By the end of the week baseball season will be in full bloom. The first games of the regular season will be played on Thursday and the Twins begin play in Toronto on Friday night.
To correspond with the kick-off of the regular season I have compiled my list of division winners and a look at the playoff picture in the National Leauge. The best part about this season is that every team has hope. Starting on Thursday the Phillies and the Pirates have the same record. There are 162 games to separate the winners from the losers. The smell of baseball is in the air...
NL East: Philadelphia Phillies
With the team that the Phillies assembled for the 2011 season, they seem to be the odds on favorite to win the National League. The best rotation in baseball features the big 4 of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hammels. The injury bug has already hit Chase Utley this spring. That bug will need to stay away from the rest of these veteran players if the Phillies are going to succeed in 2011.
NL Central: Milwaukee Brewers
The NL Central might be one of the toughest divisions to predict in baseball. The Brewers have gone "All-In" for this season and that can push them to the top of this battle in the Central. The pitching rotation the Brewers have assembled with Greinke, Gallardo, and Marcum could be the best in the divison. After a very disappointing 2010, look for the Brewers to bounce back in 2011.
NL West: Colorado Rockies
The Rockies have a core of players, Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, that the franchise has committed to for the foreseeable future. Their pitching staff showed flashes of greatness last season but there is still something for them to prove. They have shown the ability to go on a run late in the season to win bunches of games. Look for another close battle in the NL West with the Rockies climbing to the top of the mountain.
NL Wild Card: San Francisco Giants
The Giants need to avoid the slump that can follow a team after they win a title. The Giants have an amazing pitching staff that proved itself time and again in the postseason. The problem for the team from SF could be generating runs. A full season of Buster Posey will be fun to watch for all fans of baseball. The addition of veteran Miguel Tejada will shake-up the infield but does he have enough left in the tank to be an everyday SS.
Phillies over Giants
Brewers over Rockies
Phillies over Brewers
World Series Prediction
Twins over Phillies
(You Gotta Believe!)
There you have opinion on how the 2011 MLB Season will play out.
Of course it is only late March and there are many games to play.
So let's play ball...