We’re just past the halfway point in the 2007 MLB season, so I figured it’s time for me to start blogging again. Sorry to those of you who have visited the site over the past few months — I’ve been a slacker.
Now on to my predictions for the second half of the season:
NL East: As expected, this division has been dominated by the Mets, with the Braves and Phils not far behind. I don’t expect any major shakeups down the stretch. One interesting development to keep your eye on: the pending return of Pedro Martinez. If Pedro is able to come off the DL, that will give the Mets’ rotation a huge boost, making them the favorite for the NL pennant. Even if Pedro doesn’t return, I’m still predicting New York will clinch the East.
My prediction: New York clinches, followed by Atlanta, Philadelphia, Florida and Washington.
NL Central: True to form, the Cubs disappointed in the first half, giving new meaning to the term “underachievers.” Never before had expectations been so high in the Windy City for their lovable losers, but then again, that’s part of the curse. And then there’s Milwaukee — easily the surprise of the season thus far. The Brewers are talented, but young. I don’t think they’ll have enough experience to sustain their hot pace through September.
My prediction: Cubs miraculously live up to their hype in the second half and clinch, followed by Milwaukee, Houston, St. Louis, Cincinatti and Pittsburgh.
NL West: Surprisingly, one of the more competitive divisions in baseball. Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Padres and Rockies all turned in a solid first-half. Yet, as usual, all the headlines belonged to the Giants and their slugger, Barry Bonds. Down the stretch, Bonds will break “the record,” but the Giants will finish last.
My prediction: Arizona clinches, followed by Los Angeles, San Diego, Colorado and San Francisco.
AL East: Whoa, did my eyes deceive me, or did the Yankees fall from their elite status to a middle-of-the-road franchise in a matter of months? Nope — it was just some injuries and a slow start. That has all changed and New York is back on track. Boston was the team to beat in the first half, but New York will pull their usual late-season surge.
My prediction: New York clinches, followed by Boston, Toronto, Baltimore and Tampa Bay.
AL Central: Still the best division in baseball. Cleveland started out strong, but has faded a little, making way for Detroit. Minnesota has had injury problems and won’t likely break out of their third place position. Chicago saw a major drop-off in hitting from the past two years. Kansas City started off like usual, but picked up momentum in June. For the first time in years, the Royals won’t finish in last.
My prediction: Detroit clinches, followed by Cleveland, Minnesota, Kansas City and Chicago.
AL West: Oakland started off strong, but faded. Seattle has been a surprise. But, the division belongs to Anaheim. The Angels are too talented to blow this one.
My prediction: Anaheim, followed by Seattle, Oakland and Texas.
Wild Cards: Los Angeles and Boston.
Playoffs: The NL will be represented by New York, Chicago, Arizona and Los Angeles. The AL will be represented by New York, Detroit, Anaheim and Boston.
World Series: Detroit Tigers vs. New York Mets.
Champion: Detroit Tigers.