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March 27, 2008

No-thought predictions of the 2008 MLB season

I love baseball.

Although I follow football more closely and enjoy playing basketball the most, there is something about baseball that just draws you in. Perhaps it's the idea that spring is just around the corner (despite the fact it's snowing right now). Perhaps it's the camaraderie built with friends and strangers drinking beers in the stands. Perhaps it's the uniqueness of the individualistic team sport that you don't find anywhere else in American culture. Whatever the reason, every year I get sucked in, every year I try to plan another trip in my quest to visit all the stadiums (up to 16), and every year I try to make predictions on the upcoming season.

However, unlike football, where teams are known to jump from worst to first, or basketball, where drafting a single player can change the course of a franchise in either direction, baseball appears to be more static. It's why the Braves can win 14 straight division titles. It's why the Yankees and Red Sox have dominated the AL East. And it's why the the Devil Rays have never even sniffed the playoffs.

Outside of the occasional Florida Marlins championship (next due in 2009), the league is fairly consistent from one season to the next. So instead of making some outlandish prediction just for the sake of making predictions, I'm going with the opposite approach. I'm going with a technique that results in approximately 90% of the predictions I would have ended up with anyways, but with a fraction of the thought process. I'm going with the 2007 regular season standings...

What's that, you say? How boring? Well, I challenge anybody to beat my predictions. Just for review, here's how the standings stood at the end of last season...

2007 2008 Standings
American League
East Division
1. Boston Red Sox
2. New York Yankees
3. Toronto Blue Jays
4. Baltimore Orioles
5. Tampa Bay Rays

Central Division
1. Cleveland Indians
2. Detroit Tigers
3. Minnesota Twins
4. Chicago White Sox
5. Kansas City Royals

West Division
1. Los Angeles Angels
2. Seattle Mariners
3. Oakland Athletics
4. Texas Rangers

National League
East Division
1. Philadelphia Phillies
2. New York Mets
3. Atlanta Braves
4. Washington Nationals
5. Florida Marlins

Central Division
1. Chicago Cubs
2. Milwaukee Brewers
3. St. Louis Cardinals
4. Houston Astros
5. Cincinnati Reds
6. Pittsburgh Pirates

West Division
1. Arizona Diamondbacks
2. Colorado Rockies
3. San Diego Padres
4. Los Angeles Dodgers
5. San Francisco Giants

At first glance, this doesn't seem too unrealistic. Everybody predicts the Reds will be better, but let's see what they say when Dusty blows out Aaron Harang's arm and Neifi Perez makes his regularly scheduled appearance once his suspension is worked out. The Tigers could beat out the Indians, but either way, that should come down to the wire. And if Mark Prior can stay healthy, the Padres could run and hide in their division. But all in all, I'm not too disappointed with my picks, and this gives me the rest of the day to watch the Sweet 16...

Of course, I am not going to pick identical playoff scenarios to last year. I'll at least give that some thought...

Divisional Series
Boston Red Sox over Detroit Tigers
Cleveland Indians over Los Angeles Angels
Chicago Cubs over New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies over Arizona Diamondbacks

Championship Series
Cleveland Indians over Boston Red Sox
Philadelphia Phillies over Chicago Cubs

World Series
Cleveland Indians over Philadelphia Phillies

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some UCLA basketball to watch...

1 comment:

Miss Daisy said...


The Halos don't go ANYWHERE. Half of their pitching staff is on the DL. Seattle should be the pick in a dilapidated AL West.