Spring Training games officially start this week and with them, people's predictions will likely follow. Post your thoughts on who you think will make it to the dance this fall and other predictions for the season here in this thread so we can see them all in one place and look back on them come October and throughout the season. You don't have to follow my format or anything unless you want to, but feel free to use it as a guide.
There's no reward or anything, just fun speculation and debate. Have at it!
Commander_Nate's 2010 Predictions:
West - Angels: Yeah, I'm biased but for good reason. We didn't win 5 of the last 6 division titles by sucking and having terrible depth. All of the guys we lost are on the wrong side of 30 and most of them are on the wrong side of the injury bug. They all have at least one replacement on our roster and we have a good blend of veterans (Hunter, Abreu, Shields, Rivera, Pineiro) combined with young talent that has a few years of experience under it's belt. Our team is the most balanced with a solid rotation and a powerful offense. Our offseason was a side-step from last year at worst, not a total loss like so many want to claim. I'd be willing to bet 25-26 of the other teams would love to have our "problems" going into camp this year. We will win again.
Central - White Sox: I'm possibly going out on a bit of a limb with this one, but I really don't know why I haven't heard more about this team. With the addition of Peavy they have one of the best rotations in baseball and certainly the best in their division. The addition of Pierre and continued improvement from Beckham and Quentin will give them some offensive force. If they get Adrian Gonzales at some point, as rumored, then I think they are a lock. The Twins and possibly Tigers will be close.
East - Yankees: They are basically the same team as last year with a better CF and 4th starter. Unless they get hit by injuries to guys like Teixiera, A-Rod (a steroid suspension works too...), or their pitching, they are virtually guaranteed to repeat.
Wild Card - Rangers: They have become more and more of a force for two seasons now. They have a young rotation with an extra year of experience. Harden is lights out when he's healthy. They have an offense tailored to their park and if Hamilton and Vlad are healthy and productive, which I think they will be, they will make the playoffs. Their new ownership will be willing to fix any shortcomings that develop. Boston will finish 2nd in the WC race. They have a great rotation, but I don't think their offense is good enough to win.
West - Dodgers: Their divison will be tougher, they lost Wolfe, but they still have a lot of talent, and it's a walk year for Manny. Guys like Kemp and Ethier will help lead the team and if Billingsley and Kershaw do a good job in the rotation, they will be tough to catch. Arizona and San Francisco will be hot on their heels though.
Central - Cardinals: They have a great rotation and got who they really needed to keep in Matt Holliday. The Brewers are much improved and the Cubs will still be around, but I think the Cardinals will pull it out again.
East - Phillies: Much like the Yankees, they are the same team with an improvement in the rotation and at 3B. Barring catastrophe, they will win again.
Wild Card - Braves: They have a strong, young rotation and a decent offense and stayed close til the end of last year. They will primarily be challenged by the Giants, but I think they can edge them out.
First Round Matchups:
Angels - White Sox, Yankees - Rangers
Phillies - Dodgers, Cardinals - Braves
Angels' Team Predictions (In Order of Certainty): Howie Kendrick finally has that breakout year and possibly sees some time in the #2 spot. Wood has an average year with solid defense and roughly 20 HRs. Weaver and Kazmir wreck shop. We will be happy we signed Izturis for 3 years as a utility man. Rivera hits around 25 HR again and makes it to 100 RBI. We will crush John Lackey once and he will stifle us once.
Other predictions for the season: The White Sox will trade for Adrian Gonzales at some point. Cliff Lee will be traded away by the Mariners or at least not re-signed. The same goes for Sheets. The AL will win the All-Star Game with at least Hunter, Morales, Weaver and Kazmir playing for the Angels. The Giants, Diamond Backs, and Brewers will all compete. The Reds will improve to an average record, thanks in large part to great young pitching. Mauer re-signs with the Twins. And finally, the ALCS will be a re-match of 2009.