My predictions for the 2011 season …

I was asked recently by the higher-ups at my company to submit my predictions for the 2011 season in several different categories, which was tallied up among several others to produce this. With Opening Day here, I thought I’d share my specific picks with a short explanation.

Here it is …

AL East: Red Sox (too good — everywhere)

AL Central: White Sox (great offense; but Jake Peavy needs to be good)

AL West: Athletics (great pitching and defense)

AL Wild Card: Tigers (solid at every aspect)

AL champion: Red Sox (again, too good)

NL East: Phillies (rotation enough to make up for injuries)

NL Central: Brewers (solid everywhere, but can’t afford injury)

NL West: Rockies (most well-rounded club in the division)

NL Wild Card: Braves (probably most well-rounded team in MLB)

NL champion: Braves (if young guys come through — which they should — they’ll prevail)

World Series champion: Red Sox (Braves have no lefty starters, Sox have great lefty hitters — Boston has the edge)

AL surprise team: Athletics (young, dynamic pitching staff and great defense on low payroll)

NL surprise team: Marlins (their rotation and offense can compete with anybody’s)

AL surprise player: A.J. Burnett (looked great this spring, and health wasn’t a factor in rough 2010 season)

NL surprise player: Juan Miranda (forgotten in Yankees system, but has good power and showed good signs this spring)

AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera (he’s motivated and is the best hitter in the AL; he’ll prove it)

NL MVP: Albert Pujols (easy — best player in baseball is in a walk year)

AL Cy Young: Jon Lester (this is the year he takes it to the next level — especially with that defense and offense behind him)

NL CY Young: Cliff Lee (happy and motivated)

AL Rookie of the Year: Jeremy Hellickson (can’t wait to see him in a full season)

NL Rookie of the Year: Freddie Freeman (everybody absolutely raves about this kid)

AL Manager of the Year: Ozzie Guillen (has a great team, peace with Ken Williams and contract stability)

NL Manager of the Year: Charlie Manuel (yes, he has a great team, but he’ll get them through injury woes)

Breakout Player of the Year: Mike Stanton (almost won Rookie of the Year in 100 games last season; now the world will see how special he truly is)

Executive of the Year: Billy Beane (“Money Ball” at its finest playing out right now)

— Alden

* Here’s my Opening Day preview and the nine storylines I have my eye on this season.

** Other stuff to get you primed for the start of the season: A look at first-year managers in the Grapefruit League; previews for the AL East and NL East; and a glimpse at five players we can’t wait to see.

1 Comment

I was asked recently by the higher-ups at my company to submit my predictions for the 2011 season in several different categories,

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