Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2011 MLB Playoff and Leader Predictions

The clock till first pitch 2011 is ticking closer and closer, and we're less than 24 hours from reas baseball again! However, since the A's don't start until Friday, we figured we'd save their preview for tomorrow. So today here at the BASJ, we're going to post our pre-season predictions like we do every season with the MLB, NBA, NFL. So here we go!

American League Awards

AL MVP: Alex Rodriguez, 3B, NY- He's looked terrific this spring and says he feels as healthy as ever. A .330/40/130/1.000 version of ARod is more of what I'm expecting. (Others To Watch: Adrian Gonzalez, Bos; Joe Mauer, Min)

AL CY YOUNG: Jon Lester, SP, Bos.- He's quietly been getting better and better as the season's go on, and he's still mighty young at 26. After his 19-9, 2.72 era, 222 K performance in '10, I expect another step in the positive direction. (Others to Watch: David Price, TB; Justin Verlander, Det)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Jeremy Hellickson, SP, TB- I'm not the only one who's high on this youngster, who most people have as their favorite for rookie of the year. He's already 4-0 with a 3.47 big league era and has really impressed in his 4 big league starts. (Others to watch: Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Min; Mike Moustakas, KC)

AL BATTING CHAMP: Joe Mauer, C, Min- With his protection (Justin Morneau) returning to full health, and guys developing around him, Mauer will see more pitches to hit this year than ever. (Others to Watch: Josh Hamilton, Tex; Robinson Cano, NY)

AL HOME RUN CHAMP: Adam Dunn, DH, Chi- The former NL home run beast makes his switch to the AL, a league much more suited to his style of play, and I'm expecting him to flourish. (Others to Watch: Adrian Gonzalez, Bos; Nelson Cruz, Tex)

MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Bob Geren, A's- I really think the A's are in for a nice season, and Geren should get a lot of credit as he's been instrumental in bringing these young players along. (Others to Watch: Ozzie Guillen, Chi; Ron Gardenhire, Min)

COMEBACK P.O.Y.: Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Bos- After an injury cut Ellsbury's season down to just 18 games, the 27 year-old looks primed for a breakout, comeback season. (Others to Watch: Grady Sizemore, Cle; Brian Roberts, Bal)

National League Awards

NL MVP: Ryan Braun, OF, Mil- Braun has had 4 really good seasons so far, and he's only 27 years old, so just think of what the next 4-8 years will bring? Great, 5-tooler I'm expecting .325/40/120 out of him!(Others to Watch: Buster Posey, SF; Carlos Gonzalez, Col)

NL CY YOUNG: Tim Lincecum, SP, SF- I'm trying not to be biased, though I'm sure it appears I am a little with this pick, but Timmy looks great right now, and looked very good in the postseason.... And maybe a lil biased, J/K. (Others to Watch: Roy Halladay, Phi; Josh Johnson, Fla)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Brandon Belt, 1B, SF- I think it's going to be a tight battle between Belt and Atlanta's first-sacker, Freddie Freeman. (Others to Consider: Fred Freeman, Atl; Aroldis Chapman, Cin)

NL BATTING CHAMP: Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Col- This guy really is something else and I think he's going to win himself an MVP or 2 before his playing days are done. He can essentially do it all. Hits for power (36 HR) Avg. (.336) has speed (26 SB), picturesque all-around player. (Others to Watch: Joey Votto, Cin; Albert Pujols, Stl)

NL HOME RUN CHAMP: Albert Pujols, 1B, Stl- Speaking of triple crown candidates, outside of Gonzalez, this man is your best bet. He doesn't have quite as good of team surrounding him this year, but you can still bet he'll get his 40+ jacks and have his .300 avg at year's end. (Others to Watch: Ryan Howard, Phi; Prince Fielder, Mil)

: Dusty Baker, Reds- He really should have won it last year, talking a Reds team that had been in the dumps for the better part of the past 15 years, and made them a playoff team with a less than spectacular roster. (Others to Watch: Ron Roenicke, Mil; Fredi Gonzalez, Atl)

COMEBACK P.O.Y.: Edison Volzquez, SP, Cin
- There are a lot of different guys who could go here, but Bay had to be the most dissipointing in 2010, and I think he'll be much better in '11. (Others to Watch: Carlos Beltran, NY; Mark DeRosa, SF)

AL Playoff Bracket

Red Sox over Twins (in 5)
Yankees over A's (in 4)


Yankees over Red Sox

NL Playoff Bracket

Giants over Brewers (in 4)
Reds over Phillies (in 5)

Giants over Reds (in 6)


Giants over Yankees (7 games)

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