MLB Predictions For The 2010 Season

1. Unfortunately, the Toronto Blue Jays will lose 100+ games this season. In addition to playing AL East teams 19 times who have all seemingly improved from last year, the Blue Jays have a month long stretch from June 18th to July 11th where they have one “easy” series. The teams they play are Giants (3), Cardinals (3), Phillies (3), @Indians (4), @Yankees (3), Twins (3) and Red Sox (3). A rough 22 game stretch going into the All-Star Break. I don’t think too many teams get to play that tough of a stretch very often. They certainly have a powerful offense to compete with anyone in the game but the lack of experience in pitching will probably cost them way too many games.

Even though I make that prediction, I am going to be rooting every day like there is not tomorrow for the Blue Jays to prove me wrong.

2. On the other hand, Yankees will not win 100 games this year. I have seen several reports that have them at 103/104 wins but I don’t see that happening in the ever improving and difficult AL East. They improved in CF by getting Granderson but lost clutch hitters like Damon and Matsui and Gardner/Swisher isn’t a very intimidating corner OF. I am interested in seeing how Vazquez does because I have a feeling he could end up wining the most games in that rotation this year.

3. Even without Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins will comfortably win the AL Central. Tigers improved a little not nearly as much as they needed to and that playoff type rotation for White Sox will only help them so much. Behind the leadership (and new contract extension) of Joe Mauer and some decent pitching, I think they still win the division by at least 10 games even without Joe Nathan.

4. Both winners of the West divisions will have less than 90 wins. It has happened a few times in the past decade for the NL West but not in the AL since 1998 when Texas won the division with with 88 wins. Both Dodgers and Angels should win their respective divisions again but the Angels will have a much tougher fight and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mariners are competing for a playoff spot in late August or early September.

5. The first baseball game of the season I will attend is going to be May 19, 2010 when Tampa Bay Rays come to the Bronx to play the Yankees. Haven’t bought any tickets to the game yet, but it is the first date when everyone is done with finals and it just might work out.

Red Hot Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays have been on some streak here. In their past 9 games (6-3) they have only allowed12 runs in that stretch – that is a 1.33 ERA. They have won their past 5 even though this streak started off pretty badly. Here is the 9 game stretch:

4/26 – Royals – Loss – 1-2
4/27 – Royals – Won – 5-2
4/29 – Red Sox – Loss – 0-1
4/30 – Red Sox – Loss – 1-2
5/1 – Red Sox – Win – 3-0
5/2 – White Sox – Win – 2-0
5/3 – White Sox – Win – 5-2
5/4 – White Sox – Win – 4-3
5/5 – White Sox – Win – 1-0

In that stretch, take a look at the Jays starting pitching staff going 7-1 in the 9 games:

Roy Halladay (1-1): 16 IP and 1.13 ERA
Dustin McGowan (2-0): 14.2 IP and 0.63 ERA
AJ Burnett (1-0): 7.2 IP and 0 ERA
Shaun Marcum (1-1): 12.2 IP and 1.48 ERA
Jesse Litsch (2-0): 14.1 IP and 1.91

As if the starting pitching wasn’t impressive enough the bullpen has been even better. They have pitched 13.0 innings in the 9 game stretch allowing only ONE (1) earned run. In that stretch they have lost 1 game while picking up 6 saves. You can do that math (or I can do it for you) that is a 0.69 ERA.

Let’s keep all this in perspective. Yes the Jays have won 5 straight but they are still 16-17, 4 games back of Boston Red Sox and 1 of the Yankees. It is still only the 5th of May and playoffs start in October. There is a long ways to go but certainly if the pitching can keep things rolling (certainly you won’t expect a staff to keep a 1.3 ERA although that would be amazing), the Jays offense really needs to start clicking. They can’t afford to lose games 2-1 and 1-0 in the AL East. They Jays are currently 4-8 in one run games and 1-2 in extra innings which will need to improve if they Jays want to contend down the stretch.

Speaking of pitching and the AL East, it was nice to see Darrell Rasner who got roughed up in the first inning to settle down and shut out the Marines the rest of the way. He can provide the Yankee staff quite the boost if he can provide quality starts every now and then with Wang and Moose clicking. Also, keep an eye out for an absolute pitching dandy on Wednesday when Chien-Ming Wang (6.0 – 3.00 ERA) of the Yankees goes up against Cliff Lee (5.0 – 0.96 ERA) of the Indians. That is going to be just a great game.