Angels over Rays in six games

World Series
Angels over Cubs in six games

1. I know I'm a Diamondbacks fan, but I still don't think they have enough to get past the Cubs. The D-backs have a strong front three in their rotation with Brandon Webb, Dan Haren, and Randy Johnson, but Rich Harden is pitching better than Haren at the moment and Carlos Zambrano should be healthy come playoff time. The Cubs also have a much better offense and bullpen. The D-backs' 'pen has been in shambles for quite some time now.

2. I don't think the White Sox have enough relief pitching to win the AL Central, and their "Live or Die by the Home Run" philosophy will hurt them in the playoffs when they go up against better pitching staffs.

3. The Rays are tough at home and are playing too well right now to let up on their division lead. I don't see the Red Sox catching up to them in the AL East with the injuries that Boston has to key players like Curt Schilling, Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett, and J.D. Drew. The Yankees don't have enough pitching to get out of third place.

Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or