July 17, 2009

MLB at the midway pole

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

Since the unofficial second half of the baseball season started yesterday after a lightning-quick all-star game, I figured I’d take a peek at my predictions from the beginning of the season. It turns out I’m not doing too bad, but I do have a few thoughts…

So far, I’m Ace-ing both East and West divisions, but weren’t they the easiest to call by far? The Dodgers were strong enough without Manny to build a massive lead and the Red Sox, well, they’re the Red Sox. The most interesting race in the East is for second place and the wild card. Tampa Bay vs. New York is going to be a great show down the home stretch.

I didn’t think the Chicago teams would be where they are. Injuries have played huge roles for both squads but that’s not really an excuse now, is it. With the White Sox on the peripheral of the Halladay sweeps, I’m not sure if they can take out the Tigers ahead of them. But, Carlos Quentin will be back shortly and his bat will help immensely. The northsiders have a tougher challenge with St. Louis topping their division, but, again, their injury woes are just about done and the Cubs could really pick it up down the stretch.

San Francisco is looking pretty good for a darkhorse pick. With the way that they’re pitching and the way that the rest of the NL is shaping up, it’s hard to bet against the Giants to take the wild card this year.

As for my player predictions, two look right on, but two are slightly off. Albert Pujols is virtual lock for MVP in the NL. He could miss the rest of the season starting today and get a boatload of votes. Roy Halladay just started the all-star game, but there’s a little sweepstakes going on for his services. If he gets sent to a NL team, it would be quite unlikely to see him win, a la CC Sabathia last season. If he stays in the AL, he still has to fight off Zack Greinke too, which is no easy task.

 Johan Santana and Mark Teixeira are my picks that aren’t looking so hot. Tex is a slow starter and has turned it on as of late, but he’s not looking MVP calibre. Johan had a few bad starts and when competing against Tim Lincecum and Dan Haren, that just won’t do.

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