The 2010 predictions

Hey, the baseball season starts tomorrow! Here are the 2010 predictions from both Sports Illustrated and a quick-and-dirty Bill James formula [(2009 wins*2)+(2008 wins)/3].

Sports Illustrated picked one Player To Watch for each team, so I’ve done the same. However, instead of actual analysis of each player’s strengths and what they bring to their teams, it’s mostly just making fun of their names.

Sports Illustrated
Prediction Player to Watch Prediction Player to Watch
AL East
1. N.Y. Yankees (100-62) Javier Vazquez (RHP) 1. N.Y. Yankees (98-64) Derek Jeter (SS), who I’m expecting to find himself distracted by his gigantic house in my old neck of the woods in Tampa. A lot of things can go wrong with a house that size, beginning with satellites crashing into it, having been attracted by its gravitational pull.
2. Tampa Bay Rays (95-67) Jeff Niemann (RHP) 2. Boston Red Sox (95-67) Kevin Youkilis (1B), because I like saying “Yooooook.”
3. Boston Red Sox (93-69) Mike Cameron (CF) 3. Tampa Bay Rays (88-74) Pansy the Wuss-Wuss Fish Who Can’t Keep It Up (mascot), for what should be obvious reasons.
4. Baltimore Orioles (76-86) Nick Markakis (RF) 4. Toronto Blue Jays (79-83) Marc Rzepczynski (LHP) — want to find out how to pronounce that.
5. Toronto Blue Jays (64-98) Ricky Romero (LHP) 5. Baltimore Orioles (65-97) Cesar Izturis (SS) — enjoy his salad, like him on “The Dog Whisperer.”
AL Central
1. Minnesota Twins (88-74) Orlando Hudson (2B) 1. Minnesota Twins (87-75) The Minnesota Weather (environment) now that the Twins are in an outdoor stadium.
2. Detroit Tigers (82-80) Johnny Damon (LF) 2. Chicago White Sox (82-80) Gordon Beckham (2B) — we know he can play soccer, but what about baseball?
3. Chicago White Sox (79-83) Jake Peavy (RHP) 3. Detroit Tigers (82-80) Johnny Damon (LF), of course, of course.
4. Cleveland Indians (66-96) Fausto Carmona (RHP) 4. Cleveland Indians (70-92) Fausto Carmona (RHP), who has obviously sold his soul to the devil in order to beat the Yankees, who are unfortunately in a different division.
5. Kansas City Royals (65-97) Zack Greinke (RHP) 5. Kansas City Royals (68-94) Zack Greinke (RHP) — surely some Kansas City-based agribusiness research facility is working on cloning technology as we speak that would allow the Royals to have a rotation of five Greinkes.
AL West
1. L.A. Angels (89-73) Ervin Santana (RHP) 1. L.A. Angels (98-64) Jered Weaver (RHP) — I have a co-worker named Jarad who is originally from the greater Anaheim area. What is it with Orange County and weird spellings of “Jared”?
2. Texas Rangers (87-75) Josh Hamilton (RF) 2. Texas Rangers (84-78) Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C) — always fun to see how they manage to cram his name onto the back of his jersey.
3. Seattle Mariners (83-79) Milton Bradley (LF) 3. Seattle Mariners (77-85) David Aardsma (RHP) — first in war, first in peace, first in alphabetical order.
4. Oakland Athletics (79-83) Ben Sheets (RHP) 4. Oakland Athletics (75-87) Coco Crisp (CF), who always makes me hungry for cereal.
NL East
1. Philadelphia Phillies (100-62) Cole Hamels (LHP) 1. Philadelphia Phillies (93-69) Placido Polanco (3B), who should be singing the National Anthem before every game — or am I thinking of Enrico Palazzo?
2. Atlanta Braves (89-73) Billy Wagner (LHP) 2. Florida Marlins (86-76) John Baker (C) — okay, that’s how he registers at hotels, but what’s his real name?
3. Florida Marlins (82-80) Ricky Nolasco (RHP) 3. Atlanta Braves (81-81) Jair Jurrjens (RHP) — hopefully he’s less annoying on the Braves than he was in The Phantom Menace.
4. N.Y. Mets (79-83) Daniel Murphy (1B) 4. N.Y. Mets (76-86) Angel Pagan (OF) — most oxymoronic name in baseball.
5. Washington Nationals (67-95) Nyjer Morgan (CF) 5. Washington Nationals (59-103) Nyjer Morgan (CF) — great XTC song: “Making Plans for Nyjer.”
NL Central
1. St. Louis Cardinals (87-75) Colby Rasmus (CF) 1. St. Louis Cardinals (89-73) Albert Pujols (1B) — how can you not watch Albert Pujols?
2. Chicago Cubs (81-81) Geovany Soto (C) 2. Chicago Cubs (88-74) Carlos Zambrano (RHP) — because I still can’t remember which one is Carlos and which one is Victor.
3. Cincinnati Reds (79-83) Homer Bailey (RHP) 3. Milwaukee Brewers (83-79) Trevor Hoffman (RHP) — has anyone yet done a polka version of “Hell’s Bells” in his honor?
4. Milwaukee Brewers (77-85) Alcides Escobar (SS) 4. Houston Astros (78-84) Roy Oswalt (RHP) — his brother Patton is very, very funny.
5. Houston Astros (69-93) Brett Myers (RHP) 5. Cincinnati Reds (77-85) Homer Bailey (RHP) — with a name like Homer, how did he end up as a pitcher and not a hitter?
6. Pittsburgh Pirates (65-97) Andrew McCutchen (CF) 6. Pittsburgh Pirates (64-98) The Primanti Sandwich (concession) — sadly, again this year, probably going to be the best thing that makes its home in PNC Park.
NL West
1. Colorado Rockies (91-71) Todd Helton (1B) 1. L.A. Dodgers (91-71) Manny Ramirez (LF) — because no doubt he’s going to make something interesting happen.
2. L.A. Dodgers (87-75) Chad Billingsley (RHP) 2. Colorado Rockies (86-76) Huston Street (RHP) — waiting to see if he gets a street named after him, and if it’ll be handled the same way it was handled when Eugenius H. Outerbridge had a bridge named after him. (Actually, there already is a “Street Road” in the Philadelphia area. Maybe he should go to the Phillies.)
3. San Francisco Giants (83-79) Brian Wilson (RHP) 3. San Francisco Giants (83-79) Barry Zito (LHP), who wears his pants cuffs high and will therefore be showing off the Giants’ awesome new striped socks.
4. Arizona Diamondbacks (82-80) Mark Reynolds (3B) 4. Arizona Diamondbacks (74-88) Augie Ojeda (IF) — I always wonder if his father’s name is Ojeda Daddy.
5. San Diego Padres (66-96) Kyle Blanks (LF) 5. San Diego Padres (71-91) Will Venable (RF) — waiting for him to be around long enough that he becomes Will Venerable.

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