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One Fan's Predictions For The 2011 Major League Baseball Season
In light of the opening of baseball season, and being that I'm a lifelong fan of the National Pastime, I thought I would give my views as to how things will go in Major League Baseball this year.
Let's get right down to it, not waste any time, and start with the National League...
Division Winners: Giants, Reds, Phillies
Wild Card: Braves
Will Contend: Rockies, Dodgers, Brewers, Cardinals
San Francisco's pitching, with Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson - also known as "The Beard" - will carry the day in the West, as will Philadelphia and their all-star staff of Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Roy Halliday in the East. The Central Division will be a closely contested and hard fought three-team race.
Meanwhile, in the American League...
Division Winners: Rangers, Twins, Red Sox
Wild Card: Yankees
Will Contend: Angels, White Sox, Tigers
It will be a two team race in the West and the East divisions, while the Central will feature more of a dogfight as like their National League counterparts, three teams are capable of winning there.
Among the other predictions I have for the 2011 are these:
Albert Pujols, in the last year of his contract for St. Louis, will have another monster season, batting well over .300 with - at bare minimum - 30 homers and 100 RBIs. Then he will sign with a another team as his price will be too high for the Cardinals.
Kansas City will finish far below .500 and won't be a factor, which they haven't been since the 1980s, but their young talent in the minors will continue to develop, with things beginning to look up for the Royals in 2012 and 2013.
Pittsburgh will suffer through their 19th consecutive losing season, a professional sports record, but although the PIrates will end up in the N.L. Central's cellar, I don't see them losing 100 games, unlike last year.
Buster Posey will establish himself once and for all as the premier all-around catch in baseball, both at the plate and behind it, and maintain that status for years to come in San Francisco.
There are two players that will lead the Washington Nationals to relevance in the near future; one is currently out for this season with Tommy John surgery, while the other is in the minors, where as a significant phenom he is expected to race through the ranks and reach the majors sooner than later.
In keeping with the tradition of being the most hated rivalry in professional sports, the Red Sox and the Yankees will get into at least one bench-clearing brawl, most likely at Fenway Park.
Whatever happens, 2011 promises to be a great year in "The Show".
I'm certainly excited to see it begin.