By Brendan White aka SteakNchop

There comes a time every year, the time when snow may still be falling, when spring may not have started yet, but baseball is on your mind. What about baseball you may ask? The Major League Baseball season. Spring training is still a few weeks away, but I have decided to publish my thoughts on the standings of the 2011 season.

American League East

Boston Red Sox

New York Yankees

Toronto Blue Jays

Baltimore Orioles

Tampa Bay Rays

The Red Sox’s main addition isn’t Adrian Gonzalez, but Carl Crawford and players such as Kevin Youkilis who were hurt for a long time during the season. Being so close to winning the division last year, with average health they will win it. The loss of Adrian Beltre will hurt, though. If you compare the numbers of Adrian Gonzalez and Adrian Beltre, even counting in the difference in ballpark size from the vast dessert of outfield at Petco Park to the bandbox of Fenway, Adrian Beltre is just as good as Adrian Gonzalez. But without the injuries of last year, the Boston Red Sox should still end up in first place. And with Carl Crawford, who racks up better numbers than Evan Longoria (hey, look at the stats) with 50+ stolen bases, this is the year of the Sox.


American League Central

Chicago White Sox

Minnesota Twins

Detroit Tigers

Kansas City Royals

This is the Chicago White Sox’s year. With the new signing of Adam Dunn, they have a pretty good lineup. What really is going to take hold are their young players, though. Chris Sale is about to have a monster year and Alex Ramirez is due for a bounce back. Top prospect Gordon Beckham has the potential to have a top of the line year as well. And don’t forget about Carlos Quentin, just another White Sox player who played mediocre last year and has the possibility of having a breakout season.


American League West

Oakland Athletics

Texas Rangers

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Southern California, California, West Coast, United States, North America, Earth, Milky Way, Universe.

Seattle Mariners

After a couple of years of playoff drought, the A’s are due for the top. They have righthanded pitcher Trevor Cahill, who went 18-8 last year. There is Brett Anderson, who like Cahill has an exciting future as a major leaguer ahead of him. Ryan Sweeney, the rightfielder and centerfielder after batting .298 looks like he is about to have a career year. We also mustn’t forget about Kurt Suzuki behind the dish, who had been putting up good numbers until last season. With all these players due for a good year and an extremely good young pitching staff, the Oakland A’s are my come from behind American League West pick.


American League Wild Card

New York Yankees

Even if the Boston Red Sox are a little better than the Yankees this year, the Yankees still have full time potential. Robinson Cano coming off a monster year, Teixeira poised for another quality season as well as Alex Rodriguez who probably won’t be anything but normal. Derek Jeter has a good chance of having a good season like he did in 2009, CC Sabathia should have another Cy Young level season and Mariano Rivera should continue to be the best closer in the game. The signing of Rafael Soriano will help bridge the gap up to the Great Rivera and Russell Martin should be solid behind the plate until Yankees top prospect Jesus Montero is ready to play in the majors. Curtis Granderson should have a good season and so should Phil Hughes, who seems to finally be able to pitch like a veteran.



National League East

Philadelphia Phillies

Atlanta Braves

Florida Marlins

Washington Nationals

New York Mets

This year the Phillies are flat out loaded. They have three top of the rotation starters, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. They have a quality line up, there only major loss being Jayson Werth. Ryan Howard is ready to unleash some power this year and Shane Victorino is just getting into his prime. Year in year out this team has been winning the NL East and this year doesn’t appear to be any different.


National League Central

Cincinnati Reds

Milwaukee Brewers

St. Louis Cardinals

Houston Astros

Pittsburgh Pirates

After a first place season last year, the Cincinnati Reds look like they may very well have another. The 2010 MVP Joey Votto as well as Jay Bruce can carry the club for hitting. Their young starting pitchers such as Mike Leake and Johnny Cueto could make a big difference as well. They just have a bit more than the other teams do and seem to be the likely win.


National League West

San Francisco Giants

Colorado Rockies

Los Angeles Dodgers

San Diego Padres

Arizona Diamondbacks

After winning the world series, the Giants haven’t lost much. Their all star closer, Brian Wilson can shut everyone down. Operation Panda #2 has been going on this offseason and if Sandoval can have a good year he will carry a lot of weight. (Well, probably the opposite) Cody Ross who was a quality late addition will be useful as well as Buster Posey of course, who may very well be the best catcher in baseball ahead of Joe Mauer. They do have a few problems, though. There will be a reality show about them during the entire season. Not one game, not spring training but the whole entire season. As a baseball player, I do not see how you can play just as well when you are thinking about this silly reality show. Baseball is not like football where little things wouldn’t bother someone. For example, numerous no hitters have been lost in the later innings, the exact pitch after a disturbance such as a ball in the dirt that squeaks by the catcher in the sideline bullpen or a fan running on the field. That is true for hitting and true for pitching. Even with that, I still think my hometown Giants can win the West. We’ll see.



National League Wild Card

Atlanta Braves

The Braves have a very strong team this year and will not be far out of first place in the East but will run away with the wild card so that will not be a worry. The addition of Dan Uggla will only improve their 91-71 record of last year. Jason Heyward will be on his second season so should be more comfortable as well. In my opinion, this is going to be an easy win, by let’s say about five games.

I am not going to  really predict the playoffs because they are too unpredictable with the short series and the hot and cold teams. However, I do think the World Series will be Reds vs. A’s, the Reds winning it. Also please no criticizing any predictions if you think they are bogus until October, alright?