In the hopes of doing something original with the highly stale pre-season baseball prediction column, I have decided to pick all of the winning teams randomly. I took the names of the teams in each division and threw them into a hat. I picked the winners of each division out and will then threw the rest back in and picked the Wild Card. After that, I threw the winning names back in and picked the World Series Winner at random. The challenge is now for me to come up with reasons that the teams I picked might actually win. We are making history here folks. Hang on to your hats!
Whew! I got off easy on this one. Great pitching, a powerful lineup and a payroll that resembles the Gross Domestic Product of Angola, what is not to like? I think I’m pretty safe here.
The lineup isn’t totally horrendous. Jeff Francouer, the team’s right fielder, might well hit 30 homeruns this year (if he manages to get somewhere around 1300 at bats). First baseman Kila Ka’aihue has a shot to lead the league this season in Vowel To Consonant In Name Ratio (VCNR), an important predictor of player success. They feature Bruce Chen and Kyle Davies who both spent some of their careers with the Atlanta Braves. The Atlanta Braves system produced John Smoltz and Tom Glavine, two certain Hall of Famers.
An oft-overlooked statistic that bodes well for the Royals is team weight. The Royals position players outweigh the rest of the leagues position players by nearly 220 pounds and an average of 10.7 pounds per player. Starvation is a disease that afflicts many professional athletes and it is almost guaranteed that, if there is any sort of famine, the Royals will be able to outlast the rest of the Central.
The Mariners feature an exciting team that could easily make a run at their first division championship since the Ford Administration. They feature a budding star in first baseman The Dude Who Got Traded for Cliff Lee, and a dominant starting pitcher, The Heavy Set Young Guy Who Sportswriters Seem to Really Like. The Short Speedy Guy Who Used To Be Good is a sparkplug at the top of the lineup. The Guy With The Strange Looking Name is a top-flite closer who looks to rebound from a shaky 2010. Slightly Mentally Disturbed Former Power Hitter Who Has Been Kicked Off Of Nearly Every Team In Baseball showed signs of regaining his All-Star form late last season. They have a lot of other talented players who are capable of both hitting and even fielding, on occasion. New Manager, Guy With The Mustache Who Got Fired By Somebody a While Ago, brings a new enthusiasm and energy that should translate into more wins.
AL Wild Card-Tigers
The Tigers are one of the toughest teams in baseball. They have to be…they live in Detroit. Detroit, a city that is best known for devastating poverty and Robocop, has a proud tradition of excellence. No examples of this spring to mind immediately, but I’m sure there is some fellow in a Chet Lemon throwback jersey who can come up with a few. Detroit also features a baseball stadium that is untouched by the bloodshed and terror that take place outside of its gates. They will probably sellout most of their games this season as panicked citizens search for shelter, food and safety.
In spite of the fact that 2/3s of the team look like they have been waiting on line for 15 hours to get tickets to a Nickelback concert, they have a great deal of talent. The pitching is flat-out awesome. Lincecum and Cain are tremendous at the front end, but they also have the unfortunately named Madison Bumgarner and Barry Zito, who’s contract conclusively proves he is one of the top pitchers in baseball. Expect great things out of enigmatic lefty Jonathon Sanchez, who should pitch well enough this season to allow another organization to set themselves back 10 years by giving him millions of dollars in the off-season (see Oliver Perez). The fact that they collectively will probably hit 12 homeruns shouldn’t bother you because good pitching always beats good hitting and clichés repeated ad nauseum by baseball announcers are always correct.
The Nats went out and spent some money in the off-season for the first time since Ronnie Belliard turned down a lucrative career in Real Estate Sales to join the club back in 2007. Their big splash was the signing of Jayson Werth, who should react favorably to a less hitter friendly park and limited protection in the lineup. They also signed Adam LaRoche, a player who has accumulated a great deal of experience playing in front of 300-1,000 fans, a major advantage for players first joining the club. They feature a bevy of young potential superstars including recent arm transplant recipient Jordan Zimmerman and David Clyde-esque flamethrower Stephen Strasburg. If minor league sensation Bryce Harper does not drown in eye black, he could join the club for a late season push.
Somebody has to win the Central….right????
NL Wild Card-Florida
Florida’s fan base has suffered through several subpar seasons due to the nearly constant fire sale that has taken place since the franchise last won the World Series in 2003. Those twelve people have suffered terribly and deserve a great season. This is their year!
World Series Winner Florida Marlins