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For your amusement, here are my ridiculously specific predictions:
Who will win the AL East? Boston Red Sox. The AL East will be a 3-horse race all through the summer before the Yanks and the Blue Jays fall off in late August. The Orioles will be embarassingly bad and will finish behind the Tampa Bay Rays.
Who will win the AL Central? Detroit Tigers. Minnesota will nip at Detroit's heels the whole season, while Cleveland will trade C.C. Sabathia at the deadline after a very disappointing 2008. The White Sox will start the season strong but will finish below the Royals.
Who will win the AL West? The Seattle Mariners will win the division handily after Torii Hunter suffers what effectively is a season-ending injury. Oakland will not contend. The Texas Rangers will see minor flashes of brilliance from their young catcher, Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Who will win the NL East? New York Mets. Johan Santana will carry his team into the playoffs but won't be able to win an NLDS game, inciting the ire of the New York media. The Phillies will be not far behind them, and the Braves will go on a dramatic winning streak mid-season and briefly look like they will contend. The Nationals will be terrible, but will benefit financially and morally from increased attendance at their stunning new ballpark.
Who will win the NL Central? Chicago Cubs. The Brewers will give the Cubs trouble the whole season, but they will not be able to seal the deal as they win few of their late non-divisional series.
Who will win the NL West? San Diego Padres. The Friars avenge their 2007 season by beating around the Rockies, and emerge victorious from the tough NL West. Dan Haren implodes after the All-Star break and the D'Backs rotation is unable to pick up the slack. The Dodgers are merely average and the Giants are terrible.
Who will win the AL Wild Card? Minnesota Twins. The Twins will surprise all the analysts this year by contending closely with Detroit, leading a "children's crusade" to the ALCS. Scott Baker's name will be bandied about in AL Cy Young discussions. Much to this blogger's delight, Juan Rincon is traded to the Marlins for a player to be named later.
Who will win the NL Wild Card? Philadelphia Phillies. It'll be right down to the wire between the Phils and the Brewers, but the Phillies will squeak by.
Who will represent the American League in the World Series? Detroit Tigers. The Tigers will handily sweep the Red Sox in the ALDS, and overly-entitled Boston fans will flood internet message boards with their self-misery. The Twins will have a knock-down, drag-out fight with the Mariners, but will win it in the dramatic final game against former Twin Carlos Silva. However, they will be beaten down by this protracted series and will only be able to win one game of the ALCS, as the Tigers' powerful, well-rested lineup proves too potent for the upstart Minnesota team.
Who will represent the National League in the World Series? Chicago Cubs. The Cubs will take straight games from the Mets, who look very little like the dominant team they were during the regular season. The Padres' bullet-proof rotation proves the downfall of the strong Phillies, though Philadelphia manages to steal a game from the Friars. However, the Padres' joy will be brief as they can't overcome the Cubs and are swept in the NLCS.
Who will win the World Series? The Cubbies will go on pure emotion to win a nail-biter in 7 games, marking two '08 championships. Detroit will burn.
Who will win the AL Most Valuable Player? Miguel Cabrera lives up to his reputation, playing a huge role in Detroit's march to the World Series.
Who will win the NL Most Valuable Player? Homegrown San Diegoan Adrian Gonzalez goes deep 39 times, hitting .331 overall and mashing RHPs at the rate of .617.
Who will win the AL Cy Young? Josh Beckett will be predictably good, also taking the AL strike-out crown.
Who will win the NL Cy Young? Jake Peavy will be an upset win over Johan Santana. Brad Penny will come in third.
Who will lead the AL in home runs? A-Rod (56) (who will again be "Mr April").
Who will lead the NL in home runs? Matt Holliday (49).
Tiebreaker: What will Nick Punto's batting average be? 2.68--it will be quite the year for little Nicky Punto.