This is a post where you can click on any tag you want to. It will be a side-bar link.
Here is your top ten teams. I’m sorry I’m a day late. I was busy yesterday.
1. Cubs. The Cubs have easily taken over the Angels for the best team in the MLB. They have the better rotation, better lineup, even though the Angels have Mark Teixera, and a better bullpen. They are all around a better team and are the favorites to win the world series.
2. Angels. They are still holding strong at number 2. They haven’t fell because they have done bad, just because the Cubs have done better. This is still a very good team. They are still going to be a very tough team to beat in the playoffs.
3. Rays. Tampa Bay has been extraordinary this year. I almost moved them up into the second spot, but decided to move them up to three. They have continued to win even after losing Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria to injury. They have the best 1-2-3 in the AL, and a lights-out bullpen. If they could get hot hitting in the playoffs, this team could go a long way.
4. Brewers. The Brewers move up a spot mainly because the Red Sox are falling fast. They have scored a ton of runs in August, however, and the starting pitching remains phenominal. This is a team that has a decent chance at getting to the world series and a great chance at making the playoffs. If only they had a better defense and a better bullpen.
5. Red Sox. Despite their fall, they still land at number five. Their pitching will get healthy eventually. Bartolo Colon, gulp, is getting there, and could be the team’s fith starter untill Josh Beckett returns and maybe after if they decide to move Paul Byrd to the bullpen. What a great move by Theo Epstein to aquire Byrd. That man is a genious. When the pitching gets healthy, they might be able to go somewhere in the playoffs again this year. I think they will sneak past the Twins for the wild card, as I have said in my Predictions.
6. White Sox. This team is better than the Twins. They have the far better offense and a better bullpen. If it weren’t for their outfield defense, they’d be much better than they already are. They have to win this division, and if they do, they have a slight chance at going somewhere in the playoffs. It would be tough, but they could beat the unproven Rays, and if the Red Sox beat the Angels like they usually do, I could see The White Sox getting to the world series if they upset Boston.
7. Twins. The Twins are still where they were last month: right behind the White Sox and Red Sox. They have a very good team, but don’t have the offense to take this division. They could possibly get past Boston for the wild card, but I think they have a better chance at catching the White Sox. They’re really close right now, and all they have to do is keep on winning an they’ll make it there.
8. Phillies. They will win the division over the Mets, and are a better team than the D’Backs or Dodgers. They have the best combonation of hitting, starting pitching and bullpen between the remaining teams.
9. Diamond Backs. They sneak up into the top 10 this time. This is just a better all around team than the Dodgers. They move up to number 9 after being unranked.
10. Mets. This is not a great team, but they’re better than the Dodgers or Yankees, so they get the final spot of the top 10 teams. They still need to figure out the bullpen issues, but if they do that, they could beat out the Phillies for the eastern division.
Today is the first, so it’s prediction time. I will highlight my changes in red.
Rays. This is not going to change. This team just keeps on winning despite losing Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford to injuries. The Red Sox have been bit by the injury bug, too, and have not fared nearly as well. Right now, they sit 5.5 games behind the Rays in the division and are struggling to hold onto the wild card.
White Sox. I’m not changing here. Even with the Twins adding Francisco Liriano they aren’t better than the White Sox. The White Sox have the far better hitting than the Twins, as well as a better bullpen. So the slight advantage the Twins have in starting pitching doesn’t make up for the White Sox’ offense.
Angels. This is still the easiest pick. The second place Rangers elimination number is 9. They have lost the “best team in the MLB” tag, however. They play in the second worst division, and don’t have the dominant top 3 that you need in the playoffs. The still might get to the World Series, but probably won’t win it.
AL Wild Card
Red Sox. They’ll still make the playoffs. There pitching will eventually get healthy, and they have a way better offense than the Twins. The Red Sox and White Sox are almost the same in my mind. The Red Sox with a little better starting pitching when healthy, the White Sox with a better bullpen. And they’re both better than the Twins. By the way, the Yankees have no chance. I am so glad there will be a post season without the Yankees in it.
Phillies. This one is the tougest I have chosen thus far. I was wrong about the Mets and Marlins. I thought the Mets would fade and the Marlins had a good chance at the division. Now the Marlins have faded and are out of the race, while the Mets have surged and taken over first place in the division. I still like the Phillies in the race over the Mets, though, becasue they got Brett Myers to be the old Brett Myers. His resurgence gives both teams about an even rotation. They both have similar offenses. The bullpen is what separates the Phillies from the Mets. The Mets still don’t have a closer, and even though the Phillies bullpen has struggled as of late, they still are far superior to the Mets.
Cubs. Is there any way they don’t win this division? They are only 4.5 games over the Brewers, but have played awesome. This is now not only the best team in the NL, but the best team in the MLB. They have the best playoff rotation of Carlos Zambrano, Rich Harden, Ryan Dempster. They have a great bullpen, and the best lineup. This team, gulp, is the favorites to win the world series in my mind.
Diamond Backs. This is my only change. The D’Backs are just a better team than the Dodgers, with Manny Ramirez or not. They still have the better starting pitching, and the Dodgers still have the better bullpen. I said in last month’s predictions that the Dodgers have a better offense. Over the last month, the D’Backs were fifth in the NL in runs scored, while the Dodgers were tenth. Adam Dunn has helped their lineup out a ton. The younger players have started to hit as well. This team might even get somewhere in the post season. They have arguable the best 1-2 punch of playoff contenders and a solid bullpen.