Let’s start this story at the end. It will be Boston and Philly in the World Series.
Wow, out on a limb there, don’t you think?
Actually, the choice is so obvious that many of the prognosticators are not picking them because if everyone voted their gut, nobody would pick anyone else and that doesn’t generate interest.
As always, the supply of disappearing ink remains so this column will self-destruct in August anyway, just in case.
The Sox win the East over Tampa Bay and the Yankees in that order. There are no easy games in this division with Toronto banging out home runs and Baltimore looking to young pitching and a veteran lineup.
Always, staying healthy is the key, but the Sox are as loaded as they look. The Yankees will have some age problems as the year moves on, and Tampa Bay will need more power.
The Twins win the Central even though they are not that good. Neither is anyone else in that division. The Tigers and Chicago will make a run and it’s really wide open.
If pitching is the end-all, the A’s win the West. Again, not a strong division with only Texas taking a run at the top.
The Phillies do have one of the finest rotations in major league history. The rest of the NL East just watches.
The Central goes to the Brew Crew. Milwaukee has a decent starting staff, but the Brewers have to get Zack Greinke back within a month to stave off the Reds.
The Giants win the West with pitching and the experience of having won it all last year. The Rockies should make a run, but do they have the depth in either offense or pitching?
Good or bad, there are the Red Sox and Phillies who should march to their own drummers this year. It’s really sort of ridiculous that this much talent is massed on these two teams.
Not to have them in the World Series, if healthy, would be a real loss for fans. This much talent needs to compete against one another just for the heck of it.
Both teams should win 100 games and be the only ones to do it.
Yes, I hear you.
This is a setup. Picking these two is too easy. Baseball doesn’t work that way. That’s why the Giants won last year.
The trouble is the long shots aren’t many.
Oakland or Tampa Bay could do it if the starters are all good for a complete season.
Minnesota could be there if Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau can get in a full season near full strength.
The trouble is, for any team other than the Red Sox and Phils to be in the World Series, everything will have to go right.
For Boston and Philadelphia, they just have to play to their talent level with nothing extra needed and watch the wins pile up.