Tank’s 2007 Preview

EASTERN DIVISION

New York Mets 95-67

Some may look at the Mets rotation and see a weakness, and earlier on it in the season it might be. However, when Pedro returns, and the trade deadline rolls around it will be strength as the Mets get stronger as the season goes on led by the best line up in the NL, which will make them unbeatable in October.
Expect to see: Another Division Title
Don’t be Surprised if: Mike Pelfrey leads the team in wins

Philadelphia Phillies 91-71 (Wild Card)

The dynamic duo of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard on the left side of the infield give the Phillies two stars they can count on for years, while Jimmy Rollins at Short is among the best leadoff hitters in baseball. The Problem is there are plenty of holes everywhere else, none the less look for the Phillies to battle the Mets all season for Eastern supremacy.
Expect to see: Another HR title for Ryan Howard
Don’t be Surprised if: Pat Burrell is traded at the deadline

Atlanta Braves 84-78

The Braves may be a little better then last year, as players like Jeff Franceour who fell off after a strong rookie year should, bounce back, while the rotation is a little deeper this year. However, with the Mets and Phillies much higher on the food chain the Braves will be swallowed up.
Expect to see: Andruw Jones last year in Atlanta
Don’t be Surprised if: Bobby Cox Retires

Florida Marlins 69-93

Last year a group of young unknown rookies took a Marlins team most expected to lose 100 games and kept them in the Wild Card race all season. However, without Manager Joe Girardi and the typical second season slump look for the Marlins to not come close to the level of play they had last year.
Expect to see: Trade Rumors Involving Dontrelle Willis
Don’t be Surprised if: Several Marlins who had strong years last year are sent to AAA

Washington Nationals 51-111

With Alfonso Soriano having a 40-40 season last year the Nationals lost over 90 games and finished in last place. Without Soriano this year the Nationals have no hope, of doing any better, look for a parade of rookies to come through Washington as the slogan Washington First in War, First in Peace, and Last in the NL East becomes the team’s motto.
Expect to see: At least 100 losses
Don’t be Surprised if: The Nationals make a run at the 1962 Mets

CENTRAL DIVISION

Milwaukee Brewers 87-75

Octoberfest will be sizzling in Milwaukee this year as the Brewers return to the playoffs for the first time in 25 years. Look for the Brew Crew to have one of the best offenses in the NL, led by Prince Fielder who will have a break out year, while Ben Sheets is healthy all season and makes a bid to win the Cy Young.
Expect to see: The Brewers win a mediocre division
Don’t be Surprised if: The Brewers win more then 1 postseason award

St. Louis Cardinals 85-77

Winning a World Series is hard, repeating is almost impossible, and for the Cardinals who won last year with a makeshift team that just had that right players come through at the right time. The same strategy wont work over 162-game marathon schedule, as the lack of second starter will be the Cardinals undoing.
Expect to see: Albert Pujols lead the league in Intentional Walks
Don’t be Surprised if: Adam Wainright is back in the bullpen as the closer in May

Chicago Cubs 84-78

The Cubs Managerial Cycle 2000: Don Baylor arrives new hope in Wrigleyville, 2001 Cubs struggle hope fades 2002: Hope dead Baylor fired. 2003 Dusty Baker Arrives new hope in Wrigleyville 2004-2005 Cubs become mediocre hope fades 2006: Hope Dead Baker Fired. 2007: Lou Pinella Arrives new hope in Wrigleyville, Cubs will have new hope as they make a run at the Central Division Title.
Expect to See: The Cubs in the race all year
Don’t be surprised if: Alofonso Soriano struggles early

Houston Astros 76-86

Carlos Lee arrives to try to reawaken the Astros offense, which for a team that plays in a band box is not a good thing, Craig Biggio is closing in on 3,000 hits and that may be the highlight of the season in Houston, as their will be no boost from Roger Clemens this time around, as the Astros will be looking to reload by the time the season winds down.
Expect to See: Craig Biggio retire at the end of the year
Don’t be surprised if: Roy Oswalt pitching elsewhere in August

Cincinnati Reds 72-90

The Reds showed flashes last year as Bronson Arroyo arrived and gave them a pitcher they could count on. However, with Ken Griffey Jr. long past his prime and a defense that is lacking with a bullpen already feeling the pain of injuries without Eddie Guardado, it will be hard to imagine the Reds staying in the race past May, as the Reds struggle to avoid 90 losses.
Expect to See: Changes by the time September arrives
Don’t be surprised if: Ken Griffey Jr. is traded to the AL

Pittsburgh Pirates 68-94

Yo Ho Woe is the call of these Pirates as they sit at the bottom of the NL Central and at the bottom of baseball’s food chain. Freddy Sanchez will not win another batting title, and the Pirates offense will be making fans in Pittsburgh sea sick, wile a glance Eastward at a rejuvenated Oliver Perez will lead to Pirates Management walking the plank at season’s end.
Expect to See: The Pirates in last place all season
Don’t be surprised if: Fans start counting down to Steelers season early

WESTERN DIVISION

Los Angeles Dodgers 94-68

The Dodges battled the Padres to the very end of the season getting the Wild Card and a NLDS match up with the Mets, which was over before the Dodgers knew what hit them. This year there won’t be as big as battle and there match up with the Mets won’t come until the NLCS as Dodgers are clearly the best in the west, and anything less then a Division Title will be a disappointment.
Expect to See: The Dodgers in first place most of the season
Don’t be surprised if: Jason Schmidt is close to leading the NL in wins

Arizona Diamondbacks 88-74

Just a few years ago the Diamondbacks were losing 110 games as Randy Johnson was the ultimate hard luck pitcher. Now the Big Unit is back after a disappointing stay in the Bronx to end his brilliant career where he had his greatest success. This time around things are different as the D-Backs are a young talented team that could surprise allot of people.
Expect to See: In the playoff race until the end of the season
Don’t be surprised if: Randy Johnson spends most of the season on the DL

Colorado Rockies 85-77

Last year the Rockies were hovering on the fringe of the playoff race all season despite having Todd Helton hurt and struggling all season. Now the Rockies with a core group of talent are beginning to put the pieces together that make a solid contender. No longer can it be taken for granted that their pitching staff will get tattooed as the humidor has even helped the Rocks on the road.
Expect to See: Todd Helton back in form
Don’t be surprised if: The Rockies make a run at the Wild Card

San Diego Padres 75-87

The Padres will sorely miss Bruce Bochy a Manager who yearly got the most out of a team and set franchise records for wins, and division titles. While Bud Black might turn out to be a good manager one day, that day is not now, and the weak hitting Padres, with an aging pitching staff will struggle all season, as ace Jake Peavy will end up on the wrong side of many 3-2 games.
Expect to See: The Padres among the lowest scoring teams in baseball
Don’t be surprised if: The Padres have a fire sale by midseason

San Francisco Giants 74-88

TSold their souls to the devil the Giants have, Barry Bonds has been a boom to the Giants turning a team almost ready to move to Tampa Bay into the only team that matters in San Francisco Bay. However, now Bonds is old and just playing for himself and a record nobody wants him to have, while many other Giants too are nearing eligibility for AARP, as a much need infusion of youth was not acquired in the off season.
Expect to See: Barry Bonds play sparingly on the road as he nears the record.
Don’t be surprised if: Barry Zito has a disappointing season with a losing record

EASTERN DIVISION

Boston Red Sox 93-69

The Red Sox last season struggled miserably against teams with winning records, as they finished third in the AL East. Following a marvelous off-season highlighted by getting Japanese Import Daisuke Matsuzaka Boston fans are thinking Championship Again. With Jonathan Paplebon reluctantly returning to the bullpen the Sox pen should be strong too.
Expect to See: Dice K Mania in Fenway
Don’t be surprised if: David Ortiz wins the AL MVP

Toronto Blue Jays 90-72

Just like last year it could be heaven or hell for the Blue Jays, who if they have a healthy Roy Halladay all season and big numbers from Lyle Overbay, Frank Thomas and Troy Glaus again could challenge for a Wild Card spot. However, if Halladay misses significant time and Glaus, Thomas and Overbay don’t hit the Jays could be dead and buried before Canada Day (July 1st for those of you in Rio Linda).
Expect to See: Vernon Wells among the league leaders in hitting
Don’t be surprised if: Frank Thomas is a big flop

New York Yankees 84-78

In the movies you sit in the audience and scream at the screen don’t go down in the basement when there’s a strange noise in a horror movie, or you cover your eyes as the hero’s car comes close to the cliff. That is how close the Yankees are to disaster. On one hand the Yankees can dominate the AL on the other it could all implode as aging players with bloated salaries, clash in the cauldron of the Bronx.
Expect to See: Roger Clemens in pinstripes
Don’t be surprised if: A-Rod the malignant malcontent brings down the Yankees with his pouting.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays 75-87

TThe Devil Rays are celebrating their 10th year of existence though there’s not been much to celebrate, as top prospects have failed in spectacular fashion. Though the future is bright as players like Delmon Young and B.J. Upton will be coming up soon, as Scott Kazmir give the Rays a solid ace any contender would like. Beat this team early because they are going to be a pain to play in September.
Expect to See: Genuine excitement over the young Rays in Tampa
Don’t be surprised if: The Devil Rays are the best team in the American League after the All-Star Break

Baltimore Orioles 67-95

The definition of insanity is trying the same thing and expecting a different result. Sound familiar? It’s the same opening I gave the Orioles last year, at it’s because nothing has changed, they have not gone after the blue chip free agent and they have not decided to rebuild a sort of limbo that make you not only bad but uninteresting, and give little hope to the future.
Expect to See: Miguel Tejada demand a trade
Don’t be surprised if: There’s a big shake up in Baltimore before the season is over

CENTRAL DIVISION

Detroit Tigers 96-66

Last year the Tigers were grrrrrrreat, and this year with the addition of Gary Sheffield they may be even, better, and in the AL Central they are going to have to be as the division which once was baseballs weakest is now perhaps its strongest. Look for the Tigers to capture the division crown,. As they hope to make it back to the World Series.
Expect to See: The Tigers starting pitching to be among the best in baseball
Don’t be surprised if: Joel Zumaya is the closer when the season is over

Cleveland Indians 93-69 (Wild Card)

Last year the Indians got off to a slow start and could not climb out of their hole as the top heavy AL Central had three teams win 90 games, three teams could win 90 in the AL Central again this year, and the Tribe will be one of them as improvements to defense with Trot Nixon and Josh Barfield will help the Indians return to the postseason.
Expect to See: C.C. Sabathia to approach 20 wins
Don’t be surprised if: The Indians a re major buyer at the trade deadline

Minnesota Twins 89-73

Last year the Twins dug a deep hole that thanks to the pitching of Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano along with the hitting of Justin Morneau they were able to climb out of and win the division title. This year if the hole is even half the size they won’t be able to climb out as the Division is better and Liriano is lost for the season. In the end it will be the lack of a second starter will be their undoing.
Expect to See: Another great season from Johan Santana
Don’t be surprised if: Joe Mauer becomes the first catcher to win back to back batting titles

Chicago White Sox 85-77

Last year had to be a let down on the Southside as the defending champions faded down the stretch and missed the playoffs. In the off-season the White Sox did nothing to address their problems, in fact they lost Freddy Garcia. The same Sox pitching that guided them to the title two years ago may now be what will have them in fourth place in a loaded division.
Expect to See: Jose Contreras’ second half struggles to continue
Don’t be surprised if: Ozzie Guillen’s act wears thin with Sox Management

Kansas City Royals 65-97

After three straight seasons of 100 losses the Royals have made some improvement. However, it’s not enough to lift them any where near getting out of the basement as the division is that much better. The only thing is now the Royals will not be a September pushover, and could play a nice spoiler for the other four Central Division Teams.
Expect to See: New Manager before the All-Star Game
Don’t be surprised if: The Royals have a winning record in the second half.

WESTERN DIVISION

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 91-71

Last year the Angels fell just short of making their third straight trip to the postseason. This year in the otherwise awful Western Division they are heads and shoulders, not to mention halos above anyone else. If they do not win the West the Angels season will have to be considered an epic failure, with the best pitching, relief and lineup in the West.
Expect to See: Vladimir Guerrero leading the league in HR
Don’t be surprised if: Jered Weaver is a Cy Young contender

Texas Rangers 87-75

When Buck Showalter left the Yankees the next year they won the World Series, when he left the Diamondbacks the D-Backs went all the way the following year. While the Rangers do not have the players to go to win a World Series, they can make a run at a division title. If Sammy Sosa and Eric Gagne make big contributions the Rangers could even make a postseason run.
Expect to See: A strong season from Hank Blalock
Don’t be surprised if: Gagne starts to look like the dominant reliever he was in 2003 in the second half

Oakland Athletics 78-84

And then there were none, with the departure of Barry Zito to the cross bay Giants the A’s big three is now zero. While Rich Harden has shown potential he is quickly turning into Mark Prior West with regular visits to the DL. Look for the A’s to also miss the punch of Frank Thomas who was better then anyone could have imagined last year, as money ball goes bankrupt.
Expect to See: The A’s clogging up the bases and being unable to score
Don’t be surprised if: Mike Piazza is on the trading block for a team needing a catcher in August.

Seattle Mariners 64-98

The Mariners picked up a bunch of spare parts to fill big holes, but spare parts never work, and the Mariners holes are cavernous. Unless all of the Jose Guillens and Jeff Weavers of the world have strong years the Mariners are going to be very bad, and if they have mediocre years the Mariners are going to need a miracle just to avoid 100 losses, as their biggest fear will be losing Ichiro after the season.
Expect to See: Plenty of in-season changes in Seattle
Don’t be surprised if: The Mariners fearful of losing Ichiro, attempt to trade him to a contender

Milestone Dates

  • Frank Thomas Blue Jays 500th HR May 24th
  • Craig Biggio Astros 3,000 hits- July 1st
  • Tom Glavine Mets 300th win-July 15th
  • Barry Bonds Giants 756 HR August 10th

LEAGUE LEADERS AND AWARDS

National League

  • Albert Pujols Cardinals
  • Ryan Howard Phillies
  • Carlos Beltran Mets
  • Jose Reyes Mets
  • Jose Reyes Mets
  • Carlos Zambrano Cubs
  • Roy Oswalt Astros
  • Ben Sheets Brewers
  • Milwaukee Brewers
  • Florida Marlins
  • Todd Helton Rockies
  • Ben Sheets Brewers
  • Shane Victorino Phillies
  • John Maine Mets
  • Jeff Suppan Brewers
  • Jason Marquis Cubs
  • Jeff Kent Dodgers
  • Randy Johnson Diamondbacks
  • Billy Wagner Mets
  • Mike Pelfrey Mets
  • Ned Yost Brewers
  • Ryan Howard Phillies
  • Chris Carpenter Cardinals
  • Carlos Beltran Mets
  • Batting Crown
  • HR Leader
  • RBI Leader
  • SB Leader
  • SB Leader
  • SB Leader
  • ERA Leader
  • K Leader
  • Surprise Team
  • Disappointing Team
  • Comeback Player
  • Comeback Pitcher
  • Breakout Player
  • Breakout Pitcher
  • Best Acquisition
  • Worst Acquisition
  • Falling Star Hitter
  • Falling Star Pitcher
  • Fireman
  • Rookie of The Year
  • Manager of The Year
  • Hank Aaron Award
  • Cy Young
  • MVP

American League

  • Joe Mauer Twins
  • Vladimir Guerrero Angels
  • David Ortiz Red Sox
  • Carl Crawford Devil Rays
  • Johnny Damon Yankees
  • Johan Santana Twins
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka Red Sox
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka Red Sox
  • Cleveland Indians
  • New York Yankees
  • Trot Nixon Indians
  • C.C. Sabathia Indians
  • Alex Gordon Royals
  • Joel Zumaya Tigers
  • Frank Catalonatto Rangers
  • Gary Matthews Jr. Angels
  • Mike Piazza Athletics
  • Andy Pettitte Yankees
  • B.J. Ryan Blue Jays
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka Red Sox
  • Eric Wedge Indians
  • Eric Wedge Indians
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka Red Sox
  • David Ortiz Red Sox

National League

  • Albert Pujols CardinalsBatting Crown
  • Ryan Howard Phillies HR Leader
  • Carlos Beltran MetsRBI Leader
  • Jose Reyes MetsSB Leader
  • Jose Reyes Mets SB Leader
  • Carlos Zambrano CubsSB Leader
  • Roy Oswalt AstrosERA Leader
  • Ben Sheets BrewersK Leader
  • Milwaukee BrewersSurprise Team
  • Florida MarlinsDisappointing Team
  • Todd Helton Rockies Comeback Player
  • Ben Sheets BrewersComeback Pitcher
  • Shane Victorino PhilliesBreakout Player
  • John Maine Mets Breakout Pitcher
  • Jeff Suppan BrewersBest Acquisition
  • Jason Marquis CubsWorst Acquisition
  • Jeff Kent DodgersFalling Star Hitter
  • Randy Johnson DiamondbacksFalling Star Pitcher
  • Billy Wagner MetsFireman
  • Mike Pelfrey MetsRookie of The Year
  • Ned Yost BrewersManager of The Year
  • Ryan Howard PhilliesHank Aaron Award
  • Chris Carpenter CardinalsCy Young
  • Carlos Beltran MetsMVP

American League

  • Joe Mauer TwinsBatting Crown
  • Vladimir Guerrero AngelsHR Leader
  • David Ortiz Red SoxRBI Leader
  • Carl Crawford Devil RaysSB Leader
  • Johnny Damon YankeesSB Leader
  • Johan Santana TwinsSB Leader
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka Red SoxERA Leader
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka Red SoxK Leader
  • Cleveland IndiansSurprise Team
  • New York YankeesDisappointing Team
  • Trot Nixon IndiansComeback Player
  • C.C. Sabathia IndiansComeback Pitcher
  • Alex Gordon RoyalsBreakout Player
  • Joel Zumaya TigersBreakout Pitcher
  • Frank Catalonatto RangersBest Acquisition
  • Gary Matthews Jr. AngelsWorst Acquisition
  • Mike Piazza AthleticsFalling Star Hitter
  • Andy Pettitte YankeesFalling Star Pitcher
  • B.J. Ryan Blue JaysFireman
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka Red SoxRookie of The Year
  • Eric Wedge IndiansManager of The Year
  • Eric Wedge IndiansHank Aaron Award
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka Red SoxCy Young
  • David Ortiz Red SoxMVP

Postseason

NLCS
ALCS

Managers to be Fired

  • Buddy Bell Royals
  • Bobby Cox Braves (Retired not Fired)
  • Phil Garner Astros
  • Ozzie Guillen White Sox
  • Mike Hargrove Mariners
  • Jerry Naron Reds
  • Sam Perlozo Baltimore Orioles
  • Joe Torre New York Yankees



2007 World Champs
New York Mets

Predictions Made by Frank Fleming on March 31, 2007 at 9:00 pm EST

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