2010 MLB Season Predictions: September Review

In March, before the 2010 MLB season began, I made my divisional and playoff predictions, which appear below. At the All Star break, I revisited those predictions. Now that the playoffs are less than two weeks away, I want to provide another update. Look for more as the regular season officially concludes and the playoffs begin.

American League
East:
1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox
3. Tampa Bay Rays
4. Baltimore Orioles
5. Toronto Blue Jays
Thoughts: The Yanks and Rays are still battling for the title, so it’s too early to call this. Clearly I was wrong about Boston, but who could have predicted all the injuries?

Central:
1. Minnesota Twins
2. Chicago White Sox
3. Detroit Tigers
4. Cleveland Indians
5. Kansas City Royals
Thoughts: Cleveland and KC are currently engaged in a four-game series. If the Indians can take three of four, my predictions will likely be 100% accurate. If you want to think highly of me as a prognosticator, stop here, because it’s about to get ugly.

West:
1. Los Angeles Angels
2. Seattle Mariners*
3. Texas Rangers
4. Oakland Athletics
Thoughts: I could not have been more wrong here. I should have bought into the hype surrounding the Rangers. They have dominated this division, while my wild card pick — Seattle — has the worst record in the league. Sadly, the biggest story of the season in Seattle was Ken Griffey Jr’s retirement.

National League
East:
1. Philadelphia Phillies
2. New York Mets
3. Atlanta Braves
4. Florida Marlins
5. Washington Nationals
Thoughts: While many liked the Braves this year, I said the Phillies would coast to a fourth straight divisional title, something they have all but locked up. I was wrong about Atlanta, New York, and Florida essentially being even throughout the year, but can you blame me for breaking the tie by going with my favorite team? Mets fans were apathetic at the start, then excited about a sweep of Atlanta and the play of the youngsters, before finally wondering how the franchise had fallen so far. As for Washington, well, at least Strasmas was fun while it lasted.

Central:
1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. Chicago Cubs
3. Cincinnati Reds
4. Milwaukee Brewers
5. Houston Astros
6. Pittsburgh Pirates
Thoughts: I knew Joey Votto was good, but I didn’t realize he’d be a Triple Crown candidate all the way into September.

West:
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Arizona Diamondbacks*
3. Colorado Rockies
4. San Diego Padres
5. San Francisco Giants
Thoughts: I wish I could tell you I accidentally put these teams in the reverse order. I suppose I can’t knock myself too much over Arizona, since Brandon Webb’s injury kept him out the entire season. I can be blamed for putting San Fran and San Diego at the bottom though. Good pitching — or in their case, great pitching — beats good hitting, and maybe next year I’ll remember that.
*wild card winner

Playoffs
AL:
Seattle Mariners over New York Yankees
Minnesota Twins over Los Angeles Angels
Twins over Mariners
Thoughts: I’m going to get two out of four playoff teams correct, which is bad, but not terrible. And I still believe in my pennant winner, though getting past the Rays and Yankees is of course going to be extremely difficult.

NL:
Philadelphia Phillies over Arizona Diamondbacks
St. Louis Cardinals over Los Angeles Dodgers
Cardinals over Phillies
Thoughts: In the NL, it’s worse — I’m only one out of four, and my league champ isn’t going to qualify for the postseason. If the Phillies do in fact advance to the NLCS I can’t call it a complete disaster.
 
World Series: Twins over Cardinals

Thoughts: All my eggs are in the Twins’ basket. Bring on November baseball in Minnesota!

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