Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Season Predictions: NL Central

I predicted the Brewers to win the central this year because they have amazing hitters great young hurlers and a decent bullpen. The Brewers are an excellent young team with a great combination of vets and young'uns. The one thing this team is terrible at is fielding. They have some of the best young hitters that are the worst fielders in the game like Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. They have one of the best batting orders in the NL with Rickie Weeks(draws tons of walks, gets on base, fast), Mike Cameron(has speed, strikes out a ton but they got him for his fielding), Ryan Braun(young power hitter with some speed, anemic defense), Prince Fielder(extreme power hitter), Corey Hart(a five tool player), Bill Hall(good glove, decent bat great speed), JJ Hardy(fine young shortstop), the pitcher(power bat....just kidding) and Jason Kendall(their "2nd leadoff hitter" scrappy player who gets on base).

Ned Yost has his pitcher batting 8th because he wants the most guys on base as possible for Fielder, Braun, Hart. What he doesn't realize is that pitchers kill rallies and that he's giving 18 more at bats to the pitcher. Another good thing about this, is that JJ Hardy is batting 7th AND in front of the pitcher. Why does this matter? Because proven in recent studies that the batter before the pitcher sees more pitches and draws more walks which is very good for JJ.

Their team is stocked with pitching headed by ace Ben Sheets, a solid veteran in Jeff Suppan and a bunch of young guys like Yovani Gallardo(a future stud), Carlos Villanueva, Manny Parra(another excellent pitcher) and Dave Bush rounding out the rotation. Why have so many analysts picked the Cubs to win this division if I just showed you how good the Brewers are? Because the Cubs have a better rotation, a much better bullpen, better defense and also have a great lineup(although not as good as the Brewers). The third team that has talent in this division are the Reds. The Reds have a dream lineup with a dream pitching rotation but are very inconsistent. If everything starts clicking for them at the same time they could be this year's Rockies. All the other teams in this division are pretty junkie but out of the bunch the Cards are the best.

The Rest of the Division goes as follows:
1. Milwaukee Brewers(late run wins it)
2. Chicago Cubs(very close second)
3. Cincinnati Reds(on the brink of being great)
4. St. Louis Cardinals(keep falling further and further from the 06 WS)
5. Pittsburgh Pirates(they'll start turning things around)
6. Houston Astros(one of the worst run teams in the game)