The TYA Staff's 2011 MLB Predictions

In honor of the onset of the 2011 MLB season, we’re pleased to present the 2011 predictions of our entire 10-man staff. Apologies for the slight loss in fidelity of the below table, but it’s still readable. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to insert a chart into a post with 11 columns (for a larger version you should right-click on the graphic and open it up in a new tab, then click on it once more in the new tab).

To recap, nine out of 10 us expect the Red Sox to win the AL East, with William being the lone dissenter and going Yankees. However, the nine of us that picked Boston to win the ALE have the Yankees as the Wild Card, and so all 10 of us see the Yankees making the playoffs.

Regarding the Al Central champ, five picked the Twins, four have the White Sox, and one (EJ) picked the Tigers. In the AL West, six writers believe the A’s will dethrone the Rangers, only three of us think Texas will repeat, while one (William) has the Angels re-taking the West.

In the National League, all 10 of us see the Phillies winning the East; in the Central five picked the Reds, three have the Brewers, and the Cards and Cubs each picked up one nod apiece; and in the West, seven have the Giants repeating as division champs, while three picked the Rockies. For the NL Wild Card, nine out of 10 have the Braves, while one picked the Giants.

As for the World Series champ, five of us picked the Phillies, three the Red Sox, one the Rockies, and only one of our writers (William) thinks the Yankees will win the World Series in 2011.

For AL MVP, both Miguel Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez picked up three nods apiece, with Evan Longoria, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira and Adrian Gonzalez also netting consideration.

For NL MVP, we have six votes for Albert Pujols, two for Prince Fielder, one for reigning MVP Joey Votto and one for Troy Tulowitzki.

AL Cy Young saw five picking Felix Hernandez, three Jon Lester, one Justin Verlander and one David Price.

NL Cy Young has six picks for Roy Halladay, two for Josh Johnson and two for Clayton Kershaw.

AL Rookie of the Year has Jeremy Hellickson leading with five nods, followed by two for Chicago’s Chris Sale, one for Tsuyoshi Nishioka, one for Kyle Drabek and one for Mike Moustakas.

NL ROY has three picks for Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman, two for Aroldis Chapman, two for Jordan Zimmermann, one for Brandon Belt, one for Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel and one for Domonic Brown.

The most valuable player on a new team via trade or signing was handily won by Adrian Gonzalez, with seven votes, while Cliff Lee picked up two and Dan Uggla one. The trade or signing that works out worst is led by Jayson Werth, followed by Adrian Beltre and Jeff Francoeur.

And finally, Alex Rodriguez received seven nods as the Yankee with the most MVP votes, followed by two for Cano and one for Tex.

What are your 2011 picks?

26 thoughts on “The TYA Staff's 2011 MLB Predictions

  1. Thanks for putting this together, Larry. Guess I was the only one to go off the beaten path with my World Series winner. That said,I really hope William ends up being right.

    • I can understand why the Red Sox are so fashionable, but when I balanced both sides of the equation, I didn’t see the drastic shift so many else do. Sure, Crawford and AGon are great additions, but I don’t think people realize how good Beltre was. VMart was also very good. Also, too much is being made of Youk and Pedroia being healthy. Not only did those two play 175 games last year, but both were having career years. Boston will gain a bump from having them all season, but not as much as people are implying. Also, how Youkilis handles the switch to 3B could be an issue.

      Meanwhile, I think the Yankees could reasonably expect improvements from Jeter, Arod, Tex and Granderson. Martin could also be an upgrade over Cervelli, and Posada better than the .256 .338 .440 the Yankees got from DH.

      • I should reiterate that just because I picked the Phillies over the Red Sox, it does not mean I don’t think the Yankees can make and win the World Series.

        In particular, depending on how the back end of the Yankee rotation shakes out — whether they patch it via trade, or one of the kids comes up from the minors and is able to take command of a rotation slot — the Yankees could very well look quite a bit better come July/August then they do.

        Knowing what we know now, and the rosters that each team currently features, I think both the Phillies and Red Sox are probably slightly better than the Yankees today, but that doesn’t mean things can’t change.

  2. My pleasure.

    I wrestled somewhat with my World Series winner, though I do think Boston-Philly, as obvious as it is, will end up being the matchup. I wound up going with Philly primarily because as the Giants showed us last October, an absurd rotation essentially trumps all.

    No Utley will hurt the offense, but I think the Phils still have enough firepower to overcome and dominate a fairly weak NL East.

  3. Sorry that this is off topic but who is replacing Feliciano in the bullpen for the Yankees?

  4. william J is a smart man. everyone is just being a prisoner of the moment with the red sox. there really good but i have a feeling that the back end of there rotation will falter and really hurt them. the thing thats so scary about the yanks is there offense is ridiculous and there bullpen is as good and deep on paper as it was in 96′.there rotation is top heavy for sure but i have a gut feeling nova will surprise and another quality pitcher will be acquired later in the season. the yanks in my mind are 1 quality starer away from being the best team in mlb.

    • All good points, but the first one.

      One figure to keep in mind is the Red Sox had an operating loss in 2010 and that was before their spending spree. In other words, it’s likely that the team doesn’t have much budget room to make another big acquisition.

      Meanwhile, the Yankees had a large profit and didn’t add payroll. So, if the need arises, they are in an ideal position for a midseason acquisition. Considering that the two teams are already very close, the Yanks ability to add a player could be the difference.

  5. Tip of the cap to you, William, for letting your Yankee fan flag fly and also using logic to support your pick.

    Going with the Yankees to win the division is certainly not blind faith this year, rotation questions aside. And I still say the Fraud Sawx are not as strong as the MSM is making them out to be, They will have their issues.

  6. Of all the sites for Red Sox worship. I am enraged you guys are now in the JOhn Kruk/Mitch Williams camp. i will take the Reds/Rockies/Giants over the Phillies and I don’t look back.The Red Sox middle of the order is impressive I grant you that but if you go position by position they are no better or younger than the Yankees and I think Yankees have a better bullpen and lineup depth and minor league system. Please do not join the rest of the Sox pink hats.

    • Red Sox worship? The projection systems all have the Red Sox better, and I think it is a pretty reasonable position to have. I think the Yanks could absolutely win the division, but they are not the favorites.

    • Come on, Mr.Yankee, that’s just silly. Just because many of us picked the Red Sox — who are, at this very moment, slightly better in paper — you are accusing us of Red Sox worship and throwing us in the Kruk/Mitch Williams camp? Even though we all love the Yankees none of us are going to throw the facts out the window and blindly pick them to win it all.

      We all know the Yankees can win the World Series and they very well could do so; but based on the information we have now, the Red Sox look to be the surer bet on paper.

      Let’s see, we run a site about the Yankees, author around 6-7 posts every single day about the Yankees seven days a week, and spend the majority of our free time analyzing what the Yankees do and the methods by which we think the team can improve itself. Yep, that sure sounds like a bunch of Red Sox worshippers.

  7. why not, right?

    ALE: Red Sox
    ALC: White Sox
    ALW: Rangers
    ALWC: Yankees

    NLE: Phillies
    NLC: Brewers
    NLW: Giants
    NLWC: Braves

    AL pennant: Yankees (because I am a homer)
    ALCS loser: Red Sox
    NL pennant: Brewers
    NLCS loser: Braves
    WS Champion: Yankees (again, I am a homer, but it’s far from out of the question)

    AL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez
    NL MVP: Albert Pujols
    AL CYA: Jon Lester
    NL CYA: Clayton Kershaw
    AL MOY: Terry Francona
    NL MOY: Ron Roenke
    AL ROY: Jeremy Hellickson
    NL ROY: Freddie Freeman

    Most interested in watching: Andy Pettitte Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Jason Heyward, the Royals’ prospects as they come up to the majors, Cole Hamels
    AL Comeback: Justin Morneau
    NL Comeback: Chris Young?
    Trade/signing that is most valuable to new team: Cliff Lee
    …and least valuable: Adrian Beltre

    Yankee wins: 93
    Yankee with most MVP votes: A-Rod
    Yankee rookies who debut: Montero, Noesi, Warren, Brackman

    • oh wait, AL Comeback Player: Jacoby Ellsbury. (He won’t hit any better than he did in 2009 though.)

  8. AL East: Red Sox (they have all the tools)
    AL Cent: White Sox(though the Twins always overachieve, I think it is the year of the Chisox in the East)
    AL West: Rangers (yes, losing Lee hurts, and they have been bad this spring. But their offense is a bit better than the difference between the A’s staff and theirs)
    AL WC: Tigers (I know that you Yank fans won’t like this, but I think that age and a thin rotation finally catch up to NYY while Tigers get big years from aging stars)
    NL East: Phillies (I own Utley in 3 keeper leagues and hope for the best, but even with him out most of the season, I don’t think ATL can catch the Philly)
    NL Cent: Reds (we agree that this is the most open division and that the Stros have no hope. I think Reds win it because they have a healthy Volquez this year)
    NL West: Rockies (Giants are trendy pick, but I think that the Rox find a way to take the division)
    NL WC: Giants (their staff is very good, good enough to overcome barely adequate offense)
    AL pennant: White Sox (I know that hurts you as much or more than it hurts a Ranger fan like me, but it isn’t necessarily who is best during the season as it sometimes is who is hottest)
    NL pennant: Phillies (I think Halladay and Lee are almost unbeatable if they are healthy)
    WS Champ: Phillies (again, if everyone plays with their average “C” game and nobody goes all Cody Ross in the playoffs, the Phillies have the best shot at winning it all. I’m not overthinking)
    AL MVP: Nelson Cruz (wanted to say Miggie, but I think the drinking catches up to him)
    NL MVP: Pujols (he didn’t win it last year, so he is on a mission this year)
    AL CY: King Felix (he is young, talented and pitches in the friendliest park with best D)
    NL CY: Halladay (Clark Kent wears Roy Halladay pajamas to bed)
    AL ROY: Michael Pineda (this was the hardest for me to pick as I have no gut feeling at all here)
    NL ROY: Bryce Harper (I know nobody thinks he will be up at all this year, but I think he makes it by the break and tears up the NL after)
    Most Interesting: Stanton for me in the NL (superb young power hitter…can he conquer the cavernous home park?) and Josh Hamilton in the AL (he is the new Mantle w/o the party life off the field)
    AL comeback: Sizemore (easiest call of them all)
    NL comeback: Harang (tough call as there are many who could do it)
    AL manager of yr: Jim Leyland (he will somehow get big years from guys like Penny, Ordonez and Verlander)
    NL manager of yr: Jim Tracy (surprise winners are always sexier picks for MOY)
    MV player on new team: Adrian Gonzalez (he will RAKE in that park)
    Worst signing or trade: Werth (he is an ok player, but he went from HR-friendly band box park to cavernous anti-HR park for a huge salary)
    Total Yankee wins: 86 (brutally tough division and a down year make for an ugly intersection)
    Yank with most MVP votes: Arod
    Yanks to debut: Montero, Brackman, Laird, Phelps, Noesi, Warren and others, as I think that the Yanks try to find some formula to turn it around (in vain).

    For what its worth, I do realize that the Yanks have 28 rings. I do know that they have more money than God. I know that this post will infuriate some of you. I am not here to be a troll, though. I am just telling you what I think. You can respect me for my honesty or you can hate me for being a grating voice in your chorus of Yankee praise. But either way, I will be honst with you every time I post.

    This is a great site, by the way and I really enjoy it.

    • Awesome Dean, thanks for sharing!

      I was wondering if you’d read my Rangers preview? As always, was curious for your thoughts, and was kinda surprised to not see your name pop up in the comments, given that you’re our resident Ranger fan.

      • Sorry about that. I looked for the Rangers preview because I wondered what you guys thought. But I must have missed it. With my kids being home for Spring Break, I didn’t get the computer as often as I did when they are in school.

        I read it and left my comments there now.

        Very nice work, Larry!

        • Oh, no need to apologize at all; I’m glad you enjoyed it!

          I think if I were a Rangers fan I’d be very happy with a fair number of the decisions that have been made and how the team has progressed, although I have a feeling I’d be blogging for Washington’s head.

          I got taken to task by several Rangers fans who acted as if I’d slapped their mothers in the face simply because I wasn’t aware of the fact that the team moved Hamilton out of CF; however, I still think the rationale for this is ridiculous. The idea that Hamilton will be less susceptible to injury in a corner is absurd; he could get injured doing anything anywhere on the field.

          I remain convinced that Hamilton in CF and Murphy in LF is a much better deployment than any configuration that includes Borbon, and I’m surprised the Rangers are OK with the offensive downgrade.

          • The Ranger blogging community did want Washington’s head, long before he admitted to using Cocaine. It is mostly because the Ranger blogs I frequent are (like this site) very sabremetric. And Wash is the epitome of the old-school, .220 hitting VG range SS guy who would put a Freddie Patek in the leadoff role because of his speed (despite having a .290 OBP and .300 Slugging %) because of his speed. See Andrus last year. Many on BBTIA have howled that he didn’t drop Young in the lineup faster (he was bad against RHPs most of the year) and really think he needs to understand batting order optimization.

            If I was Ranger manager, I would definitely put Hamilton in CF and Murphy in LF in the playoffs. But I concede that Washington knows more than I do about how to get a Ranger team to the WS. And maybe putting Borbon in CF and Hamilton in LF for the bulk of the season really will save Hamilton’s legs enough to justify an inferior bat in the lineup instead of Murphy. I guess we will see.

            As a Ranger fan since the 70s, it is going to take some time for me to get used to having this kind of bench depth. With Young or Napoli sitting most of the time, and either Borbon or Murphy coming off the pine, Texas can put some really good hitters up to pinch hit late in a game. That hasn’t happened in a long time. I like it.

  9. I must confess, it hurt to pick the Sox to beat out the Yanks. I justified it with the hope that by picking the Sox to beat out the Yankees, I would actually jinx them. There’s a lot of overconfidence coming out of Boston already, and I’m doing my part to keep the hot air flowing into the Boston balloon. It’ll make beating them all the more satisfying.

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