February 3, 2014

A Second Sign Of Spring

Some selected predictions from two more baseball season preview magazines:
Athlon Sports

American League East
Red Sox
Blue Jays

AL Wild Cards: Red Sox, A's
ALCS: Tigers over Rangers
NLCS: Cardinals over Nationals
World Series: Cardinals over Tigers

AL MVP: Mike Trout (Dustin Pedroia #5)
AL CY: Yu Darvish
AL Rookie: Taijuan Walker (Xander Bogaerts #3)

Boston Final Analysis: The Red Sox need to be realistic about teams that come out of nowhere - they often return there. While the Red Sox could certainly contend for another World Series and will be right in the thick of the AL East race, they're more likely to cede the stage. Last year they avoided injuries (besides Buchholz) and got bounce-back years from virtually all of their 30-something free agents. Those players are now a year older, and an injury to Ortiz or Pedroia or even Victorino could be devastating. On the flip side, they're beginning the process of getting younger with Bogaerts and Bradley, but entrusting two vital defensive positions to rookies generally isn't a World Series-winning strategy, at least in Year 1. It's Years 2 and beyond that have the Red Sox so excited.

New York Final Analysis: The Yankees have enough players in the latter stages of their primes to form a relentless lineup. If they stay reasonably healthy, they wil contend in the AL East. They just might have to outslug teams to do it, unless the pitching staff improves. Expect Cashman to stay on the lookout for arms to support the potent offense.
USA Today Sports

Eight writers predict the AL East winner: Rays (4), Red Sox (2), Yankees (1), Blue Jays (1). ... Of the six writers that did not pick Boston for 1st in the East, four of them picked the Red Sox for one of the wild cards. ... Two writers pick the Red Sox to win the ALDS, but lose to the Tigers in the ALCS.

Paul White (who oversaw the AL preview) picked the Red Sox to win the East over the Rays by six games with 94 wins. He has the Yankees in 4th (three games out of the cellar) with 81 wins.

Here are the eight WS predictions:
Tigers over Dodgers
Tigers over Dodgers
Dodgers over Tigers
Dodgers over Tigers
Rangers over Atlanta
Rangers over Cardinals
Rangers over Cardinals
Cardinals over Yankees

AL MVP: Mike Trout (5), Prince Fielder (1), Evan Longoria (1), Josh Donaldson (1)
AL CY: Yu Darvish (6), James Shields (1), Chris Sale (1)
AL Rookie: Xander Bogaerts (5), Taijuan Walker (1), Jose Abreu (1), Jonathan Schoop (1)


allan said...

Athlon seems far too optimistic about the MFY.

mattymatty said...

"[the Red Sox are] more likely to cede the stage." You don't say? When taking Boston or the field, the way the statement is presented, duh, you take the field. That said, I still think Boston has as good a shot as any team in what looks to be a very tight division.

Michael said...

Yeah, I don't see how you can point to the Sox' age as a weakness and do the same with their young players two sentences later (conveniently overlooking that neither X nor JBJ are complete rookies), all the while describing the MFY players as "in the latter stages of their prime".

Oh well, we know what these predictions are worth anyway.

Jere said...

Who would have thought "Juan" was hidden in Taiwan?

9casey said...

Is Miquel Cabrera not playin this year? USA today gives him no votes for MVP.

Zenslinger said...

And we did have injuries. MFY had them worse, but we lost a fair amount of playing time here and there, and were on our third closer.