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Asher's 2006 Predictions
AL East W L Pct. NL East W L Pct.
New York Yankees 94 68 0.580 Atlanta Braves 93 69 0.574
Toronto Blue Jays 90 72 0.556 New York Mets 91 71 0.562
Boston Red Sox 82 80 0.506 Philadelphia Phillies 86 76 0.531
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 76 86 0.469 Washington Nationals 85 77 0.525
Baltimore Orioles 68 94 0.420 Florida Marlins 60 102 0.370
AL Central W L Pct. NL Central W L Pct.
Cleveland Indians 98 64 0.605 St. Louis Cardinals 97 65 0.599
Chicago White Sox 94 68 0.580 Milwaukee Brewers 85 77 0.525
Minnesota Twins 76 86 0.469 Houston Astros 83 79 0.512
Detroit Tigers 71 91 0.438 Pittsburgh Pirates 81 81 0.500
Kansas City Royals 55 107 0.340 Cincinnati Reds 74 88 0.457
Chicago Cubs 64 98 0.395
AL West W L Pct. NL West W L Pct.
Oakland Athletics 95 67 0.586 Los Angeles Dodgers 85 77 0.525
Texas Rangers 84 78 0.519 Colorado Rockies 83 79 0.512
Los Angeles Angels 79 83 0.488 Arizona Diamondbacks 82 80 0.506
Seattle Mariners 75 87 0.463 San Francisco Giants 74 88 0.457
San Diego Padres 70 92 0.432
American League National League Division Series Cleveland over New York, 3-0 New York over St. Louis, 3-2 Oakland over Chicago, 3-2 Atlanta over Los Angeles, 3-2 League Championship Cleveland over Oakland, 4-1 Atlanta over New York, 4-3 World Series Cleveland over Atlanta, 4-0
League Leaders

Hitters American League Stat National League Stat
AVG Ichiro Suzuki 0.345 Albert Pujols 0.338
OBP Travis Hafner 0.447 Lance Berkman 0.447
SLG Travis Hafner 0.660 David Wright 0.590
OPS Travis Hafner 1.107 Lance Berkman 1.100
R Grady Sizemore 135 Jose Reyes 122
H Ichiro Suzuki 235 Jason Bay 210
2B Travis Hafner 49 David Wright 52
3B Carl Crawford 19 Jose Reyes 21
HR Travis Hafner 51 Adam Dunn 49
RBI Travis Hafner 145 Delgado 130
BB Travis Hafner 153 Adam Dunn 122
SO Brad Wilkerson 173 Adam Dunn 155
SB Scott Podsednik 82 Jose Reyes 75
CS Scott Podsednik 26 Jose Reyes 23
IP Roy Halladay 223.1 Dontrelle Willis 252.2
W C.C. Sabathia 24 Carlos Zambrano 24
L Jared Washburn 18 Derek Lowe 17
ERA Johan Santana 2.25 John Patterson 2.25
H Freddy Garcia 245 Dontrelle Willis 242
K Johan Santana 245 Carlos Zambrano 245
HR Kevin Millwood 43 Ramon Ortiz 51
BB Runelvys Hernandez 89 Kip Wells 101
Sv Huston Street 48 Jose Valverde 47
Award Winners

Awards American League National League
Most Valuable Player Travis Hafner(.320-51-145) Albert Pujols (.338-44-127)
Cy Young Roy Halladay (20-7 2.43 201) Carlos Zambano(24-9 2.36 245)
Rookie of the Year Jon Papelbon (16-11 3.67 176) Conor Jackson (.287-27-87)
Comeback Player Bobby Crosby Scott Rolen
Surprise Player Hank Blalock Eric Byrnes
Disappointing Player Jon Garland Jeff Kent
Dave Kingman Tony Batista Alfonso Soriano
Alex Gonzalez of the Marlins Tony Batista Juan Pierre
Asher's Comments on the Upcoming Season

I make no secret that I am going all in with the Indians this season. This will be a special season for them, and none more clearly than Travis Hafner . . . Carlos Zambrano will have a fantastic year, but it will be a Steve Carlton-esque season, in which he will be the only bright spot for the Cubs. Prior and Wood will have more problems again, and Dusty Baker's mid-season firing will mean the Cubs will hopefully have them both healthy and ready in 2007 . . . Travis Hafner and Mark Teixeira will join Alex Rodriguez as the class of the league . . . Brad Wilkerson's numbers shoot up with the Rangers, but he still strikes out a ton . . . Tony Batista gets off to a hot return with the Twins, but fades in the second half . . . The Dodgers succeed despite, not because of, Derek Lowe . . . The Rockies and the D'Backs youth movements take hold, while the Padres and the Giants age-movements fizzle . . . Blue Jays give Yankees a run, fade late because of injuries . . .

Okay, a confession - when I picked Ramon Ortiz to lead the league in homeruns given up, I had forgotten that he was no longer a Cincinnati Red. Oops!

Keith's Take

We should all know how I feel about Derek Lowe right now, but Asher and I are both Hafner fans. I don't see the math working out on his leading the league in BA, OBP, BB, 2B, an HR but slugging only .660... it would be closer to .760.

Speking of math not working out, how in the heck are the Nationals going to win 85 games if Ramon Ortiz allows 51 homers in a stadium where Jose Guillen could only hit 3 homers in last year? And even with superlative seasons from Byrnes, Jackson, and Valverde, the D'backs rotation still won't be functional enough to win them 50% of their games.

Maybe break out the 'ol TI-81 for next year's predictions, Asher.

See Keith's 2006 Predictions.

Scott's Take

Asher has the D-Backs, Rockies, Rangers, and Nationals each finishing with at least 82 wins. I think this is preposterous, but based on the way the game flows, I will bet that one, possibly two of them do actually finish at or above .500, but that the others will be pretty darn awful. The Royals set a franchise record in losses last year. Does Asher really think they are a worse team this year?

Two 24-game winners be phenomenal in this era, but by Asher's reckoning Zambrano would account for 37.5% of the Cubs' wins. The rest of the staff is left to combine for only 40 victories yet 89 defeats---a .310 winning percentage. I echo Keith's comments on Hafner and the Nationals.

If the Dodgers are in the thick of a pennant race, what's the chance that they leave a struggling pitcher in the rotation long enough to lose 17 games? I like the return to 1980's-level stolen bases, but Asher's picks remain the space-cadet Yang to Tony's conservative Yin.

See Scott's 2006 Predictions.

Rich's Take

The only one among Keith, Scott and Asher to have enough common sense to see that the Marlins Triple A roster will lose at least 100 games! I agree with the general assessment of your picks, though I see no way the Angels would finish below .500 nor any way the Rockiesí pitching could possibly put them over .500.

I also donít see a Dodger team with Derek Lowe losing 17 games and Jeff Kent being a disappointment managing to win 85 games, much less the division. I can see them winning 85 games and maybe even the division, but not if those two players donít perform as expected.

I concur with both Scott and Keith about the Nationals. Not nearly enough pitching or offense to carry them above .500 though the only thing I disagree with Asher about with the Cubs is when Dusty will get the axe. Look for it to happen sooner than mid-season, like in early May.

Connor Jackson, having spent more than 45 days on the active roster last year, is no longer a rookie. Looks like heíll be good, though Iím not convinced heíll be quite as good as some people think this quickly.

Back to the 2006 Baseball Evolution Season Preview Index.