Posted on: April 3, 2010 1:54 am
Edited on: April 3, 2010 1:05 pm

Harst's 2010 MLB Predictions: American League

After reading Scott Miller's predictions (and quickly realizing the MLB season is about to start), I've decided to put together some predictions regarding the MLB for this season. There will be some shocking performances here and there, yet overall, I see a pretty straightforward year for the contenders. With that being said, I also see a nice surprise come World Series time...

American League Predictions

AL East Division Winner: New York Yankees

In the East, it's hard to pick against the defending champions. They have a solid group of players who know they can win it all once again, and made some solid additions in the offseason, including pitcher Javier Vazquez and outfielder Curtis Granderson. Combine those two with the likes of Alex Rodriguez, C.C. Sabathia, Derek Jeter, etc., and you have a team more than capable of winning their second consecutive World Series.

AL Central Division Winner: Minnesota Twins

With one of the best players in the league in Joe Mauer, as well as a superb supporting cast that includes Justin Morneau, reborn Michael Cuddyer, up and coming Denard Span, and underrated offseason addition Orlando Hudson, this is a team that can hit. The pitching is something to watch as always, but look for Kevin Slowey to have a solid year. He's got great command and his low walk rates will definitely help the Twins and their pitching woes.

AL West Division Winner: Texas Rangers

I expect Ian Kinsler to have a huge year, and I don't really know why. I have a feeling his batting average will raise greatly this season, while maintaining his home run total from last season. I really believe Kinsler will contend for the AL MVP this year, and possibly win it. He's got all the talent to make it happen. As for the rest of the team, there is a lot of talent among the Rangers. If Josh Hamilton can even improve slightly, and stay healthy, it's a huge plus for the Rangers.

AL Wild Card: Boston Red Sox

Victor Martinez didn't make as huge of a splash last year as I thought he would, but I like him to have a solid year this season. Here's a guy who is a hard worker and an overall well rounded player. Boston has too many talented players, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Jacoby Ellsbury, John Lackey, Jonathan Papelbon, not to make the playoffs. As always, they will contend for the division title as well.

AL Champions: Boston Red Sox

It's a bit of a stretch, but I really like Boston's chances this year. Tim Wakefield is no Jamie Moyer, not yet, and as the worst pitcher in the rotation can still provide some solid innings here and there. Clay Buchholz has great potential, and the trio of Beckett, Lester, and Lackey could be dangerous come playoff time. And as mentioned earlier, a lot of talented hitters on the squad as well.

player photoAL MVP: Evan Longoria

 Ian Kinsler, Alex Rodriguez, Joe Mauer, and Dustin Pedroia will all be in MVP talks, but I like the young third baseman from Tampa Bay to win the MVP this year. He's got great power and just needs to improve slightly on his batting average, which I believe he will this year. Definitely see a breakout year coming, and a huge breakout year at that.

player photoAL Rookie of the Year: Brian Matusz

 He's got an unbelievable amount of potential, even with everything he's already shown. As a young pitcher, a mixture of nerves and inexperience may lead to a higher ERA than most would expect, but his strikeout numbers and wins should offset that. A scary good young pitcher, always hard to go against.

player photoAL Cy Young: Justin Verlander

 The best strikeout artist in the American League and a 20 win threat, it's hard not to respect Justin Verlander as one of the best aces in the league. Felix Hernandez and C.C. Sabathia will have strong years and contend for the Cy, but I like Verlander and his consistency to get the job done. With that being said, it would be nice to see him get that ERA down, even if slightly.
Posted on: December 29, 2009 6:55 pm
Category: MLB
Posted on: November 13, 2009 11:35 pm

MLB Awards Predictions

AL Rookie of the Year: Elvis Andrus, TEX

Andrus should win the AL ROY in a pretty weak group. He did the small things like stealing bases while playing solid defense every night. If not Andrus, look for Andrew Bailey from the A's to win it.

NL Rookie of the Year: Tommy Hanson, ATL

With an 11-4 record and a 2.89 ERA, Hanson should, in my opinion, easily take home the NL ROY. If not Hanson, I like J.A. Happ from the Phillies to take it.

AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez, SEA

King Felix takes this one for his impressive season, including winning 19 games for the lowly Mariners. If not him, look for Zack Greinke from the Royals to certainly take home the Cy.

NL Cy Young: Tim Lincecum, SF

Not only the best pitcher in the NL, but in the MLB, I like strikeout artist Timmy Lincecum to defend his Cy. If not, look for one of the Cardinals 1-2 to win it. And don't forget about a sleeper in Dan Haren of Arizona.

AL MVP: Joe Mauer, MIN

You have to love Mauer, my pick for the AL MVP. With a crazy batting average and career highs in home runs and runs batted in, I don't see anyone coming close to beating out Mauer.

NL MVP: Albert Pujols, STL

Like the AL MVP, I expect Pujols to easily take this one home. A home run machine, RBI machine, and in my opinion best player in the MLB, I see Pujols as the clear cut MVP in the NL.
Posted on: November 3, 2009 5:26 pm

Ryan Howard needs to WAKE UP

I'm calling Ryan Howard out for stinking it up in the World Series so far. Poor discipline at the plate, not hitting, killing innings where we have momentum... Howard is looking nothing like he did in the NLCS. While guys like Chase Utley are tearing it up, the supposed best hitter on the team is struggling as bad as anyone on either side. If Howard doesn't wake up soon, the Yankees will win the Series.
Posted on: October 21, 2009 11:52 pm

Phillies going to the World Series!

So much for defense and depth trumping the long ball... the Phillies have as much firepower as both teams from the AL, and if their pitching is decent, there's not much stopping us... Go Phillies!
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 6, 2009 11:40 pm

Phillies rotation- How 2 pitchers change things

Prior to the start of the season, many critics said that the Phillies lacked the starting pitching to defend their World Series title. Nobody could really argue that fact. Cole Hamels was the best pitcher on our squad, probably a top 15-20 pitcher in the MLB. After him there was a huge dropoff before getting to guys like Brett Myers and Joe Blanton. Myers and Blanton are not exactly great pitchers. Then you have Jamie Moyer. Old man who I have respect for as a person, but not as a pitcher. His MLB career should have ended last year once Philly won it all. Things were not looking too great.

Out of nowhere, a youngster by the name of J.A. Happ emerged, and since he's entered the rotation he has been the single most dominant ace on our staff. He's shown what he's capable of last night, when he pitched nine shut out innings vs. the Rockies, with 10 strikeouts. 9 innings, 0 earned runs, 10 strikeouts vs. a good hitting team in a hitters park. I'm a big J.A. Happ fan.

Then of course the deal to nab Cliff Lee from Cleveland, without losing a top 3 prospect from our farm. In Lee's two starts with Philly, he's resembled his Cy Young self from last season. Tonight he struck out nine Rockies in seven innings with only one earned run.

Would not be a stretch to say that Lee and Happ have turned the Phillies rotation from one of the worst to one of the best.
Category: MLB
Posted on: July 29, 2009 2:17 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2009 5:36 pm

Phillies get Cliff Lee

I actually like the deal that gives us ace Cliff Lee, as well as outfielder Ben Francisco. I'm not extremely high on Lee, but I think we got a good pitcher for not too much, which was our goal. Lee is no Roy Halladay, but he can get the job done.

We lose four prospects in the trade. I knew that Jason Donald was going to go, but I'm sad he's gone. This was an infielder that could hit and had a lot of potential. I was actually a big fan of Lou Marson as well. The other two guys were pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Jason Knapp. I'm really not too hurt to see either of them leave, because obviously it had to be done.

Overall, I think the Phillies did a pretty nice job with this move. Bringing a guy like Francisco in adds another solid outfielder to the core we already have, guys like Michael Taylor and Dominic Brown.

The big thing for me is that we got our ace without giving up our two best pitching prospects, Kyle Drabek and J.A. Happ. Only time can tell about Drabek, but Happ has already proven that he can win in the majors.

It's early, but I like this deal. Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Joe Blanton, and J.A. Happ is shaping out to be a nice four man rotation, and although the fifth starter is shaky (Jamie Moyer, Pedro Martinez, etc.), I think with our bats we can go far this postseason.
Posted on: July 28, 2009 11:51 am

Tim Lincecum will strike you out

San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum is trying to make his way to his second NL Cy Young award in a row. Last night's performance against the Pirates can't hurt his cause.

His stat line? Nine innings pitched, four hits allowed, three walks issued, zero earned runs and 15 strikeouts . 15. Dang. This guy is crazy.
He's a young guy, not to mention a small guy, but he's quickly becoming the most dominant pitcher in the MLB.

So how good is he? 183 strikeouts in 148 innings.

That is scary good. The Giants are one lucky team.
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