Posted by: Tom Duch | March 30, 2011

MLB Preview 2011

Just one day away from the one of the greatest days of the year. The minutes and hours are ticking by in preparation for Major League Baseball opening day. It is a day where every park draws close to a sell out and the one day of the year where all teams are even. Postseason dreams will fade in the next couple weeks for some teams, but on opening day every team starts fresh.

Before the 2010 season began, the Yankees were favorites to repeat at +340 with the Rays (+405) and the Phillies (+545) right behind them. But none of those teams could take home the championship, instead the San Francisco Giants came out of nowhere to win it. The Giants were at +1500 just to make the series last year, so if you put down a futures bet for them last year you did pretty well. This year the Red Sox go in as the favorite to win it all, but as a Yankee fan, I say no way that happens.

In 2011, much like last season, I expect a lot of surprises and a run by a team you might not expect.  For the first time in the 2+ year history of Duchisms, I will be doing preseason predictions for all divisions and a World Series pick. I’ve had a history of great playoff picking, but I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and try and do it before the season begins.

AL East

I hate to do it but I really think the Red Sox will take the division this year. As a whole they are the best team in the division and probably the American league.

AL Central

I have a feeling the Tigers will get back to the postseason in 2011. The Twins always seem to sneak their way to a division crown, but the Tigers staff of Verlander, Penny, Scherzer and Porcello will power them into the postseason.

AL West

The Rangers will get back to the postseason again, but don’t expect another run like they had last year. Despite losing Cliff Lee, Texas has a good young staff that gained valuable experience last season. And let’s not forget about about reigning AL MVP Josh Hamilton who leads a stacked lineup playing at the hitter-friendly Ballpark at Arlington.

Wild Card

Did you think I wasn’t going to pick the Yankees here? Sure their staff is lacking a bit this year, but their lineup makes up for it in a big way. Remember that last year Phil Hughes won 18 games despite a 4.14 ERA. The Yankees score runs in bunches, and have a bullpen with not one but two all star closers, so if their starters can turn in a halfway decent year this team is goin to the playoffs.

Awards

MVP-Robbie Cano

Cy Young- Jon Lester

NL East

There are questions about their Werth-less lineup, and probably one that will be without Chase Utley for most of the year as well, but the Phillies are my pick for the division crown. The Braves are being talked about as the sexy pick to win the NL East, but I like the Phils all star staff to carry them to another division title.

NL Central

The “Year of the Beer” is upon us. It’s time for the Brewers to bring it all together and come out on top of a three team race in the NL Central. The Reds had their time in the division last season, but now it’s time for the Brew Crew to step into the limelight. The Prince will become the King.

NL West

Sure the Giants won the World Series last year, but it’s a new year and a time for a new team to have a chance at the title. That team could be the Rockies in 2011. Tulo, CarGo and the Rocks nearly made the playoffs with a late run last year, and this year I think they pull through and get there.

Wild Card

This was a tough pick with the Reds, Cardinals, and Giants out there, but the Braves might just win their division. I think they’ll fall short there, but there’s no way this team isn’t back in the playoffs.

Awards

MVP- Mo Vaughn, I mean Prince Fielder

Cy Young- Roy Halladay

ALCS

I really really think I might have to turn my pinstripes in for this, but I think the Red Sox will make it out of the AL this year. Hopefully by me picking them they choke and get all kinds of injuries and finish lower than the Orioles, but the possibility of that is low. I’ll pick the Yanks to get there just cause I’m insane and want to see it, but the Sox will be hard to beat.

Boston 4 New York 2

NLCS

I said it before, I’ll say it again, The Year of the Beer! Phils will go down early so it will all depend on who plays who in the first round. It depends who’s playing best at the end of the year, but I can see the Brew Crew taking on Hotlanta for the pennant.

Milwaukee 4 Atlanta 3

World Series

They have the best team, and they should win; however it doesn’t usually work out that way. I picked them to go this far, but I can’t pick them to go all the way. It’s against my religion I’m sorry. Get ready for sausage races all September long.

Beers over Saux

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