2007 Major League Baseball Predictions

It begins tonight.

OK, so it's only the Mets and Cardinals, but it is regular season baseball, on ESPN2 at 7 pm CT, and I, along with many of you, will be watching, and waiting for our team to begin its season tomorrow afternoon.

With that, it is time for me to join all the thousands of other bloggers, websites, pundits, etc. in making my so-called "expert" predictions for the upcoming season.

If you have been here for the last two years, you'll find this prediction format familiar -- and yes, you'll find a lot of this text familiar too (copy/paste being a wonderful tool!). For those of you new to BCB, read on.

I started this format about fifteen years ago, when I was passing out my annual predictions to any of my friends who were willing to read them either with or without scoffing, because I found it both more interesting and challenging to do than traditional predictions. Even more so, if you're here I don't need to insult your intelligence by telling you who the ballclubs' best hitters, pitchers, etc. are. You already know. Instead, you'll find a pithy word or phrase describing the hitting, pitching, defense and intangibles of the thirty contenders for October glory.

I'm also not going to "predict" award winners. How hard would it be for me to sit here clacking away on a keyboard and be master-of-the-obvious by telling you that Albert Pujols is the best player in the NL and that Johan Santana is the best pitcher in the AL? And besides, awards often come out of nowhere. A year ago, who'd have thought Freddy Sanchez would win the NL batting title in 2006? Or that Ryan Howard would hit 58 home runs? Nobody, that's who.

And in any case, anyone using the search function here can come back here in October and tell me how wrong I was.

With that, here goes:

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

1) PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Hitting: Tons
Pitching: Not so many tons
Defense: Good
Intangibles: Winners almost by default

2) NEW YORK METS
Hitting: Power, power everywhere
Pitching: Injured
Defense: Excellent
Intangibles: Will find it hard to win without Pedro

3) ATLANTA BRAVES
Hitting: Improving
Pitching: Patchwork
Defense: Adequate
Intangibles: Dwindling fan base will quit if they don't win

4) FLORIDA MARLINS
Hitting: Young
Pitching: Younger
Defense: Youngest
Intangibles: Spiffy new manager

5) WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Hitting: Absent
Pitching: Wait till next year
Defense: In that ballpark? Who cares?
Intangibles: Wait till next year

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL

1) CHICAGO CUBS
Hitting: Majorly improved
Pitching: Um, well, we hope it's improved
Defense: Look out, Alfonso!
Intangibles: Lou Piniella may will them to win

2) MILWAUKEE BREWERS
Hitting: Acceptable
Pitching: Pray for Ben Sheets' health
Defense: Excellent
Intangibles: Could be the 2006 Tigers of 2007

3) ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Hitting: Injured
Pitching: Wing & a prayer
Defense: Good
Intangibles: Trying to recreate the 2002 Angels magic

4) HOUSTON ASTROS
Hitting: A big positive
Pitching: A big negative
Defense: Creaky
Intangibles: Could go around disguised as the Diamondbacks

5) CINCINNATI REDS
Hitting: Me Adam Dunn. Me hit home runs. Grrrr!
Pitching: Good last year, but...
Defense: Injured
Intangibles: Spiffy retro uniforms

6) PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Hitting: Better than you'd think
Pitching: Um, not better than you'd think
Defense: Mediocre
Intangibles: Really nice stadium

NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST

1) ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Hitting: Young!
Pitching: Exciting!
Defense: Young and exciting!
Intangibles: Spiffy new uniforms

2) SAN DIEGO PADRES (Wild Card)
Hitting: Brotherly
Pitching: Old. And young. And experienced.
Defense: Missing
Intangibles: Greg Maddux

3) LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Hitting: Inconsistent
Pitching: A pitcher named "Penny". Is that anything like "A Boy Named Sue"?
Defense: Brittle
Intangibles: Vin Scully

4) COLORADO ROCKIES
Hitting: Power, power everywhere
Pitching: In THAT ballpark? WAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Defense: Does it matter?
Intangibles: Lovely view of the Rocky Mountains beyond LF

5) SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Hitting: Old
Pitching: Older
Defense: Oldest
Intangibles: A team with no direction

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

1) BOSTON RED SOX
Hitting: Lots of home runs! Fun!
Pitching: Lots of home runs! Not so much fun!
Defense: Who needs defense?
Intangibles: The Fenway Faithful

2) TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Hitting: Under contract
Pitching: Good bullpen, and they're going to need it
Defense: Bouncy
Intangibles: One of these days...

3) NEW YORK YANKEES
Hitting: A bit long in the tooth
Pitching: A mess
Defense: Spotty
Intangibles: Joe Torre wishes he had retired last year

4) TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS
Hitting: Growing up
Pitching: Young
Defense: In that stadium?
Intangibles: At last, out of last

5) BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Hitting: We need hitters?
Pitching: Wait, we need pitchers too?
Defense: Does it really matter?
Intangibles: Six ex-Cubs on 25-man roster. Nuff said

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

1) CLEVELAND INDIANS
Hitting: Outstanding
Pitching: See Cardinals comment
Defense: Good
Intangibles: Something to prove

2) MINNESOTA TWINS (Wild Card)
Hitting: Always find a way
Pitching: Santana and pray
Defense: Adequate
Intangibles: Ron Gardenhire knows how to win

3) DETROIT TIGERS
Hitting: Power-laden
Pitching: Playoff-experienced. Well, sort of
Defense: Work in progress
Intangibles: Playoff-experienced. Well, sort of

4) CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Hitting: Growing older
Pitching: Unpredictable
Defense: Excellent
Intangibles: Watch Ozzie's head explode! Fun!

5) KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Hitting: Inexperienced
Pitching: Who ARE these guys?
Defense: Who needs defense?
Intangibles: Really, really nice guys

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST

1) LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF YOU-KNOW-WHERE
Hitting: Outstanding
Pitching: Excellent
Defense: Unquestioned
Intangibles: Who needs them? Best team in the AL

2) OAKLAND ATHLETICS
Hitting: Always competitive
Pitching: Better than advertised
Defense: Um, well...
Intangibles: Todd Walker?

3) TEXAS RANGERS
Hitting: In decline
Pitching: Pitchers? We need pitchers?
Defense: Acceptable
Intangibles: Sammy Sosa?

4) SEATTLE MARINERS
Hitting: Inconsistent
Pitching: Almost legal drinking age
Defense: Ichiro!
Intangibles: Can't finish lower than fourth

NL: Cubs over Padres, Diamondbacks over Phillies; Cubs over Diamondbacks in NLCS

AL: Angels over Indians, Twins over Red Sox; Angels over Twins in ALCS

World Series: Cubs over Angels. Because why would I pick the Cubs to make the postseason and NOT win it all... and, well -- WHY NOT US???

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