Rowland’s picks

Last year our namesake correctly predicted the downfall of the Phillies. He also picked the Fish to finish first.

* denotes WC 

NL EAST

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.

NL CENTRAL

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.

NL WEST

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.

AL EAST

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.

AL CENTRAL

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.

AL WEST

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

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4 Comments on Rowland’s picks

  1. I like the Dodgers more than you and the Rays. Here are mine:

    Tampa, Toronto, Detroit, A’s, Angels

    Nats, Braves, Reds, Dodgers, Giants.

    Tigers over Rays, Dodgers over Braves.

    Tigers over Dodgers

  2. Wow, the Astros don’t even get a mention?

  3. That’s what I was thinking Sisco – In know the Astros will be bad (possibly historically so), but they still deserve to be mentioned! ;-)

    Even though I could care less about the game tonight, I’m excited to watch as baseball is back!

  4. So I guess you guys saw that Derek Lowe, pitching to his first batter as a Texas Ranger, let up a 3-run, pinch-hit dinger to Rick Ankiel that put the game out of reach. Note to Jon Daniels: The reason Lowe was still a free agent a couple of weeks into spring training is because he sucks.

    And although the Astros are temporarily in first place, they’re going to be dreadful, and because the AL West teams get to play them more than other AL teams do, at least one of the also-rans in that division will make the gawdforsaken wild-card game. Of course, the Twins may be nearly as bad, so whoever finishes a distant second to the Tigers may be the other AL wild card. The teams in the AL East are evenly enough matched (although the Yankees could be sub-.500) that it’ll probably take fewer wins to claim that division than win the wild card, even though the AL East runner-up will be a better team than the other two divisional second-place finishers.

    I’ll go along with your NL picks though.

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