Monday, July 13, 2009
It's mid-summer and time for the All Star Game in St. Louis as Major League Baseball will get ready to ramp it back up again following all the festivities.
The home run derby and the celebrity All-Star games are history and the game itself takes center stage with the American League seeking to continue its recent dominance against the senior circuit.
The Los Angeles Dodgers enjoy a nice cushion in the National League West with the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies battling for the second spot and leading the wild card chase at the midway mark for 2009.
The host city for the All-Star Game, St. Louis leads Milwaukee by two and a half games with the Chicago Cubs and the surprising Houston Astros hanging around as well in the NL Central.
In the East, Philadelphia is rolling along with Florida, Atlanta and the New York Mets trying to mount a challenge against the defending World Series champions.
In the American League, the Boston Red Sox, led by stellar pitching, lead the New York Yankees by three games with the Tampa Bay Rays hanging around as well.
The Detroit Tigers, perhaps baseball's biggest disappointment in 2008, lead the AL Central by three and a half games over the Chicago White Sox and four games ahead of Minnesota.
In the AL West, the Los Angeles Angels actually have a battle on their hands this season as Texas is within a game and a half of the division lead after leading the West most of the first half of the season. And let's not forget the upstart Seattle Mariners, led by baseball's best hitter, Ichiro Suzuki, themselves only four games out.
All this being stated, here goes some fearless picks for the second half of Baseball 2009 and the ultimate pick of World Series competitors and eventual World Series champions.
Let's start with the American League...
The Boston Red Sox should hold off the Yankees and Rays and win the East... The Tigers will win the Central and the Angels once again will triumph in the West.
In the National League, the Phillies roll with the division title again while the Cubs overtake the Red Birds and win the Central... As before mentioned, the Dodgers simply have too large of a lead to blow it and will win the West.
Individually, look for Ichiro to win another American League batting title while Mark Teixiera (Yankees) wins the home run crown... the NL leaders will be Albert Pujols (who also is the MVP choice at this site) with 50+ home runs and 150+ RBI. It would be great to see Pujols win the triple crown as well.
That has not happened in the majors since 1967 when legendary Red Sox slugger Carl Yastrzemski accomplished the feat.
The NL MVP will be Pujols and in the AL look for Ichiro to get the honors. The Cy Young Award will go to Josh Beckett (Boston) in the AL and San Francisco's Tim Lincecum in the National League.
On to the post-season...
As mentioned, the division winners will be Boston, Detroit and the LA Angels in the American League with Tampa Bay getting the wild card spot.
The National League division winners will be Philadelphia, Chicago Cubs and LA Dodgers with the St. Louis Cardinals getting the wild card.
When all the dust settles in late October, look for the Phillies and Red Sox to go at it in the World Series and the Phillies repeating (YES repeating) as World Series champions.
In the meantime, let's grab a hot dog and some peanuts and enjoy the second half of the season.
You never really know what's gonna happen.