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article imageOp-Ed: MLB 2010 season preview

By Matt Harding     Mar 8, 2010 in Sports
As the boys of summer start swinging in spring, we look ahead to October baseball. Who will be victorious in this year's Fall Classic?
It is in the nature of baseball fans to wonder who'll be crowned the champions of 2010. Will the Yankees repeat, perhaps? Or, will a team come from out of nowhere and make it into the postseason?
I'll list the front running teams, along with the teams that'll fall short. Also, I'll include the bottom-of-the-barrel teams and teams that will surprise you this season. Does your team stand a chance? Or will they be on my "bottom-of-the-barrel" list? As Spring Training comes to a close in three weeks, how will the outlook be for your Major League team?
Let's find out:
American League
Front running teams
New York Yankees- After a 2009 World Series victory, the Yankees, once again, have a great chance at a World Series berth. With C.C. Sabathia as the No. 1 man in the starting rotation, the Yanks are sure to have an incredible chance to take the title. They're 3/1 favorites to win, after all.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim- The Angels were so close to a World Series appearance last season. This year, they are back with a vengeance. When you take a look at their roster, you can't help but place them atop the American League West. Year in and year out, the Angels have been a front runner.
Teams that'll fall short
Minnesota Twins- The Twinkies have been favorites in the AL Central since the 1990s. Still, they also always seem to be defeated in the first round. What makes you believe this year will be any different? The Twins have a decent lineup and a fairly good bullpen; but they lack in experienced starting pitching. That lacking will result in an early exit -- once again -- for the Twins.
Boston Red Sox- In 2004 and 2007, the Sox won the Classic. Before that, of course, the Yankees were constantly beating them. Those days might be back. Pitching is the way to win, but, even though they have a solid rotation, the bullpen looks very shaky. Also, who knows if Daisuke Matsuzaka will come back and produce the kind of stats he did in the 2008 season?
Bottom-of-the-barrel teams
Toronto Blue Jays- As much as I hate to say it, seeing as how there are fleet of Torontoans on Digital Journal, the Blue Jays are bad -- B - A - D. Think about it, with Roy Halladay, the Jays were losers. After ridding themselves of him, they are ushering in an era of undeniably poor baseball.
AL Central Teams (excluding Twins)- Let's face it, the American League Central isn't a terribly competitive division when it comes to its teams making the World Series. The Detroit Tigers were the last to go, in 2006. I don't see another team from this division entering the Series for years to come. The Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, and Cleveland Indians will all be sub-.500 teams this season. Hopefully, this dreadful division will prove us all wrong and produce better numbers than last year.
Surprise teams
Seattle Mariners- The Mariners are the only surprise team in the AL. This is a team that has a legitimate chance of winning the AL Wild Card. While it would be difficult to fathom the M's defeating the Yanks or Angels in the playoffs, Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee, the No. 1 and 2 starters, should be able to propel the squad to their first playoff berth since 2001. Since their inception in 1977, the Mariners have entered the playoffs four times (1995,'97,2000,'01). All four times, Lou Piniella was managing. Current skipper for the M's, Don Wakamatsu, is looking to change that. The Mariners are definitely a team to watch out for.
Can these players help their teams make the playoffs?
Can these players help their teams make the playoffs?
National League
Front running teams
Philadelphia Phillies- In what has been called the weaker league, (also evidenced in the past All-Star Games) the Fightin' Phils are the only team that really shows they'll return to the promise land. Their playoff chances aren't only good, but there's a good chance the Phillies will return, and possibly win, the World Series.
Teams that'll fall short
Los Angeles Dodgers- The Dodgers may make the playoffs, but they don't have solid enough pitching to go too far. If you won't take my word for it, take a look for yourself. I told you; doesn't their rotation look terrible?
New York Mets- These Mets will need a miracle. They have been an injury-riddled team in the past few years, and the pain is already rearing its ugly head. The Metropolitans still have a chance at the playoffs, but the opportunity is slim.
Bottom-of-the-barrel teams
With many more teams to choose from in the National League, I decided to narrow it down to the absolute worst of the worst.
Pittsburgh Pirates- There is not much to say about a team sporting Paul Maholm as their No. 1 starting pitcher. Nothing against him personally; he's just not a quality No. 1 starter. I can't see how Manager John Russell can turn this team into a near .500 team.
Florida Marlins- With tons of rookies, as well as a plentiful amount of second- and third-year guys, the Marlins are still inexperienced. They don't lack in talent, but, in the Major Leagues, talent alone won't win ballgames.
San Diego Padres- The Padres, without Jake Peavy, won't climb their way out of the bottom of the well. They'll be stuck there all season long. Closer Heath Bell is the only player that can be able to positively contribute day-in and day-out.
Surprise teams
Arizona Diamondbacks- With a bullpen and starting rotation that'd make the AL Central teams blush, the D-Backs are a team to watch out for. I wouldn't be surprised if they won their division; or at least the NL Wild Card. With a one-two punch of Webb/Haren, any team would be a legitimate threat.
St. Louis Cardinals- Surprise! The Cardinals won't win the division. The Cubs should be able to defeat the Cardinals in their division: the NL Central. The Cubs rotation, bullpen, and lineup is just as strong, and in some areas, better, than the Cards. Albert Pujols, while he may be a one-man show, can't do it entirely by himself.
All we can do is watch the season unfold. Can teams like the Mariners, Diamondbacks, and Cubs defeat the front runners, such as my World Series pick, the Phillies?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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