More baseball predictions: World Series, awards and O's record

April 01, 2011|By Matt Vensel

In the past two days, I've made five bold Orioles predictions for the upcoming season, asked you to predict how many games the Orioles will win and got some of your World Series picks. The guys over on the Orioles Insider blog have been at it, too, giving quick-fire Orioles predictions in this post and this other post (and there's more to come). Talk about prognostication overload.

But if you're not sick of predictions, I've got some more.

Here are my predictions for the 2011 MLB season: playoff teams, award winners, the World Series champ, the Orioles' record, and more. Remember to bookmark this post so once the season is over, you can remind me of how wrong I was back in April. That's one prediction that's sure to come true.

NL West order of finish: 1. Giants, 2. Dodgers, 3. Rockies, 4. Padres, 5. Diamondbacks. I'm sure Tim Lincecum and the young Giants partied hard after their World Series win, but there will be no hangover in 2011.

NL Central order of finish: 1. Brewers, 2. Reds, 3. Cubs, 4. Cardinals, 5. Pirates, 6. Astros. I mulled over this one for a while and considered each of the top four squads for the division crown. Each team has its strengths and flaws, but if Zack Greinke gets healthy and adjusted to a new city, the Brewers will be the class of the Central.

NL East order of finish: 1. Phillies, 2. Braves, 3. Mets, 4. Marlins, 5. Nationals. Many of the Phillies' core players are closer to AARP than Triple-A, so their championship window is closing. With baseball's best rotation, they will get another crack at the postseason. The up-and-coming Braves, led by Jason Heyward, will join them there.

AL West order of finish: 1. Rangers. 2. Angels. 3. Athletics. 4. Mariners. With Cliff Lee now pitching for the Phillies, the Rangers' rotation is in flux. But they've got the bats, including the one wielded by reigning American League MVP Josh Hamilton, to run away with this weak division.

AL Central order of finish: 1. White Sox, 2. Tigers, 3. Twins, 4. Royals, 5. Indians. This three-way race for the division title will go down to the wire, but Cy Young candidate Justin Verlander, embattled slugger Miguel Cabrera and the recently-acquired Victor Martinez give the Tigers the edge.

AL East order of finish: 1. Red Sox, 2. Yankees, 3. Rays, 4. Orioles, 5. Blue Jays. Boston is clearly the team to beat in baseball's best division. The Orioles can't touch the Red Sox, but if the Yankees and Rays take a step backward in 2011 -- and I think they will -- the Orioles will have a chance to compete for the wild card. They'll come up short and finish fourth, but they won't be far behind the Yankees and the Rays in the standings.

Orioles' 2011 record: 76-86. Buck Showalter is magical, but he can't pull off a winning record yet.

National League playoffs: The Phillies beat the Brewers and the Giants take down the Braves, the wild-card team, to set up a playoff rematch from a year ago. The Phillies slay the Giants this time around.

American League playoffs: It will be an all-Sox showdown after the Red Sox beat the Tigers, who edge out the Yankees for the wild-card, and the White Sox handle the Rangers. Boston gets back to the World Series.

World Series: Boston, which boasts the best lineup in baseball, gets the better of Philadelphia as the Fall Classic lives up to its billing with a seven-game series between baseball's top two teams.

NL and AL Rookie of the Year winners: Freddie Freeman and Jeremy Hellickson.

NL and AL Most Valuable Players: Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez.

NL and AL Cy Young Award winners: Roy Halladay and Jon Lester.

OK, your turn.

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