Last year our namesake correctly predicted the downfall of the Phillies. He also picked the Fish to finish first.
* denotes WC
1. Washington: Its impossible to pick against the Nats. They’re healthy and deep, and if JV is out for a significant amount of time their ‘pen could be as good as the Bravos’ late innings crew.
2. *Braves: They’re neck-and-neck w/ the Redlegs as the NL’s second-best team. Unfortunately, they play in the same division as the Nats, which means another trip to godforsaken Wild Card game.
3. Phils: Aging sucks.
4. Mets: Their starting OF (Duda, Cowgill, Byrd) is beyond atrocious.
5. Marlins: Pitching phenom Jose Fernandez may be the only reason to watch the Fish.
1. Reds: If Latos and Bailey pitch as they did in the second half, Cincy will be a beast.
2. *Cards: They always seem to find a way, but injuries will test them. Oscar Taveras may end up being their MVP.
3. Brewers: Their window is closing.
4. Pirates: They’ll make it to .500, and with Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon on the way, they’ll be contenders in 2014.
5. Cubs: Contenders in 2015.
1. Giants: Offense will be better, pitching will be worse.
2. Dodgers: Still plenty of holes.
3. D’backs: Better than you think.
4. Padres: They could’ve surprised but injuries to key pieces like Headley will hold them back.
5. Rockies: Worst pitching in baseball.
1. Blue Jays: Josh Johnson had a terrific spring. I’d slot Dickey in between him and Brandon Morrow, which would conjure up memories of the old Astros’ staffs. With Mark Buehrle as Bob Knepper.
2. *Orioles: Baseball’s second-best manager makes them contenders, along with their pitching depth.
3. *Rays: Baseball’s model franchise has promise but Matt Moore’s struggles should trouble Tampa’s 25 fans.
4. Red Sox: Shane Victorino’s contract was the offseason’s worst. Lester and Buchholz have looked good this spring, giving Boston a glimmer of hope.
5. Yankees: No hope in the Bronx, who’ve suddenly become the poor man’s Phils. Maybe they’ll re-hire Stump Merrill.
1. Tigers: The class of the league even without a closer.
2. Royals: Their offseason moves were questionable but they will be better, at least in the short-term.
3. ChiSox: Decent pitching, but a franchise adrift.
4. Indians: Their bandwagon seems to be growing, but their starting pitching still sucks.
5. Twins: Their starting pitching sucks even more.
1. A’s: A full season of Brett Anderson makes their rotation the division’s best, which isn’t saying much.
2. Rangers: They were right not to re-sign Hamilton, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be missed.
3. Angels: Tommy Hanson is their third starter. Enough said.
4. Seattle: Like Pittsburgh, they’ll contend once their talented young pitching corps matures.
5. Houston: How could I forget the worst team in baseball?
AL champ: Toronto
NL champ: Braves
World Series: Braves over Toronto in 6