Monday, April 28, 2008

5 Fearless Predictions

1) The Suns will rally from being down 3-0 to defeat the Spurs.

2) Jerod Mayo will win Defensive Rookie of the Year. Think about this for a second. Mayo will get a lot of press playing for a marquis team. Assuming he starts and is good - both of which I think will happen - he can potentially register 150+ tackles. Put that all together with a few big plays in some main event games next year and I think the award is his to lose.

3) Theo Epstein and Terry Francona physically force David Ortiz to go on the DL in the next week. Ortiz comes back 15 days later and after about a week is on his way to becoming the Big Papi we all know and love.

4) Clay Bucholz finds his way onto the AL All Star team. Seriously, the AL starting pitching crop is so weak I could absolutely see this happening. Who are the top 10 pitchers in the AL right now? I'd say:

1) Josh Beckett
2) CC Sabathia
3) Erik Bedard
4) Justin Verlander
5) Felix Hernandez
6) John Lackey
7) Fausto Carmona/Chien Mien Wang
8) James Shields
9) Rich Harden
10) Scott Kazmir

Of those guys, Sabathia had an awful first few starts but has come on strong lately and Verlander has been so-so. Fausto Carmona and Chien Mien Wang are both the same pitcher in my book as they can dominate games when their sinkers are on but do not strike out many people and I think their performances in last year's playoffs speak for themselves. Ditto for James Shields actually but he has no postseason experience - good or bad - to fall back on. (I know that pick seems crazy but look at his line this year, 2.54 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 28 K in 39 IP - pretty good.)

As for Bedard, Harden, Kazmir, and Lackey, they have hardly pitched this year if at all but are all outstanding when they do take the hill. You could almost say the same for Beckett, but he has at least made 4 starts this year and save for his first, he has been close to great in the other three.

The last player in the group, Felix Hernandez finally looks like he is harnessing his talent with 41 K's in 42 2/3 IP and a 2.22 ERA and 1.23 WHIP.

So, taking all that into account, I'd say that James Shields, Chien Mien Wang, Felix Hernandez, and probably CC Sabathia, Fausto Carmona, and Josh Beckett are all safe bets for the All Star Team. That probably leaves room for another SP or two and if Bucholz keeps going like he is, he'll certainly get himself into that conversation.

5) Jon Lester is involved in an in-season trade to an NL team as Theo recognizes that he needs to trade him now before his star - which Theo and company did so much to shine and polish - completely fades.


Chad said...

Wait a second, I have to somewhat disagree with your “Top 10 Pitchers in the AL Right Now” list. How in God’s name is Cliff Lee (0.28 ERA(!!), 0.41WHIP, 1CG, 29K 31.2IP) not on that list? That’s got to be one of the best starts for anyone in the past few decades, no? Who knows what the season holds in store for him but I think as of “right now” he deserves to be on that list.

Neil said...

I tried to take into account past history as well as just this year which was the reason for guys like Harden and Kazmir. I could see arguing Cliff Lee over James Shields, but Shields was great last year too.

The real big miss I had was excluding Roy Halladay. I don't know how I blanked on him. He's definitely top 5 too.

Thanks for posting the comment.