Thursday, April 5, 2012

Opening-day predictions

Posted By on 04.05.12 at 03:46 PM

Adam Dunn will hit more homers than Prince Fielder this year, sez me.
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  • Adam Dunn will hit more homers than Prince Fielder this year, sez me.
It's opening day, and time to make baseball predictions if I hope to regain the Golden BAT. I neglected to make any formal predictions last year, and that was unfortunate, in that I was all over the Milwaukee Brewers, although to be honest I would have picked the White Sox as well.

Yet this year I'm picking the White Sox again—a bolder choice, as the team has been predicted by Sports Illustrated to lose 95 games. (The magazine's jinx struck again last week, when it put Ohio State's men's basketball team on the cover; shouldn't the jinx work in reverse when the magazine predicts something bad to happen?)

I think the team's pitching could be very good, with Chris Sale in the rotation and if Jake Peavy returns to form. And I think the offense will be good enough with a revived Adam Dunn. In fact, here's another prediction I'm willing bet on (at the right odds, say Rebel Yell to Blanton's): Dunn will hit more homers than the Detroit Tigers' newly acquired Prince Fielder.

I'll take the Los Angeles Angels to win the West, and I'd be a fool to bet against the New York Yankees in the East. I'll take the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays in the expanded Wild Card, with the Rangers advancing. But I'll take the Angels to win the American League pennant, and being an AL fan I'll take them in the World Series, too.

That means I can get a little adventurous in the National League. Give me the Brew Crew again to repeat in the Central, and the San Francisco Giants to win the West and the pennant to create a rematch of the 2002 World series ten years ago. But I'll take Ozzie Guillen's Miami Marlins to win the East, with the Washington Nationals making the playoffs for the first time as a Wild Card, alongside the Los Angeles Dodgers.

As for the Cubs, they'll have a better record in the second half of the season than in the first; that's all I'm willing to predict where they're concerned.

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