Posted on: March 13, 2008 6:08 pm
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Chicago Cubs Season Preview

Chicago <a href=/page/CHC">Cubs logo" width="88" align="left" border="0" src="http://images.sportsline.com/images/cbss/ui2/logos/mlb/160x100/CHC.gif" />Chicago Cubs
2007 Record
: 85-77 1st in NL Central

Key Departures- Cliff Floyd, Jacque JonesJason Kendall, Craig Monroe, Mark Prior
                               Key Acquisitions- Jon Lieber, Kosuke Fukudome

The Cubs didn't make too many moves this offseason which is somewhat expected especially after how much they spent last offseason. I believe this will be a good year for the Cubs. I think they have the best Rotation in the NL Central. The biggest question marks for the Cubs Rotation is the 4-5 guys. Right now there are 4 guys vying for 2 spots. They are Ryan Dempster, Jason Marquis, Sean Marshall and Jon Leiber. Right now I believe that Dempster and Leiber will round out the rotation. I think both of these players will do an adequate job as the numbers 4 and 5 starters. I also believe that Jason Marquis will be traded, possibly before the season starts. Because he said that if he isn't named a starter he no longer wants to be on the team. The Cubs also have a competition for the Closers role. Right now Kerry Wood, Carlos Marmol and Bob Howry are competing for the Closers role, with Ryan Dempster moving to the starting rotation. Bob Howry has the most experience as a closer, while Marmol had a 1.43 ERA last year in 69 innings. Right now Wood is leading the race and it looks as if he'll be the Closer. Hopefully he can stay healthy which is a big question but if not, Bob Howry or Carlos Marmol should be able to fill in quite easily.

The Cubs offense should put up some runs this year. With Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee, and Aramis Ramirez. The biggest question mark for the Cubs this year is going to be the Japanese import with a funny name Kosuke Fukudome. It should be interesting to see what Fukudome brings to the table for the Cubs offense. From what I have heard he is a cross between Hideki Matsui and Ichiro. Don't get me wrong he isn't as good in one area as the other two. But he brings both power and speed, not as good of power as Hideki Matsui and not as much speed as Ichiro. Just a blend of Matsui's and Ichiro's talents.

The Cubs also have a player that is an early contender for Rookie of the Year in Geovany Soto. He is being called upon as the starting catcher. He is a very good defensive catcher who works very hard with the Cubs pitchers and is a student of the game. He will be hitting in the 8 hole and I expect him to hit around .265-.275 with 10-15 Homeruns.

Strengths- The Cubs strenghts this year should be are 1-3 starters Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, and Rich Hill are all very good pitchers and all three should win us at least 15 games. Another one of our strenghts is the middle of the Line-up. The Cubs have a formidable top and middle of the line-up. We have some bangers with Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez. Derrek Lee has become more of a doubles hitter ever since his recent injury.

Weaknesses- The Cubs weaknesses is Center Field Felix Pie has yet to break out and has been somewhat of a disappointment this year. He is a big question mark in what he can bring to the Cubs. Another weakness is the 4-5 spots in the Rotation there is a big drop off from Zambrano, Lilly and Hill. The Cubs Bench is also a weakness we have pretty much 1 viable pinch hitter in Daryl Ward.

 

Projected Line-up

  1. Alfonso Soriano
  2. Kosuke Fukudome
  3. Derrek Lee
  4. Aramis Ramirez
  5. Mark DeRosa
  6. Felix Pie
  7. Ryan Theriot
  8. Geovany Soto

Rotation

  1. Carlos Zambrano
  2. Ted Lilly
  3. Rich Hill
  4. Ryan Dempster/ Sean Marshall
  5. Jon Leiber/ Jason Marquis

Final Thoughts: I can't wait to watch my Cubs this year, it should be a great race with the Milwaukee Brewers. It is only fitting that we start the season against them and finish the season against them it should be a dog fight all the way to the end.

2008 Record- 87-75 1st in NL Central

Category: MLB
Posted on: February 12, 2008 12:19 am
Edited on: February 12, 2008 3:38 pm
 

MLB Team Breakdowns (Teams who Report on Feb. 15)

Now it's time for me to Breakdown the teams whose pitchers and catchers report on February 15. The teams that report are: the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, and the San Diego Padres.

Now to first look at the American League.

Detroit Tigers logoDetroit Tigers
2007 Record:
88-74 2nd in AL Central

Key Departures- Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, Sean Casey
                               Key Acquisitions- Jacque Jones, Edgar Renteria, Dontrelle Willis, Miguel Cabrera

Well the Tigers had a busy off-season and probably one of the loudest, with a huge deal that brought the young slugger Miguel Cabrera, and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit. They also signed Shortstop Edgar Renteria. These signings make the Tigers arguably the best line-up top to bottom in the MLB. They have Pudge Ivan Rodriguez in the 8 hole. They also have a strong Starting Rotation with Justin Verlander Jeremy Bonderman, and Dontrelle Willis. Many baseball fans consider the Tigers the favorite in not only the AL Central but in the American League. I also believe the Tigers are the favorite in the AL Central. I believe the player that is the key to success for the Tigers is Justin Verlander, we all know that the Tigers are going to score run but can the Tigers and their #1 starter keep other team from scoring runs.

Final Thoughts- The Tigers are going to score about a million runs this year. O.K. maybe not quite but it will sure seem like it, they should be a lot of fun to watch.
2008 Record: 96-66 1st in AL Central

 

Los Angeles Angels logoLos Angeles Angels
2007 Record:
94-68 1st in AL West

Key Departures- Orlando Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Dallas McPherson
                               Key Acquisitions- Jon Garland, Torii Hunter

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim had a quiet offseason their big signing was Torii Hunter. Hunter should improve the Angels offense. But once again it will be up to the Angels pitching this season. John Lackey will look to have another good year along with Kelvim Escobar. The Angels will be fighting for the AL West Crown with the Seattle Mariners and will be also fighting for a Wild Card spot. Vladimir Guerrero will look to provide power in the middle of the line-up. I love watching him hit he will hit anything, no matter where it's pitched. This team has a lot of speed and they always find a way to score runs. I believe the player that is key to the Angels success is John Lackey. He is the #1 starter and will have to have another good season for the Angels to be successful.

Final Thoughts- I love watching this team play because they play small ball and like a national league team. It should be fun watching them battle the Mariners all year long.
2008 Record: 88-74 2nd in AL West

 

New York Yankees logoNew York Yankees
2007 Record:
94-68 2nd in AL East

Key Departures- None, maybe Andy Phillips
                               Key Acquisitions- LaTroy Hawkins

The Yankees stood fairly pat this offseason their biggest acquisition was Relief Pitcher LaTroy Hawkins. The Yankees still have one of the best line-ups in baseball from top to bottom, with Alex Rodriguez looking to have another monster season. The Yankees have stayed commited to their current plan of keeping their youth and this is prevalent in their Pitching by keeping Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, and Phillip Hughes. Once again the biggest question for the Yankees will be their Starting Pitching. Chien-Ming Wang is a legitimate 20 game winner this year. But after that their are many question marks especially with the aging Andy Pettite and Mike Mussina. The player I believe is the key to the Yankees success is the Y5ankees young starting pitching most notably Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy. If they have good years the Yankees should be able to make the playoffs, but if they don't pitch to their potential it could be a long October for the Yankees sitting at home and watching the playoffs for the first time in a very long time.

Final Thoughts- It should be fun and interesting watching the Yankees young pitchers this year and the race with hated rival the Boston Red Sox, their series' are always memorable.
2008 Record: 91-61 2nd in AL East

 

Tampa Bay Rays logoTampa Bay Rays
2007 Record:
66-96 5th in AL East

Key Departures- Elijah Dukes, Casey Fossum, Delmon Young
                               Key Acquisitions- Troy Percival, Cliff Floyd, Matt Garza,

The Rays sent some troubled players away from Tampa in Elijah Dukes and Delmon Young. They also picked up a good young pitcher in Matt Garza. The Rays are a year older and a year better. But don't expect all their talent to result into a playoff run. Though I expect them to improve greatly from last years record. They have a decent offense with Carl Crawford, the suprise of last year Carlos Pena, and the year older B.J. Upton. They also have an improved Starting Rotation with Scott Kazmir, James Shields, and Matt Garza. Too bad for the Rays they are in an extremely tough Division where they have to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox. The player key to the Rays success this year will be Evan Longoria he may be the new face of the franchise and is a very highly touted rookie he should be a lot of fun to watch at third base, and we'll se what he can provide to the Rays offense this year. He could very well win the Rookie of the Year Award.

Final Thoughts- The Rays will be improved from last year too bad for them their in a tough division. It should be fun to watch their array of young players.
2008 Record: 74-88 4th in AL East

 

Texas Rangers logoTexas Rangers
2007 Record:
75-87 4th in AL West

Key Departures- Brad Wilkerson
                               Key Acquisitions- Milton Bradley, Josh Hamilton

The Rangers had a fairly quiet offseason trading for Josh Hamilton, and signing Milton Bradley. It will be a very tough year again for the Rangers. At least Nolan Ryan is back, (as team President) the bad news too bad he can't pitch for them. That will once again be the weakness for the Rangers is their starting pitching their #1 starter is Kevin Millwood followed by Vicente Padilla and after that a bunch of unkowns. The Rangers line-up shold be fairly good and the hitter friendly Ballpark in Arlington should help. They have the consistent 200 hits guy in Michael Young at shortstop, and power hitting Hank Blalock at third. It should also be interesting to see how Jarrod Saltalamacchia behind the plate. The player that is the key to the Rangers success I believe will be Josh Hamilton it will be interesting to see what he does after the comeback season he had last year. The Rangers will need him to protect Michael Young and Hank Blalock in the line-up.

Final Thoughts- It could very well be a long year for the Rangers especially if they don't get any help out of their rotation. But it should be fun to watch Ian Kinsler and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
2008 Record: 70-92 4th in AL West

player photoplayer photoplayer photoplayer photoplayer photo
John Lackey, Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Evan Longoria,
and Josh Hamilton will all look to lead their teams to
success.


 

Atlanta Braves logoAtlanta Braves
2007 Record:
84-78 3rd in NL East

Key Departures- Andruw Jones, Edgar Renteria, Octavio Dotel
                               Key Acquisitions- Tom Glavine, Mark Kotsay, Jair Jurrjens

The Braves also had a fairly quiet offseason the big season they have a reunion with Pitcher Tom Glavine. The Braves will have a really good team this year too bad for them they have to compete with the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves have a good 1-2 punch in the rotation with John Smoltz and Tim Hudson. Tom Glavine will also help them but who knows how much he has left he'll turn 42 in March. The Braves offense should also be good this year with Chipper Jones and Mark Texeira holding down the 3 and 4 spot in the line-up. The biggest question will be can the young Yunel Escobar set the table for these sluggers. I believe the player that will be the key to the Braves success will be Rafael Soriano will he be able to close games. If he is able to the Braves could squeeze in and get the Wild Card but if he can't the Braves might be on the outside looking in come playoff time.

Final Thoughts- The Braves should be a fun team to watch too bad for me they're no longer on TBS. It should be fun to watch players like Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann.
2008 Record: 86-76 3rd in NL East

 

Los Angeles Dodgers logoLos Angeles Dodgers
2007 Record:
82-80 4th in NL West

Key Departures- Luis Gonzalez
                               Key Acquisitions- Andruw Jones, Hiroki Kuroda

The Dodgers had a busy offseason though they didn't make many big moves. Their biggest move was the signing of Andruw Jones and the hiring of Joe Torre as manager. Andruw Jones will look to bounce back from a bad year last year. Hopefully for the Dodgers he will provide some much needed offense for the Dodgers. The Dodger will also look for offensive help from young stud catcher Russell Martin. Juan Pierre and Rafael Furcal will look to set the table for the Dodgers offense. It should also be interesting to see how long until Andy LaRoche is called up and playing regularly for the Dodgers.  The Dodgers should have a strong Starting Rotation with Brad Penny penciled in as the #1 starter, and Derek Lowe following him. It will also be interesting to see how Japanese Import Hiroki Kuroda will pitch this year. The player that will be the key to the Dodgers success will be Andruw Jones will he be able to bounce back from a sub par year and provide much needed offense for the Dodgers.

Final Thoughts- It should be fun watching the NL West race with anyone other than the Giants able to win the NL West crown. Also it will be fun to watch Andy LaRoche play.
2008 Record: 85-77 3rd in NL West.

 

Pittsburgh Pirates logoPittsburgh Pirates
2007 Record:
68-94 6th in NL Central

Key Departures- Dan Kolb, Salomon Torres, Cesar Izturis, Jose Castillo
                               Key Acquisitions- Casey Fossum

The Pirates had a busy offseason but they mostly signed minor league deals and no key acquisitions. I think it will be another long season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Young pitchers Tom Gorzelanny and Zack Duke will look to lead the Pirates Rotation. Young players will also look to provide offense in the Bucs line-up they are; catcher Ronny Paulino and CF Nate McLouth. McLouth will look to set the table for Adam LaRoche and Jason Bay. The Pirates will most likely be a non factor in the NL Central race and I expect them to finish last in the NL Central again this year. I believe the player key to the Pirates success is Adam LaRoche he will have to be a run producer in a weak Pirates line-up.

Final Thoughts- On the bright side for Pirates fans they will be able to watch a very good young pitcher in Tom Gorzelanny. It should also be interesting to see if they deal Jason Bay this year.
2008 Record: 65-97 6th in NL Central

 

St. Louis Cardinals logoSt. Louis Cardinals
2007 Record:
78-84 3rd in NL Central

Key Departures- David Eckstein, Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen
                               Key Acquisitions- Matt Clement, Troy Glaus

The Cardinals had a fairly busy offseason but their biggest moves was trading Scott Rolen for Troy Glaus. They should still have a strong offense with Albert Pujols in the 3 hole, Chris Duncan will also look to provide protection for Albert Pujols. It should be interesting to see if Cesar Izturis can get the job done in the lead off spot. The Cardinals starting pitching is fairly weak with their #1 starter being Adam Wainwright, followed by the second year starter Braden Looper. It should be interesting to how Anthony Reyes bounces back from a bad year in 2007. The key to the Cardinals success is not the obvious choice in Albert Pujols but I believe the key to their success is Adam Wainwright. Can he do an effective job as the #1 starter, he will have to provide wins for a weak pitching staff.

Final Thoughts- I believe it will be a rough year for the Cardinals but if anyone can suprise it is the Cardinals. They always seem to suprise people and go on a run at the end of the year.
2008 Record: 78-84 3rd in NL Central

 

San Diego Padres logoSan Diego Padres
2007 Record:
89-74 3rd in NL West

Key Departures- Milton Bradley, Mike Cameron, Marcus Giles
                               Key Acquisitions- Jim Edmonds, Mark Prior, Tadahito Iguchi

The Padres had a very busy offseason making many signings. This is one of the hardest divisions to predict what will happen because anything can happen in this division and the teams are all fairly even. Once again the Padres Pitching Staff will have to carry this team. Jake Peavy will look to repeat his Cy Young year in 2007. Chris R. Young and Greg Maddux will also look to provide consistency in the rotation. The Padres also have one of the best closers in history in Trevor Hoffman. The offense doesn't have a sure fire #3 hitter but Adrian Gonzalez will look to take the at bats in the number 3 hole. Jim Edmonds will also look to provide runs for the Padres. It should be interesting to see what this offense can do. That is why I think that Adrian Gonzalez is the key to the Padres success, can he do the job in the number 3 hole and drive in runs?

Final Thoughts- If you like pitching this is the team for you to watch. It should be fun watching them battle it out all year with the Rockies, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks.
2008 Record: 87-75 2nd in NL West

 

player photoplayer photoplayer photoplayer photoplayer photo
Rafael Soriano, Andruw Jones, Adam LaRoche, Adam
Wainwright, and Adrian Gonzalez all look to provide
success for their teams.

Posted on: February 9, 2008 2:34 am
Edited on: February 12, 2008 3:05 am
 

MLB Team Breakdowns (Teams who Report on Feb.14)

I am going to do team breakdowns for teams whose pitchers and catchers report on February 14. I am doing this one early so people can make comments and check it out before the players report. I am also going to give my predictions for their season and give a player that is the key to their respective team's success.

There are 8 teams whose pitchers and catchers report on February 14th are the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants.

Now to start with the American League.

 

Baltimore Orioles logoBaltimore Orioles
2007 Record:
69-93 4th in AL East

Key Departures- Erik Bedard, Miguel Tejada
                               Key Acquisitions-  Greg Aquino, Adam Jones, Luke Scott

The Orioles unloaded 2 of their best players this offseason in Erik Bedard and Miguel Tejada. I believe the Orioles will struggle this year especially when the ace of their staff is Jeremy Guthrie or Daniel Cabrera. Their offense doesn't look to strong this year either. I think that the Orioles will be the Cellar Dwellers in the AL East and could very well end up with the worst record in the MLB. The player who is the key for Orioles if they want to be a suprise team this year is Brian Roberts. That's even if he is with the team at the end of Spring Training. There are rumors that the Orioles might deal Roberts to the Chicago Cubs. Roberts will have to be the table setter for the Orioles offense by getting on base and causing havoc on the basepaths.

Final Thoughts- Like I said before the Orioles are going to struggle this year. I expect them to be the worst team in the MLB.
2008 Record: 66-96 5th in AL East

 

Kansas City Royals logoKansas City Royals
2007 Record:
69-93

Key Departures- Jason LaRue, Emil Brown
                               Key Acquisitions- Jose Guillen, Miguel Olivo

The Royals didn't make too many moves this offseason. Their biggest moves were the signing of Jose Guillen and the hiring of Trey Hillman as Manager. The Royals didn't have to make too many moves this offseason because they have some of the pieces to the puzzle with Alex Gordon at 3rd Billy Butler at 1st/DH, Brian Bannister SP, to name a few. Brian Bannister and Gil Meche will look to anchor the rotation this year while Joakim Soria will look to close the door in the 9th. The player key to the Royals success this year has to be the face of the franchise Alex Gordon. Gordon will look to build and get better after his rookie season. He will have help in the line-up with newly acquired Jose Guilled who will provide a power bat in the middle of the Royals line-up. Billy Butler will also look to improve and it should be interesting to see if he can handle 1st base. It should be fun to watch the young Royals this year and lucky for me I'll be able to see 140 of their games.

Final Thoughts- I will be interested to see how Trey Hillman will do as the Manager, and also to see the Royals improve game in and gmae out.
2008 Record: 76-86 4th in AL Central possibly 3rd.

Oakland Athletics logoOakland Athletics
2007 Record:
76-86 3rd in AL West

Key Departures- Dan Haren, Mark Kotsay, Marco Scutaro, Nick Swisher
                               Key Acquisitions- Emil Brown, Gio Gonzalez

The Athletics had their typical offseason getting rid of some of their better players for minor leaguers. But for the A's and Beane Ball these minor leaguers usually become great players for the A's. I believe the A's are in a similar situation as the Orioles the only difference is that the A's have an Ace in Joe Blanton and their young players are better than the Orioles'. Some of the young players that are looking to make a difference for the A's are Kurt Suzuki, Travis Buck, and Daric Barton. I believe the A's offense will struggle to score runs this year, and it will be up to the young players to produce and light a spark for the offense. The player that is the key to success for the A's has to be Joe Blanton, it will be up to him to win games for the A's especially if he doesn't get that much run support. Rich Harden will also have to get and stay healthy and hopefully for the A's pitch like they expect him to.

Final Thoughts- I think it will be a tough year for the A's but it should be fun to watch the young players this year.
2008 Record: 72-90 3rd in AL West

Seattle Mariners logoSeattle Mariners
2007 Record:
88-74 2nd in AL West

Key Departures- Jose Guillen, Ben Broussard
                               Key Acquisitions- Erik Bedard, Brad Wilkerson, Carlos Silva

Wow! What a week for the Mariners they instantly got better with the acquisition of Erik Bedard. I really like this team they could possibly have the best Starting Pitching 1-2 punch in baseball with King Felix Hernandez and Erik Bedard. I also really like their offense with Ichiro Suzuki leading off and with Richie Sexson and Raul Ibanez in the middle of the order. Many people are picking the Angels to win the AL West Crown but I believe the Mariners are going to suprise these people and win the AL West. I believe they have one of the best defenses up the middle with Kenji Johjima at Catcher, and Yuniesky Betancourt and Jose Lopez up the middle and with Ichiro in Center. The player I believe is the key to the Mariners success is... well actually I think it will be 2 players, Erik Bedard he has to come through and do what the Mariners expect him to do when they traded for him. The other player is the under appreciated Raul Ibanez, he will most likely be batting 4 th in the line-up and has to be a run producer for the Mariners.

Final Thoughts: I think this is going to be a fun team to watch and like I said before I think they are going to suprise people and win the division.
2008 Record: 92-70 1st in AL West.

 

player photoplayer photoplayer photoplayer photo
Erik Bedard, Brian Roberts, Alex Gordon, Raul Ibanez and Joe Blanton all look
to lead their teams to success in 2008.

 


 

Now to move onto the National League Teams who are reporting on February 14th.

 

Chicago Cubs logoChicago Cubs
2007 Record:
85-77 1st in NL Central

Key Departures- Cliff Floyd, Jacque JonesJason Kendall, Craig Monroe, Mark Prior
                               Key Acquisitions- Jon Lieber, Kosuke Fukudome

The Cubs didn't make too many moves this offseason which is somewhat expected especially after how much they spent last offseason. I believe this will be a good year for the Cubs. I think they have the best Rotation in the NL Central. The Cubs offense should also be very good this year, with Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee, and Aramis Ramirez. The biggest question marks for the Cubs this year is going to be the Japanese import with a funny name Kosuke Fukudome and Geovany Soto at Catcher. The player that is going to be the key to the Cubs success I believe is Ryan Theriot and Carlos Zambrano. Theriot will have to get on base and cause havoc on the base paths he is a very pesky player who reminds me a lot of David Eckstein. Carlos Zambrano will have to get off to a good start this year and could very well win the NL Cy Young this year.

Final Thoughts: I can't wait to watch my Cubs this year, it should be a great race with the Milwaukee Brewers.
2008 Record- 87-75 1st in NL Central

Houston Astros logoHouston Astros
2007 Record:
73-89 4th in NL Central

Key Departures- Adam Everett, Brad Lidge, Chris Burke, Jason Jennings
                               Key Acquisitions- Darin Erstad, Michael Bourn, Kazuo Matsui, Miguel Tejada, Oscar Villarreal

The Astros had a busy offseason with their biggest signing being Miguel Tejada, The Astros are just hoping he will be able to play and his legal issues will be resolved. I believe the Astros will have a year similar to last years they will probably improve from last years record. They have a good blend of Veterans and Young Players, The Vets Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee and Miguel Tejada will need to produce for the team, while young stud Hunter Pence will have to have another good year. The biggest question mark will be how will the Rotation do after Roy Oswalt. I think the key player for the Astros will have to be Miguel Tejada and the rest of the middle of the line-up. They will have to produce runs because unless Roy Oswalt is pitching they will have to outscore the other team.

Final Thoughts- The Astros should be an interesting team to watch they have a very good line-up but their pitching just isn't where it needs to be.
2008 Record: 78- 84 3rd in the NL Central

Philadelphia Phillies logoPhiladelphia Phillies
2007 Record:
89-73 1st in NL East

Key Departures- Aaron Rowand, Tadahito Iguchi
                               Key Acquisitions- Brad Lidge, Pedro Feliz, So Taguchi

The Phillies stood pat for the most part in the offseason.(I had to add So Taguchi to key acquisitions because he has to have the coolest name in baseball) The Phillies arguably have the best trio in baseball with reigning MVP Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. This team is going to put up runs. Their pitching staff will be their weakness Cole Hamels will have to have another good year this year, while Brett Myers will have to rebound from last year, and who know what your going to get from the ageless Jamie Moyer. The player key to the Phillies success will be Cole Hamels, he will have to be the Ace of the rotation and have to win 15 or more games for the Phillies this year.

Final Thoughts- This should be a fun team to watch and even a better race to watch between them and the Mets they should have some great meaningful games this year.
2008 Record: 89-73 2nd in NL East

 

San Francisco Giants logoSan Francisco Giants
2007 Record:
71-91 5th in NL West

Key Departures- Barry Bonds, Pedro Feliz
                               Key Acquisitions- Aaron Rowand

The Giants 2 big offseason move were good ones. Getting rid of Barry Bonds and signing Aaron Rowand. The G-men will have a very tough year this year. I don't believe they will score many runs with their best power hitter being Aaron Rowand. The Giants will rely on their big offseason signing of a year ago Barry Zito to rebound and have a big year. They will also expect big things from Tim Lincecum. The player that will be the key to the Giants success will be Tim Lincecum he is basically the new face of the Franchise a Young pitcher. Fans will look to him for the future and hopefully for them he will continue to show them how good the future will be for this kid.

Final Thoughts- It will be a very long year for the Giants I expect them to be last in the division from beginning to end.
2008 Record: 63- 99 5th in NL West

 

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Ryan Theriot, Carlos Zambrano, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins
Time Lincecum, and Aaron Rowand will all look to lead their teams to success this season

Posted on: February 4, 2008 3:29 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2008 12:41 pm
 

10 Days Until the Official Start of Baseball!!!!

It is 10 days until the official start of baseball season. That's right Pitchers and Catchers report for some teams on February 14th. Personally I am pumped for the start of baseball now that the Super Bowl is over I have 3 things to look forward to.

  1. The swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated!
  2. March Madness!
  3. The start of MLB Regular Season on March 30th.

And what a start for all these events with the Super Bowl. That was one of the best Super Bowl games I have ever seen right behind the Steelers winning Super Bowl 40. I don't think I will ever forget Eli avoiding the sack and the catch by David Tyree.

Now to talk about NCAA Basketball.

It is still a crazy season for the Missouri Valley Conference.

Drake is the real deal and they are a shoe in for the NCAA Tournament. The only question is will the Valley get 2 teams in the Tournament. Right now I would have to say yes. But I think it will be one spot between 2 teams. Illinois State and Creighton. Creighton has a big game Tuesday night agains Northern Iowa. While Illinois State plays Drake on Tuesday night.

Illinois State has the toughest part of the schedule coming up until the end of the season with games against Drake, Bradley, Missouri State, Creighton and Southern Illinois. I am not sold on Illinois State and I believe they are too young to get through this tough stretch of games. So I think they will falter down the stretch. Illinois state has 4 home games and 3 road games remaining on their schedule.

Creighton also plays a similar schedule down the stretch as Illinois State. They have 4 home games and 3 road games in their final 7 games.

Since Creighton and Illinois State has a very similar schedule down the stretch let's take a look at their RPI and SOS

Illinois State- is Ranked 47th in RPI and their SOS Rank is 96th

Creighton- is Ranked 54th in RPI and their SOS Rank is 82nd

This is going to be a great race to which one of these teams will make the NCAA Tournament. This should be a great MVC Tournament this year. I can't wait for it to start.

Posted on: January 16, 2008 3:42 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2008 12:43 pm
 

Missouri Valley Turned Upside Down!

What a crazy year it has been for the Missouri Valley Conference and with Conference play in full swing it's only going to get crazier. The favorite to win the MVC, Southern Illinois Salukis are 8-9 (3-3) and are tied for 5th in the Conference. Two teams that were picked to finish in the bottom of the MVC are at the top right now the Drake Bulldogs 14-1 (5-0) are tied for first with the Illinois State Redbirds 13-3 (5-0).

It is good that the Missouri Valley is also getting more national attention with some of their games appearing on ESPN2. But it is looking like the MVC will be lucky to get 2 bids for the NCAA Tournament. With no big Non-conference wins for the conference. Southern Illinois tried with a very tough schedule ranked 4th in the Nation. They have played both USC and Indiana along with Butler. Their most notable win is against St. Mary's. But I believe the Valley could get 2 teams in the NCAA tournament. My picks right now are Drake and Creighton getting into the Tournament.

Here are the RPI rankings of the teams in the Valley.

Rank    Team                    Record           SOS          

#18       Drake                    12-1               122          

#38       Creighton             12-3               107         

#39       Illinois State         12-3              115

#61       Southern Illinois  8-9                4

#97       Indiana State        8-7                83

#102    Missouri State       9-8                31 

#130    Bradley                   8-9                 65

#144    Wichita State         8-8                 71

#159    Northern Iowa       9-7                 178

#239    Evansville               4-11              105

 
 
 
 
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