Opening Day for baseball means 30 baseball teams have the dream of winning the World Series or at least making the playoffs. Now, only 8 will make it, and it looks like it will be similar to last year's entrants. The 2010 MLB season starts tonight with the best rivalry in baseball, the New York Yankees vs the Boston Red Sox. C.C. Sabathia will take the mound for the Yankees against Josh Beckett of the Red Sox in Fenway Park tonight in Boston.
The rest of the baseball teams will start action Monday or Tuesday. In honor of baseball's opening day, here are my predictions for the playoffs, World Series and individual awards of MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year.
Which teams do you think will make the playoffs and World Series? Will this year's World Series be a rematch from last year?
American League East: 1. Yankees 2. Red Sox 3. Rays 4. Orioles 5. Blue Jays: Just too much power and pitching for the New York Yankees. At worst they will take the wild card.
American League Central: 1. White Sox 2. Twins 3. Tigers 4. Royals 5. Indians: This will be a battle to 90 wins for the top three teams. The Chicago White Sox pitching will be the difference as the Twins will not overcome the loss of closer Joe Nathan.
American League West: 1. Mariners 2. Angels 3. Rangers 4. A's: Another tight division at the top. If Cliff Lee, Felix Hernandez and eventually Eric Bedard are healthy, the Seattle Mariners will win with pitching and speed (think Chone Figgins AND Ichiro).
American League Wild Card: Boston Red Sox: Josh Beckett, John Jackey and Jon Lester are all ace pitchers and happen to play for the same team. Way too much pitching not to make the playoffs, but the Tampa Bay Rays will threaten the Red Sox.
National League East: 1. Phillies 2. Marlins 3. Braves 4. Mets 5. Nationals: The Phillies should dominate this division, though the Marlins and Braves should be good too. Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. Should I say more?
National League Central: 1. Cardinals 2. Brewers 3. Cubs 4. Reds 5. Astros 6. Pirates: Too many stars for the St. Louis Cardinals to lose this division. Pujols, Holliday, Carpenter and Wainwright are all elite players.
National League West: 1. Rockies 2. Dodgers 3. Giants 4. Diamondbacks 5. Padres: Another great division, but I just like the Rockies all around game and attitude. Expect a big win streak to vault them to the top.
National League Wild Card: Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have some question marks, but Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier should be great and if Manny Ramirez starts playing for a 2011 contract, watch out.
WORLD SERIES: Philadelphia Phillies beat the Chicago White Sox in 6 games: It will only take one year for Roy Halladay to reap the benefits of leaving Toronto and the AL East. The White Sox have a balanced lineup and great pitching and will upset the Yankees or Red Sox to reach their second World Series in the last five years.
American League MVP: Joe Mauer: He could quickly become the Albert Pujols of the American League, which means he will be in the top-3 in MVP voting every year. We will see how the new stadium affects him, but I'm looking at a 30 home run, .360 season for Mauer.
National League MVP: Ryan Braun: This kid can just straight up hit and if the Brewers make a run at the NL Wild Card, he will be why. I only worry that he could ultimately split votes with teammate Prince Fielder. My backup picks are Chase Utley, Troy Tulowitzki and of course, the baseball god himself, Albert Pujols.
American League Cy Young: Felix Hernandez: If the Mariners are going to win the AL West, King Felix is going to have another huge year. I'm looking at a 21-5 record with a sub-3.00 ERA for a team that will win 90-95 games. He could lead the league in strikeouts, ERA and wins. He only gets better and will be one of the top five pitchers in the league for the next decade.
National League Cy Young: Roy Halladay: So this is what it will be like not to pitch against the Yankees and Red Sox all season. Halladay should easily win more than 20 games with that lineup behind him and the Phillies are the best team in the National League. This is the year for the world to take notice just how good Roy Halladay is.
American League Rookie of the Year: Neftali Feliz: This guy is a fireballer and whether he is a starter or pitching in relief, Feliz is going to strike people out.
National League Rookie of the Year: Jason Heyward: Heyward is a starting outfielder for the Atlanta Braves and I expect to hit well his first season. It's not unreasonable to expect 25 hours. The Braves have some good pitching and Heyward is the future for the Braves offense. This could be a runaway.