That time is here again. The grass in Chicago is still yellowish gray, like Rob Held's hair, but somewhere in the southern states the grass is green and the bats be a crackin'. Indeed it is time for me to begin spring my way with DIETER'S BASEBALL PREVIEW!!! I'll start off by giving my prediciton by division.
-This might just be the strongest division in baseball this year, look for the Devil Rays' talent, which is without a doubt the best in the league, to emerge. Toronto would be a good team, but will be ransacked by a lack of a rotation in this the best offensive division in baseball. Watch out for the Orioles offense to take fire; Melvin Mora was #2 in the league last year in hitting, and is a fantasy steal. The O's will make noise with or without a comeback year from Sosa.
-Expect a landslide victory by the LA Angels of Anaheim. It will be a 500 division with the teams going back and forth in and out of first, then the Angels will pull away in the second half. The other 3 slots are all toss ups, none of them will get the wild card though...Expect a downyear from Beltre, he gave 150 percent for the Dodgers in his contract year,and carried them to the playoffs. Chances are he will go back to his normal slacker self.
AL Central (NO BIAS)
-Minnesota is getting old, expect the Indians to attack them with their youth and talent. Detroit will likely fly under the radar, and then make a late season surge in the always close division. This division will be Cleveland's for the taking, but inexperience and a AA bullpen will let the division title slip away.
-Can you bet against the Braves? I can't. Watch out for Flordia with a strong comeback year after being plagued by injuries last year. They are definitly a wild card contender. Washington is vastly underrated. They are the suprise team. Expect an above 500 year, and a resurgance of baseball in the nation's capital. The Phils will be mediocre at best, expect some deals. Watch out for new NY manager Willie Randolph to be fired midway through the season.
San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Fransisco Giants
-Another landslide victory. Expect a 15-20 game lead. This division is plain ol' weak. The other teams will share their misery with one another, all keeping similar records. Watch out for the Dodgers, after a long slump, they may call up some of the best prospects in the league from Las Vegas, expect them to make a late season run for the Wild Card.
Saint Louis Cardinals
-The Cards have the greast player ever (give it 5 years) Pujols. They upgraded their weakness of last year, starters. Why wouldn't they reach the World Series again? The Astros get Andy Pennate, they will have one last go. Expect big things out of the pirates. They kept their team intact, and if it wern't for injuries, they would have made the same run they will make this year. The Cubs will fuck it up somehow, even Cubs fans know that. Ben Sheets, singlehandedly will win 25 games for the Brewers, but they will blow 10 of those wins. Nonetheless, they will still be better than the soon to be Griffeyless Reds. Pitching, it's kinda important...
Cardinals Over Marlins
Braves Over Padres
White Sox Over Yankees
Red Sox Over Angels
Braves Over Cardinals
Red Sox Over White Sox
Braves over Red Sox
Manager- Split-Frank Robinson/Lou Pinnela
Rookie-Tat Tagugchi-White Sox
CY Young AL-Mark Buerhle-White Sox
CY Young NL-Jake Peavey-Padres
Home Run King-Adam Dunn- 55
BAVG-Ichiro-396 (Flirts with 4o0 most of the year)
That's all I wrote