Individual AL Predictions for The 2011 MLB Season!

It is right around the corner. After October is over, there is only one contingent of baseball fans that is satisfied with the way their team played. In last year’s case it was the Giants faithful, but even they have made improvements. Teams have been reloaded and revamping  lineups, pitching staffs and who knows what else in hope of one thing, to win. In this post I will be expressing my predictions on the winners, losers and award winners for the 2011 MLB Season. It is finally here!

Cy Young AL: Jon Lester

Lester is one of the best southpaws, if not the best, in all of baseball today. He has consistently been considered one of the top 5 pitchers in the AL for the last 3 seasons, and finally he is ready to take the next step to become the best. Lester’s 2010 ERA of 3.25 was the 2nd lowest of his career and a .16 decrease from his 2009 ERA of 3.41.

Jon Lester is only 26 and has become more of a pitcher than a thrower, a problem for some young power pitchers. This has been evident by his identical number of K’s two years in a row, 225, while decreasing his hits allowed by 19 in 208 IP, 4.2 more IP than 2009.

Lester is Boston’s best pitcher and will appear in many big games for the Sox this season. Since the Red Sox are going to be one of the best teams in baseball, Lester will be on the big stage and if he succeeds he could win over many Cy Young voters to consider him the best pitcher in the AL. He will have around 22 wins and lead the league, for his new All Stars, Gonzalez and Crawford, and a healthy lineup will definitely put up runs that will give Lester confidence and a bit of breathing room, which will allow him to simply pitch and not think about preserving a small lead. With the injuries to many of the Red Sox starters last year and not as much run support as he will receive this year, Lester still won 19 games. For Fantasy, take him early and for opposing teams, well, look out.

2nd place: Justin Verlander 3rd: Felix Hernandez 4th: CC Sabathia 5th: Jered Weaver

MVP AL: Alex Rodriguez

Through all of the Red Sox signings and improved offense throughout the offseason, the offense of the New York Yankees seems to have been forgotten. Right in the middle of the Yanks offense is Alex Rodriguez. You hear he is too old!  He is washed up! Hes overpaid!  He has yet another blonde girlfriend!  All of those statements may be true, except for the statement claiming he is washed up.

A-Rod came into spring training, “in the best shape of his career”, and with a chip on his shoulder after a dissapointing, for A-Rod’s standards, 2010 season (.270 BA,  30 HRs, 125 RBI). Not only did A-Rod shed some weight, he also is entering a season for the first time in several years without a real distraction like I don’t know, admitting to steroid use, negotiating the most lucrative contract in baseball history (unless Pujols has something to say about that), and recovering from a hip injury. A-Rod ripped the cover off of the ball in the spring and will continue to do so throughout the season, if his pitch selection is good. He will see pitch after pitch over the plate because Rodriguez may not be the most feared hitter in the Yankees lineup, that could be Robinson Cano who bats behind Alex, which will enable A-Rod to view more pitches in the strike zone in order to stay clear of Cano. He will also see quite a bit of left handed pitching late in games, in order to take power but not average out of Mark Teixeira’s bat (he bats in front of Rodriguez) and give Cano, who bats lefty and after Rodriguez a tougher matchup. A-Rod is only a career .290 hitter against lefties, but he will put up gaudy numbers after managers are left with no choice but to put in a lefty, late in games allowing Rodriguez to adjust to the pattern, and somehow forget about a man who could break the all time record for Home Runs.

A-Rod may also benefit from being under the radar(except for the Super Bowl),  if that is even possible, personally as Cano is being called the best hitter in the Yankee lineup, and even the Red Sox are getting more hype than the Yankees.

He is not washed up, but he is old. His numbers could very well be inflated by the hitter friendly ball park that Rodriguez will play half of his games in. With everything aside, A- Rod will have a 2007 like season.  He will hit 45 homers, knock in 130 and hit .295.  After all, he is with another blonde in 2011.

2nd: Adrian Gonzalez  3rd: Evan Longoria  4th: Miguel Cabrera   5th: Robinson Cano

Info Courtesy of: Baseball Reference

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