Mar 31, 2011, 06:36AM

One Fan's 2011 MLB Predictions: Rockies Win The World Series

Plus division winners, awards and more.

With Opening Day finally upon us it's time to go on record with some predictions for the upcoming season. I hit about .500 on my picks last year, which I'd be thrilled to duplicate.

Division Winners and Wild Cards

AL East—Boston
AL Central—Minnesota
AL West—Oakland
Wild Card—New York

NL East—Philadelphia
NL Central—Milwaukee
NL West—San Francisco
Wild Card—Colorado

World Series—Colorado defeats Oakland

As much as the thought pains me, I think the Yankees have too much offense to miss the playoffs. Boston and New York both have major pitching questions, though neither has a weakness as glaring as the Tampa bullpen. The White Sox are the chic pick in the AL Central but I'll go with the Twinkies. Manager Ron Gardenhire always gets the most out of his team and with Joe Nathan and Justin Morneau returning from injuries, the Twins are the class of the division. Oakland has a stellar young pitching staff with a potential Cy Young candidate in Gio Gonzalez. General manager Billy Beane will need to swing a deal for some more offense but if they get to October the A's will ride their rotation to the Series.

In the NL, I think the Phils will hit enough to support their pitching and win the East. I like Dom Brown and he should eventually win the RF job from the ineffective Ben Francisco. If Brown falters, GM Ruben Amaro will need to deal for a right-handed bat. I love Colorado. They have two of the best players in the league in CarGo and Tulo plus terrific pitchers in Ubaldo Jimenez and Jhoulys Chacin. The Brewers should have enough pitching and offense to win the weak NL Central. The concern in Milwaukee is the bullpen. If Milwaukee falters I could see the Cubs winning the division. Cincy will come back to Earth this season as the young pitchers show some wear from the Dusty Baker treatment.


AL Cy Young—Felix Hernandez
AL MVP—Robinson Cano
AL ROY—Zach Britton
Bounceback—Nick Markakis
Breakout—Travis Snider

NL Cy Young—Matt Cain
NL MVP—Troy Tulowitzki
NL ROY—Craig Kimbrel
Bounceback—Chipper Jones
Breakout—Andrew Cashner

Cano is coming off a monster 2010 season and at 28 is just entering his prime. He'll be a force for the next four-five seasons as he builds a potential HOF resume. I like the Orioles’ Markakis to bounce back in a big way after a disappointing 2010. With Brian Roberts back at leadoff and veterans Derrek Lee and Vlad Guerrero hitting behind him I think Markakis will score close to 100 runs with 17-20 homers and close to 90 RBIs. The Jays’ Travis Snider may finally be ready to fulfill his immense promise after a productive final few months in 2010.  

In the NL I like Matt Cain to build on his excellent postseason and win his first Cy Young. Tulo is arguably the second best player in the NL and he plays the most important position on the field. Rookie Brandon Belt has made the Giants opening day roster and looks to be a future slugger. The Giants hope the future is now. Cashner has the stuff to be a top of the rotation starter and after serving a bullpen apprenticeship last season he'll get the chance to show his stuff in the Cubs rotation.  

  • So... Defending AL champs sweep the Red Sox in dominating fashion. Care to revisit your Rangers' prediction? I figure not, but they proved everyone wrong last year and they can do it again this go round

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