April 2, 2006

More Predictions

Feel free to add whatever you have seen in your local newspaper in comments.

Boston Globe:
      CHB       C. Snow    B. Ryan   J. MacMullan

East Red Sox Yankees Blue Jays Red Sox
1-2-3 Blue Jays Red Sox Red Sox Blue Jays
Yankees Blue Jays Yankees Yankees

AL Red Sox Yankees Blue Jays Red Sox
White Sox White Sox Cleveland White Sox
A's A's Angels A's
WC Cleveland Cleveland Red Sox Angels

NL Mets Atlanta Mets Atlanta
Cardinals Cardinals Cardinals Cardinals
Dodgers Padres Dodgers Dodgers
WC Atlanta Astros Atlanta Astros

WS Mets Atlanta Cleveland A's
Globe blogger Eric Wilbur:
1. Boston Red Sox: How in the world they significantly rebuilt this team underneath the circus tent that was over on Yawkey Way much of the offseason is astounding. Health at the top (Curt Schilling) and bottom (Keith Foulke) is scary, but there are enough reinforcements on the way (Jonathan Papelbon, Manny Delcarmen, Craig Hansen) that they can mix and match answers for their pitching questions.

Yankees 2nd, Blue Jays 3rd; ALDS: Red Sox over Angels; ALCS: Cleveland over Red Sox; WS: Cardinals over Cleveland
Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas Morning News:
Toronto is, in fact, going to win the East. ... The Red Sox aren't going to win because whatever created that great chemistry they had in 2003 and finally, triumphantly, a year later, is absent. So are some very good players from those teams, and it seems Curt Schilling sold his soul to make that whole Bloody Sox thing work in 2004. The Yankees aren't going to win, because the worst defensive team in the American League playing behind an ancient pitching staff just doesn't cut it, regardless of what the lineup looks like. ... The Oakland A's [are] your World Series winner.
John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle:
#1 Blue Jays
Best Case: ... Roy Halladay (2003 Cy Young Award winner) and Burnett become one of the game's top 1-2 punches. Glaus and Overbay are perfect complements to Vernon Wells in the middle of the lineup. ... Worst Case: Burnett's elbow problem keeps him out an extended time. Ryan, without an extensive track record, unravels when trying to live up to his contract.

#2 Yankees
Best Case: Mystique and aura return to ignite another championship run. A-Rod becomes the guy you want in the clutch. Shawn Chacon, Carl Pavano and Chien-Ming Wang pitch like Ron Guidry, Catfish Hunter and Whitey Ford. ... Worst Case: The team falls apart, as any old team is capable of doing. Randy Johnson, 42, shows his age, as do Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera, Gary Sheffield, Jorge Posada, Jason Giambi and Bernie Williams, all of whom have seen better days. Constant steroid talk sidetracks Sheffield and Giambi.

#3 Red Sox
Best Case: David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez remain baseball's most potent left-right combo. Coco Crisp makes Fenway fans forget Johnny Damon. Snow falls in love with swatting opposite-field flies off the Green Monster, and Bostonians fall in love with Snow's glove work. ... Worst Case: Ramirez pouts, slumps and finally forces a trade. Starter Curt Schilling and closer Keith Foulke are shelved with more injuries. The bullpen makes no improvement after posting the league's highest ERA, 5.15. The team goes from winning it all to missing the playoffs in two short years.
Shea's notes about the Yankees pitchers' are hilarious (and pure fantasy). His comments about the Jays and Sox are at least quite possible.

St. Petersburg Times:
Gary Shelton: Red Sox win East, Yankees win wild card; ALCS: Yankees over Red Sox; WS: Cardinals over Yankees

John Romano: Red Sox miss playoffs; WS: Cardinals over Yankees

Marc Topkin: Red Sox miss playoffs; WS: Yankees over Cardinals

Damian Christodero: Red Sox win wild card; ALCS: A's over Red Sox; WS: A's over Cardinals
Joe Sheehan, Baseball Prospectus:
                     RS  RA
Yankees 92 70 910 807
Red Sox 88 74 871 810
Blue Jays 83 79 765 738
Orioles 80 82 741 742
Devil Rays 66 96 811 957
For the first time in a few years, I think the Yankees are the best AL East team heading into the season. Despite a flawed roster -- lots of money invested in so-so starters, a poor bench, some aging regulars -- the core talent is too good for the competition. This is a 900-run offense ... The front of the rotation should be more productive, an improvement that will make up, statistically, the 160-odd random good innings they got from Aaron Small and Shawn Chacon last year. Even with Damon, the Yankees have a so-so defense ... The combination of right-handed groundball pitchers Chacon and Chien-Ming Wang with a right side of Robinson Cano and Jason Giambi is a mismatch of Lovett/Roberts proportions. Nevertheless, the great offense will be enough for 92 wins and a ninth straight division crown.

The Red Sox are going to miss the postseason ... as they've gotten worse enough at the plate to slide under 90 wins ... This lineup is larded with guys in their early thirties who fall short of the level of "superstar" and have shown enough decline of late to warrant concern about their 2006 performance. Their depth -- the Sox' backup infield is better than the Royals' starters -- and the lineup core still means 870 runs or so.

I'm less enamored of the pitching staff, which is relying heavily on pitchers with battered bodies who haven't shown any indication that 2006 will be different than 2005. ... The bullpen is also a patchwork, heavily right-handed in a lefty-power-laden division and suddenly quite old. Francona doesn't have the personnel to get matchups nor does he have many candidates for two-inning stints.
Baseball Prospectus ("average rank of the team, plus the standard deviation. The lower the standard deviation, the more in agreement the authors were about that team's place in the division standings."):
             Avg.   SD
Red Sox 1.42 .49
Yankees 1.58 .49
Blue Jays 3.16 .37
Orioles 4.08 .64
Devil Rays 4.75 .43
Individual BP Ballots:
                 EAST #1  EAST #2  WC
Will Carroll Red Sox Yankees Yankees
Dan Fox Red Sox Yankees Angels
Steven Goldman Yankees Red Sox ?
Kevin Goldstein Yankees Red Sox Angels
Thomas Gorman Red Sox Yankees Yankees
Jay Jaffe Yankees Red Sox White Sox
Christina Kahrl Red Sox Yankees Cleveland
Jonah Keri Red Sox Yankees Yankees
Dayn Perry Red Sox Yankees Yankees
Joe Sheehan Yankees Red Sox White Sox
Nate Silver Yankees Red Sox Red Sox
Keith Woolner Red Sox Yankees A's

AL East: Red Sox 7, Yankees 5
Playoffs: Yankees 9, Red Sox 8, ? 1
The St. Petersburg Times also has a piece headlined "Analysts Clash On Jays' Outlook". The analysts are actually just three guys from Baseball Tonight: Harold Reynolds ("I see it as Yankees, Blue Jays, Red Sox"), John Kruk ("I don't even think the Blue Jays are in the equation right now.") and Karl Ravech ("The Red Sox are as strong or stronger as they've been. If you put a gun to my head, I would have the Red Sox ahead of the Yankees and the Blue Jays.")

In picking the Yankees to win it all, ESPN's Jayson Stark notes that since the Yankees won the 2000 Series, their combined payrolls have been roughly $978.5 million (more than the annual GNPs of Argentina, Switzerland and Russia combined.

The average of ESPN's staff picks has the East: Yankees (94-68, most wins in MLB, 1 more than St.L), Red Sox (91-71, WC) and Blue Jays (85-77).

Some of ESPN's individual picks:
           Sox        World Series   Sox-related
J Stark No playoff NYY over StL Cy: Beckett
P Gammons No playoff NYY over StL Cy: Beckett
J Crasnick No playoff A's over Atl
B Olney No playoff A's over SF
T Kurkjian Wild card NYY over StL
R Neyer Win East LA over Twins
S Phillips 3rd place A's over StL
E Karabell Wild card Angels over StL
J Caple Win East A's over Mets
E Neel Win East Angels over Mets
G Gillette Win East A's over Atl MVP: Ortiz
P Gomez No playoff Angels over StL
P Rogers No playoff CWS over Mets
B Klapisch No playoff A's over StL ROY: Hansen
A Schwarz Wild card StL over NYY
J Shea No playoff StL over Tor
S McAdam Win East CWS over LA Cy: Beckett
M Simon Wild card NYY over Atl MVP: Ortiz
JCallis Wild card A's over StL
(Note: Some of the "No playoffs" could also have the Sox 3rd.)


Bosephus said...

Reading Stark's column this morning, there is absolutely no way those three countries' combined GDPs are less than $1B, but I am too lazy to look it up. Anyone care to make a lazyweb assist?

redsock said...

You're right. Accoprding to my quick Googling, in 2001:

Switzerland: $251,900,000,000
Russia: $1,408,000,000,000
Argentina: $483,500,000,000

Forget about topping one billion, this is close to $2 trillion. Guess I better email Jayson!!