Predictions! It is about time I gets to making mine (otherwise they revoke my blogger license). Since first pitch is just a few hours away, let's not waste anymore time and take a gander at all the prognostications of mine that will probably be used to make me look like an idiot later this year... unless I go back in and edit this post in October. But I'd never do that... as far as you know. Now if I can just find a way to delete files from Google cache and it will be the perfect crime.
Hmmm, this isn't exactly a crystal ball, but I guess it will have to do.
First, let me get the obligatory general predictions out of the way:
AL East = Boston Red Sox, because we need further proof that the Angels should've signed Carl Crawford
AL Central = Chicago White Sox, because this just feels like an Ozzie Guillen type of year
AL West = Oakland Athletics, because the Rangers had a lot go right last season and the A's very quietly got a lot better this off-season and have few real weaknesses
AL Wild Card = New York Yankees, because the laws of physics mandate that the AL Wild Card come from the AL East
NL East = Philadelphia Phillies, because their rotation is downright scary
NL Central = Milwaukee Brewers, because they made the genius move of hiring Ron Roenicke as their manager
NL West = Colorado Rockies, because the Giants are due for one hell of championship hangover
NL Wild Card = Florida Marlins, because they've got a whole lot of young talent getting good at the same time
World Series = Red Sox vs. Brewers, because I really want to see a 300-pound Vegan playing in the World Series
Champions = Red Sox, because God hates me
AL MVP = Adrian Gonzalez, because everyone will fall all over themselves to praise him now that he is in a major media market
NL MVP = Albert Pujols, because he is Albert FREAKING Pujols, can you imagine how good he is going to be in a contract year?
AL Cy Young = Felix Hernandez, because he is going to rack up the wins after he gets traded to the Yankees at mid-season
NL Cy Young = Ubaldo Jimenez, because his name is Ubaldo
AL Rookie of the Year = Jeremy Hellickson, because he better be good since I drafted him in all five of my fantasy leagues
NL Rookie of the Year = Brandon Belt, because my Giant fan friends won't shut up about him
OK, enough of that crap, let's get to the Angels since that is what we all really care about, right?
- The Angels will finish the season with 87 wins, just barely beating out the Rangers for second place in the division and three games back of the Athletics. Sorry, I know I should be a homer, but this team just doesn't look like it has enough.
- Tony Reagins won't make any trade deadline deals because, surprise, they don't have any money
- Mark Trumbo will hit 16 home runs, but hit .225 with 80 strikeouts in 285 at-bats. Trumbo has some real potential, but he has never proven to be a fast learner and he is going to need at least a full season to get used to facing big league pitching.
- Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells will be team co-MVPs. Let's face it, they are pretty much the same player at this point anyway, so why not let them share the award.
- The team LVP will be Fernando Rodney, if only because he is only a mediocre reliever and I don't think Scioscia has the guts to fire him as the closer, a role he has no business occupying. I'm just saying that when he has nine blown saves by the end of the year and the Angels miss the post-season by three games, we'll all know who to blame.
- Scott Kazmir won't be named team LVP because he'll be waived before the end of May. I've been calling this shot for months now and I ain't backing down now just because he had one not awful pre-season appearance.
- Peter Bourjos will win a Gold Glove. He may not hit a whole lot, but his glove is already becoming legendary and the Halos are pretty good at promoting their guys for awards. Plus, the sabermetric community is going to declare a jihad on the BBWAA if they totally overlook what should be an amazing UZR for Bourjos.
- The Halos end up signing some veteran starter off the scrapheap (think Doug Davis, Jarrod Washburn, Ben Sheets, etc.) to fill out their rotation as they will be short-handed from the aforementioned release of Kazmir and the injury problems of Joel Pineiro. Sorry, I just don't buy that his little "shoulder cramp" isn't symptomatic of some larger problem lurking in the dark, ready to take Pineiro down at the worst possible moment.
- We won't see Hank Conger again until September. This one pains me, but I think Jeff Mathis is BARELY going to hit well enough to keep hold of his half of the catcher's gig, with Bobby Wilson stepping up his game just enough to start about 40% of the games by season's end. Hank just isn't going to get a chance so long as the Angels are still in the race.
- Brandon Wood will be the starting third baseman by season's end... for the Florida Marlins. I am trying real hard to be positive about Woody, but I think he is going to get screwed over in the roster squeeze when Morales comes off the DL. The Marlins could use a third baseman and Wood seems like a worthy gamble, so they'll trade for Brandon in early May,
- My final prediction: I will only get three of these predictions correct.