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Sunday, April 02, 2006 

mattingley's matters


with the start of the regular season tonight (8:00pm espn2), i figured my post this week would be better served with "predictions" rather than fantasy analysis, so here it goes:

AL EAST
new york
toronto
boston
tampa bay
baltimore

i think that for the first time in a number of years, toronto will finish ahead of boston in the AL EAST. i also believe that tampa bay will have a better season than baltimore. why? well, i think toronto's additions are enough to show the 2005 players that the team is serious about winning, and it will make them hungrier for the playoffs (which unfortunately i don't think they will make). as for tampa bay, i think that this is going to be their year to really turn some heads. they have a bunch of young players who should all come together and have a great season. i think they might become one of the more entertaining teams around to watch.

AL CENTRAL
minnesota
chicago (WC)
cleveland
detroit
kansas city

this division's prediction is based on a strong improvement by minnesota and a slight decline by chicago. i think the white sox won 99 games by fluke, but i think a 91-92 win season will be in store for them this year (With minnesota winning 1-2 more). i also think cleveland will win 90 games again which will make this be a very tight division until the end. i think detroit will win a few more games this year than they did last year, and i think kansas city might actually lose a few more this time around.

AL WEST
los angeles
oakland
texas
seattle

this is probably the only division that i don't see changing from last season. i doubt there will be a 26 game difference between first and last again like 2005 (i'd guess 15-18), so that will make for an interesting division.

NL EAST
atlanta
new york (WS)
philadelphia
florida
washington

this is one of the tougher divisions to figure out. i definitely think new york has improved for the better, but atlanta just owns the division and i'm not prepared to give the NL EAST to the mets quite yet. i think florida is going to be a fun team to watch with all their youngsters, but i think they will lose more games than they win. i think washington, if they get all the clubhouse issues sorted out, could surprise some people and finish a bit higher in the standings. i really don't know what to make of the phillies so i'm just sticking them in the third place spot as it seems appropriate.

NL CENTRAL
st. louis
milwaukee
houston
pittsburgh
chicago
cincinnati

i know it probably seems strange picking a team to finish second when their ace is starting the year on the DL, but i like the brewers this year. the managed to finish .500 last season, and i think they have improved enough to take second place. i think houston is going to falter a bit with the players they have lost. i really don't know if the pirates can win as many games as i'm expecting them to, but i just don't like the cubs enough to put them any higher. all that being said, i don't think there will be many games between 2nd and 5th in this division which should provide for some interesting baseball come september.

NL WEST
san diego
arizona
los angeles
san francisco
colorado

to be perfectly honest, i know very little about the NL WEST. i do know that the padres shouldn't have any trouble finishing in first again, and that colorado is probably going to finish in last again, but other than that, this is the best i can do.

AL CY YOUNG
roy halladay (toronto) - i think that he is still bitter about last season and is going to start the year with a vengenence. i expect 22 wins, and ERA of 3.50, and tons of innings pitched.

AL MVP
vlad guerrero (los angeles) - this guy is always in the running for the MVP and i don't think he'll have too much trouble getting it this year.

AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
kenji johjima (seattle) - players that come over from japan and have played seem to adapt quite well to the majors. i think he'll do just fine this year and perform well enough to take this award.

AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR
john gibbons (toronto) - i pretty much have to select gibbons if i honestly expect the jays to improve that much this year.

NL CY YOUNG
roy oswalt (houston) - oswalt definitely has the talent to win this award in 2006. i think he'll be one of the few bright spots for the astros this year.

NL MVP
albert pujols (st. louis) - i don't see anyone beating pujols for MVP honors any time soon. i think he's going to go on a nice run of MVP awards and go down in history as one of the greatest players of all time.

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
prince fielder (milwaukee) - there are a LOT of good rookies in the NL this season, so it was tough to pick just one. i think fielder will get 25-30 home runs and 90-100 rbi and that will be enough for the voters to give this to cecil jr.

NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR
ned yost (milwaukee) - same as gibbons. if i'm expecting the brewers to improve that much, i have to pick yost as manager of the year.

PLAYOFFS
AL: new york and minnesota will win the first round matchups. new york will beat minnesota in 6 games.
NL: new york and san diego will win the first round matchups. new york will beat san diego in 5 games.
WS: new york will beat new york in 6 games. which new york? you'll see...

until next time...

oh Mr. Mattingly, I think you are wrong.....Toronto will make the playoffs this year!

Enjoyed a lot! »

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