Keith's Comments on the Upcoming Season
I just don't see any way that Atl, NYM, Stl, and LAD fail to fill out the NL playoff bracket this year. Not if the Rocket comes back to Houston and cuts his 2005 ERA in half, not if Barry Bonds plays in all 162 games for the Giants. Not if Kerry Wood and Mark Prior revert to 2003 form, not if Ryan Howard hits 60 home runs this year.
Th AL's a little trickier, as seven teams enter the season with 90+ win potential. In the end, I think the four of those with the most depth get into the postseason.
Snell wins the NL ROY because the Marlins' Jeremy Hermedia and Josh Willingham split votes the way that Cleveland's Manny Ramirez and Roberto Alomar split votes in 1999 to allow I-Rod to win the award. Nice to have two Ians winning ROYs.
Keith and I's picks for team standings were strikingly similar in some respects, not so much in others. Keith is down on the Yankees this year, and I simply fail to see how the Yankees, other than aging, have declined from last season. Johnny Damon is not the best centerfielder in the league, but he is vastly better than last year's train wreck. Keith is also more up on the Dodgers than I am this season. Furcal at short is an improvement, but they were already solid at short. Nomar is a brittle shortstop turned first baseman, Jeff Kent is another year older (though no signs of slowing), and the outfield features Kenny Lofton, whose days as a full-timer seem long gone.
See Asher's 2006 Predictions
No matter how talented the Yankees players were in their primes, any team with that many aged superstars and questionable pitchers can decline very rapidly. Just look at the Seattle Mariners of 2004. Kudos to Keith for having the guts to pick the Yankees in 3rd place!
In the National league, I think he is a bit too optimistic about Florida, but they have a much better chance to win 77 than they do to win 49 as Richard
Keith rides Jae Wong Seo like I used to ride Shannon Stewart in search of the AL batting title. Let it go!
And in 1999, the real injustice was that Pedro Martinez didn't win the AL MVP!
See Scott's 2006 Predictions
As with Asher, I see no way the Angels finish below .500 and as with Scott, I see no way with the Dodgers pitching that they could win 97 games. The Angels pitching is just too good, and the Dodgers pitching is just too iffy. There are major concerns heading into the season with Gagne and his 89-91 mph fastball. There’s no way he saves 55, just no way.
And again, as with Scott, I just cannot see only 5 teams in the NL with winning records, especially with only one each in the Central and Western divisions.
I must say the thought of Scott Elarton losing 20 games crossed my mind so that certainly wouldn’t surprise me but I might drop dead if Paul Byrd manages to win 23. I could definitely see Franklin giving up 46 jacks if he starts, though it looks like he’s going to the pen.
Back to the 2006 Baseball Evolution Season Preview Index