2009 Division Previews: March 2009 Archives


Cover your heads, rest of baseball. The American League East placed four of its teams among the top six in last year's final Hit List rankings at Baseball Prospectus and the whole division just got a whole lot better. Things look so grim for the A.L. West and A.L. Central in 2009; it's possible that the five teams in the A.L. East finish with better records than every other team save for the division winners. Tigers fans, Mariners fans, Indians fans, I say to you this: don't expect to win many inter-division games on the east coast this year. Yes, even against the Orioles.

New additions to the division are highlighted by the triumvirate of Yankee excess, CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Teixeira. But hey, oldsters like John Smoltz, Brad Penny and Jason Isringhausen showed up on a lark, and, most interesting of all, J.P. Ricciardi added zero free agents. The Xtreme Depressionâ“’ is hitting Canada too, y'all! With additions come subtractions too. Say goodbye to Bobby Abreu, Jason Giambi, Carl Pavano, Mike Mussina, and Sidney Ponson. I guess the other teams lost players too, but who really gives a darn about Coco Crisp? Amirite?

So strap on your clapping gloves, people, and get ready to witness the audacity of high hopes, the apocalypse of high salaries, and the anxiety of high VORPs. Ladies and gentlemen, the 2009 American League East, after the jump:

That's Why They Play The Games: 2009 NL East

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The top of the NL East standings in 2008 ended up a lot like the top of the NL East standings in 2007. The Phils won. The Mets did that thing they do where they look like they're gonna make the playoffs, then don't. The Nationals lost over 100 games, a feat that hadn't been accomplished in the division since the 1998 Marlins. The Braves continued their slide further away from their decade of dominance.

The Philadelphia/New York rivalry has become one of the most heated in baseball, and vaulted over Chicago/St. Louis in terms of coverage. So what does 2009 hold for this motley crew of Easterners? Dig it.

5. Washington Nationals
The Good:

  • Adam Dunn makes the heart of the lineup respectable. A Zimmerman/Dunn/Willingham troika should net you about 80 HRs if everyone stays healthy.

  • New closer Joel Hanrahan has some stuff. In fact he made the US WBC team! After like 5 guys got hurt. And he walks too many guys. But still he should be able to handle closing games for this team. It's not like he's gonna be overworked.
The Bad:
  • John Lannan isn't a bad pitcher, but I also wouldn't call him an ace. Unfortunately for the Nats that's what he has to be. #2 starter Scott Olsen has seen his K totals drop every year since an impressive rookie campaign, and the pitching starved Orioles just straight up gave up on Daniel Cabrera. In any case, expect this motley crew to stay fluid.

  • The Josh Willingham pickup was not nearly dramatic enough to pull last year's historically shite OF up to par. That is, unless you believe this is the year that Lastings Milledge breaks out. I definitely do not believe that. And as if the comedic value of Milledge/Pena/and Dukes wasn't enough.... they added Corey!

Recently Rob and I were talking about the offseason moves that Washington made, and there were a bunch, and he said they were "constructing a team the way that a 12 year old constructs her Myspace." I'm not quite sure what that means, but it made me laugh. It was a turbulent winter for this team, but hey, I don't think they'll lose 100 games again.

Prediction: 66-96 record; Wily Mo Pena makes a BLT with Beggin Strips and enjoys it; Manny Acta realizes no one can blame him for losing with this team again so he starts skipping games to go to the beach.

4. Atlanta Braves
The Good:

  • Brian McCann is the best hitting catcher in baseball and is only 24.He says that he can eat 3 funnel cakes in one sitting. That's consistency and wow potential.

  • Yunel Escobar is getting better and better defensively at short and knows how to get on base.


  • Javy Vasquez, Jair Jurrjens and Kenshin Kawakami have that famous upside in the rotation. Especially the 23 year old Jurrjens. If they capitalize on all of it, this 4th place prediction will be one spot too low.

The Bad:

  • The lineup is mostly devoid of power other than Jones and McCann and the mild muscles of 2B Kelly Johnson. Casey Kotchman's 93 OPS+ isn't going to make anyone forget Mark Texeira and the addition of consummate pro Garrett Anderson is great for the clubhouse but won't put many balls in the seats.

  • Tom Glavine is penciled in for the rotation's fifth spot, but this could come with a silver lining. If he doesn't do well, it could be an opportunity for fan favorite phenom Tommy Hanson.

Atlanta's big offseason move was signing Derek Lowe. I find him a totally underhwhelming #1 starter. He's also a dick. This is Bobby Cox's last year right? Who knows. Even as I type this I feel like I'm probably expecting less of the Braves than they'll actually produce but, the offense isn't any different from last year, and they just don't excite me. So be it.

Prediction:76-86 record; When it is revealed Peter Moylan fathered those octuplets he responds "shit happens"; Tim Hudson suffers setback in his return to the mound after falling in a manhole. He doesn't get hurt, he just refuses to come back up.

3. Florida Marlins
The Good:

    The Fish may not have won this division in a long time but they're once again the "Exciting Young Team To Watch" for like the 34th straight season. OF Cameron Maybin, 1B Gaby Sanchez, SP Ricky Nolasco, SP Andrew Miller and RP Matt Lindstrom are the youngest excitinginest ones.
    They have Arepas at the stadium.
  • Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla are very good at hitting the baseball. Sassy Senior Jorge Cantu also returns from the record home run hitting infield from last year. Only Mike Jacobs went bye bye. He got traded the Royals for Leo Nunez meaning the Marlins didn't wanna pay him or thought last year was an abberation. I mean, Leo Nunez.

  • Anibal Sanchez is looking to pitch a full season for the first time in his career. If his arm stays attached to his body to accomplish that, he could put up some great numbers.

The Bad:

  • If, if, if, if. Young, young, young, young.

The Marlins are still cycling in Muppet Babies for every semi successful player that turns 27. But they're talented Muppet Babies. There just isn't enough continuity or sure things to pick them to finish with the stacked Mets and Phils.

Prediction: 79-83 record; Fredi Gonzalez fired midseason, replaced by Dan Reeves; Jeffrey Loria gets the State Of Florida to bulldoze a homeless shelter and build him a squash court; Two words: mango delay.

2. New York Mets
The Good:

  • The first half of the order is as good as any in baseball, including the crosstown Yanks. Jose Reyes is my favorite SS in baseball and his OBP has gone up every year since he's been a regular. Wright, Beltran and the Delgado from last year's second half will put up a ton of runs behind him.

  • That Johan Santana kid could be good.

  • Omar Minaya addressed the most glaring problem, the bullpen, with two high profile additions in K-Rod and JJ Putz. In fact, almost the entire bullpen crew is different. Whether or not they're the right guys and whether or not they overpaid are real issues, but this goes under the good column because 1. They get credit for working on their biggest flaw and B. They can't be much worse than last year.

  • Tranny manager, Jerry Manuel gets a full season to manage. It's not that he's that great (even though he "draws leadership inspiration from the writings of Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi and Leo Tolstoy") but shaking off the managerial drama of the past couple years can't hurt.

  • The team is high on 22 y/o LF, Daniel Murphy, even though he recently said that the Mets clubhouse smells like winning. I've been in there. Winning must smell like taint and grilled chicken.

The Bad:

  • John Maine is freakin' out man. He's getting frustrated at his inability to return to his old form, which is bad news because he's old form was just okay. Add in the rollercoaster pitching of Oliver Perez and a fifth spot that's going to be filled by either Freddy Garcia or Livan Hernandez and you have what is decidedly shaky post-ace rotation.

This Mets team is good, and I think they'll grab the Wild Card this year. However the expensive putty job on the bullpen isn't enough to make me pick them over the WF Champs. I'll let them prove me wrong. Also, I'm not gonna make fun of Mets fans anymore. This year I'm after Cardinals fans. Self-important Snuggie wearers.

Prediction: 90-72 record; Ryan Church gets another concussion trying to figure out how the Nintendo light gun knows where you're pointing; After a two year legal battle Mike Pelfrey's cousin Dale is allowed to defecate on Mike's lawn without repercussion.

1. Philadelphia Phillies
The Good:

  • World Champs bring back almost entire lineup, with the exception of Pat Burrell. Burrell was replaced by Raul Ibanez, who's OPS was just a shade lower than Burrell's last year.

  • Closer Brad Lidge was perfect last year, becoming MLB's Lazarus Of The Year. Only downside here is he can't really get better than he was.

  • Charlie Manuel went from one step from the breadline to one of baseball's most liked managers. Folksiness, a pot belly and a WS ring will do this for you. Also, managers don't really matter all that much.

The Bad:

    • The biggest weak spot in the lineup is backstop. Chris Coste and Carlos Ruiz aren't going to get IBB'd a whole lot.

    • Team will have a close eye on Cole Hamels' arm and Chase Utley's hip all season.

    Prediction: 92-70 record; Jayson Werth gets a pony, Brett Myers punches it in the face; Jayson Werth releases his own line of salad dressings called "Jayson's Garden Fresh Dressing It's Not Just For Ballplayers It's For Anyone That Likes A Delicious Salad, Even You" and label printing costs sink the endeavor immediately.

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    The American League Central is not nearly as miserable as their National League counterparts, probably because they only have five teams worth of rosters to fill up. Actually, despite the fact that no team broke the 90-win barrier last year, no team failed to win 70 games either. I'm calling this league a toss-up in 2009 and predicting that the difference between first and last place will be less than fifteen games.

    Some of the exciting new arrivals in the division include two ex-Cubs who have joined up with Cleveland in Mark DeRosa and Kerry Wood, White Sox rookie second basemen Chris Getz, and, for some strange reason, Sidney Ponson. The Royals will try to get something positive out of the hero pitcher of the Netherlands WBC team despite his AMAZINGLY WELL-DOCUMENTED POOR RECORD IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES, not to mention his numerous legal troubles, including the infamous judge-punching incident. Also, Adam Everett switched teams and is now a Tiger. That's fun.

    So join me after the jump and read up on the division that any team could win, if they only signed Barry Bonds and Pedro Martinez to shore up their weak points:

    That's Why They Play The Games: 2009 NL Central

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    The 2008 NL Central was primarily a two team race between the newly Piniella'd Cubs and the Yostastic Brewers. The Brewers trailed by just two games on June 1. Pitching trouble and manager drama shipwrecked the Brewers, until the acquisition of CC Sabathia and the late late late firing of Yost vaulted them over the Mets in the final week for the Wild Card. The Astros also made a late run at respectability.

    The Central saw a proliferation of stellar young arms, (unfortunately one of them is on a team managed by Dusty Baker) and career years from two of its biggest stars. The divisions most visible team went pretty much to wire to wire but flamed out in the playoffs to a team from the much maligned West. What does 2009 have in store for the heartland? Let's rush to the middle.

    6. Pittsburgh Pirates
    The Good:

    • Catcher Ryan Doumit may be the most underrated hitter at the position. Played in 116 games last year, hitting 15 HRs and OPSing at at .858. Adam LaRoche is also good for about 25 HRs out of the first base spot.

    • Nate McClouth rounded into one of the NLs best all around outfielders last season. He covered a ton of ground in center and popped 26 HRs.

    • Closer Matt Capps is solid on the rare occasion he gets a save chance

    • Ian Snell still has some of the best stuff in baseball. He got off to a lousy start last season and was atrocious on the road all season. He started to show signs of his old self in his last 12 or so starts. Expect him to bounce back fully this year.

    The Bad:

    • The rest of the staff includes the disappointing Tom Gorzellany and Zach Duke, and young Ross Ohlendorf and Paul Maholm. One of the league's most underwhelming.

    • The holes left by power hitting OFs Jason Bay and Xavier Nady are replaced by the decidely less powerful Nyjer Morgan and and Brandon Moss.
    • Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson are nowhere near the hitters they once were.

    Don't be fooled by the fact that I have 4 goods and only 3 bads. We're still talking about the Pirates, a team that lost 95 games last season and made no noticeable improvements to the major league club. Expect a 17th consecutive losing season, by a comfortable margin.

    Prediction: 68-94 record; The team calls up Rinku and Dinesh midseason only to discover they returned to India months ago; 4 fans in section 362 start "Hinske's Pinskys" where they dress like Eric Hinske and recite Robert Pinsky poems.

    5. Houston Astros
    The Good:

    • Roy Oswalt was stellar again last season and has been lights out so far this Spring. He had a a 4:1 K/BB ratio and threw 208 innings. They'll need him to be one of the best in the league again, and barring injury, he'll deliver.

    • Lance Berkman appears to be entering a second prime. He's backed in the lineup by Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence, also 25 HR guys. Don't rule out a Miguel Tejada comeback year either.

    The Bad:

    • Not to be redundant, but let's look at the rest of this rotation. Wandy Rodriguez, Mike Frickin' Hampton, Brandon Backe and Brian Moehler. Oof.

    • If Miguel Tejada doesn't have a bounce back year, which could happen since he may be 51, the infield is light on offense outside of Berkman. Miggy, Matsui and the Blum/Boone platoon can all field but will likely lack plate production.

    A lot of people may think this is low, but the Astros pitching is seriously lacking. Besides Pence (who has a predilection for hurting himself), the offensive catalysts are older and a single injury to one of them would be a major setback.

    Prediction: 75-87 record; Cecil Cooper is sued for copyright infringement after debuting his new wallpaper instruction show, "Hanging With Mr. Cooper."; Kaz Matsui loses his virginity; I start pronouncing J.R. Towles' name correctly.

    4. Milwaukee Brewers
    The Good:

    • Walkoff Walk favorite Manny Parra returns for a second year with the big club. I'm expecting 300 IP, with 304 Ks, 6 BBs a 0.0048 WHIP and a 10-11 record.

    • Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun are still in the fold. With Mike Cameron and Cory Hart the heart of the lineup is very solid. At the plate, anyway.

    The Bad:

    • Hey look, another lousy rotation after #1. Braden Looper, Dave Bush and Yovani Gallardo, come on down! Sheets, Sabathia say "See ya, suckers." Looks poisonous.

    The Brewers team is pretty much the same as 2008, but without Ben Sheets and CC Sabathia. Those are pretty big buts (and butts). Braun and Fielder can't really play much better than they have and aren't enough to carry a team with a rotation like this. Sorry krautheads.

    Predictions: 79-83 record; Bill Hall buys a marmoset; Ken Macha gets his nipples sanded off trying to refinish a hutch.

    3. St. Louis Cardinals
    The Good:

    • Heart of lineup has a ton of power. After Albert Pujols, almost certainly the best hitter in baseball, they have Ryan Ludwick, Rick Ankiel and (when healthy) Troy Glaus. That's going to net you about 125 HRs.

    • Chris Carpenter may return to help out a patchwork rotation now entering it's second year of patchworkiness. When healthy, Adam Wainwright was stellar.

    The Bad:

    • Two rotation spots are still held by Mssrs. Lohse and Piniero. Lohse had a career year last year that he will need to duplicate just to be a capable #2 starter and Piniero stinks. It's also questionable whether Todd Wellemeyer can duplicate his late season success.

    • New starting SS is Khalil Greene. Most experts are counting on him having a bounceback year but I'm not sold. Skip Schumaker also needs to adjust to 2B.

    I was shocked by the relative success of this rotation last year and will only be a believer if they find success again. Ryan Ludwick's season last year was an outlier, he's going to be 31 this year. Nothing about this team says to me that they'll be much better than last year.

    Predictions: 82-80 record; Snack machine in clubhouse gets Gardetto's Snack Mix; Joe Mather takes pictures of his wang, texts them to you.

    2. Cincinnati Reds:
    The Good:

    • The rotation has the potential to be one of the league's best. Endindson Vozquez has ace stuff, and Johnny Cueto showed flashes of brilliance as a rookie. Barring you know what, that's an explosive 1-2. Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang are question marks (especially after I heard one from one of baseball's most prominent reporters that he thinks Dusty may have permanently killed Harang's arm), but with two highly capable pitchers in Homer Bailey and Micah Owings battling for the 5th spot, they have options.

    • The top of the lineup has two speed guys in Taveras and Hairston and three young guys with power in Votto, Phillips and Bruce.

    • Defense improves with addition of Alex Gonzalez at short.

    • Team had the 8th best bullpen ERA in baseball last year and added the efficient Arthur Rhodes.

    The Bad:

    I mostly kid. Players like playing for Dusty and if he manages to keep this team in the race for a good part of the year he'll get some MoY consideration. People like Dusty, and I like this team. Maybe lightning will strike.

    Predictions: 89-73 record; Juan Encarnacion buys a 1998 Ford Escort just to keep his shoes in; Joey Votto and Jay Bruce compare biceps an NL regular season record 7199 times surpassing Kevin Mitchell and Will Clark's 1989 record; Locusts.

    1. Chicago Cubs
    The Good:

    • The rotation is the best in the division. Zambrano, Harden, Dempster and Lilly are a strong 1-4.

    • Carlos "Nice" Marmol makes the transition to closer. He's succeeded as both a middle reliever and set up guy, and should be good in the 9th.

    • The addition of Milton Bradley to Soriano, Lee, Ramirez and Soto also puts the lineup in elite company and in even better shape than last year when they had the 5th most TBs in baseball.

    The Bad:

    • The productive Mark DeRosa was replaced by the less productive Aaron Miles.

    • Fukudome must improve on last season to fulfill expectations.

    The Cubs seem to have it all to win the divsion by a comfortable margin for the second straight year. I won't comment on anything beyond, but know that I don't believe in curses.

    Prediction: 99-63 record; Ryan Theriot finally throws out his Christmas tree towards the middle of June; Lou Piniella finally sees Titanic and hates it; Team doctor recommends players begin eating actual bear food.


    The American League West in 2008 was all about the haves and the have-nots. The Angels had a solid pitching staff, some valuable defenders, a record-setting closer, and a fella named Mark Teixeira who came in to carry the offense down the homestretch. The A's, Mariners, and Rangers didn't have a damn thing of value between the three of 'em and allowed Anaheim to win over 100 games, a veritable paper tiger that got burned up in the playoffs.

    Some folks thought the Mariners would improve on a surprise 88-win 2007 season and contend for a playoff spot in 2008. Those of us who read up on the PECOTAs and the CHONEs of the world knew better, and the M's became the first ever 100-loss $100 million team in history, the absolute pinnacle of inefficiency. The common perception of the 2009 Mariners is that they'll continue to be mired in the muck, while some folks are absolutely agog that Billy Beane went on a Xtreme Depression spending spree on what was perceived to be a mediocre team bereft of its best pieces already. But instead of proselytizing about nonsense, let's review the good and bad of each team and see how the tea leaves are lining up.

    That's Why They Play The Games: 2009 NL West

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    Hey remember THESE? One of our first acts as co-mayors of WoWville were our laughably offbase division predictions. While the guesses were bad there are still some good jokes in there. I urge you to check them out. In any case, it's a new year and we've got a brand new inscrutable crystal ball. I'm gonna kick things off with the NL West. After this we'll review a division with real teams in it.

    5. Colorado Rockies
    The Good:

    • Troy Tulowitzki says he's healthy and ready to be a leader. He, Garret Atkins, Brad Hawpe and an aged Todd Helton can all produce runs.

    • Chris Iannetta gets a full season behind the dish. He went off yesterday in the WBC and hit 18 tots last year.
    The Bad:

  • Jeff Francis, out for the year, surgery.

  • Matt Holiday, gone to the A's.

  • Brian Fuentes gone to the Angels and being replaced by... Huston Street? Eep.

  • The Holiday trade brought little back to the table for the Rockies, something they can't be happy about when dealing with the A's. The rotation has guys like Ubaldo Jimenez, Jason Marquis and the truly mediocre Greg Smith locking up spots in it. For a team that went 77-84 last year and lost their best hitter and starter, it's impossible to see how they'll score nearly as many runs as they'll give up.

    Prediction: 67-95 record; This year's "Exotic Game Clint Barmes Injury" will involve cobra meat; Manny Corpas changes his first name to Habeus.

    4. San Diego Padres
    The Good:

    The Bad:

    Their offseason additions include Emil Brown, Cliff Floyd, Henry Blanco, and David Eckstein. It's not like they paid any of them a ton of money but even as value moves their ceiling is pretty low.

    Any Padres improvement this year relies on a pretty simple formula. Getting better and healthier seasons from their players then they did last year. No radical remake here. Keeping Brian Giles out of the pokey would also help. Well, the team. Not that lady he pounds on.

    Predictions: 74-88 record; Club gets into a legal battle over name with Chicano Priest Association and has to change their name to the San Diego Rectories; "Bud Black's Big Butt Bonanza," a hidden camera voyeur film, debuts between innings at a home game in May. Fans initially horrified, eventually aroused.

    3. San Francisco Giants:
    The Good:

    • The Giants are putting together one of my favorite rotations in the league. Defending Cy Young winner Timmy! and face of the franchise Matt Cain create a formidable 1-2. Noah Lowry, when healthy is a solid pitcher, though he's not healthy at the moment. But the guy I'm really interested in is Jonathan Sanchez. He struck out 157 guys in 158 innings last year in his first full season. I think he'll be even better this year.

    • Oh yeah and they got Randy Johnson, who's 2008 was his best year since his original stint in Arizona.

    • The bullpen is also decent. Friend of Rinku Dinesh, Brian Wilson, had 41 saves but wasn't exactly dominating. If he can keep more guys off the basepaths in the 9th he'll be nearly untouchable and set up guys Sergio Romo and Jeremy Affeldt are solid.

    • Edgar Renteria joins the team. Dude has been in the league for about 13 years and lost more than a step, but this is one lineup that actually improves with his addition.

    The Bad:

    • That lineup. The Giants were the only team in baseball not to break 100 home runs last year. Aaron Rowand and Bengie "Benji" Molina are the biggest power threats.

    • It could be argued that it's more of an "unkown" than a "bad" but the infield around Renteria is being filled out by a bunch of guys that spent last year in Whoville. Pablo Sandoval showed some pop in limited time last year, but until we see how everyone pans out, this group has to be thought of as punchless till they prove otherwise.

    I'd have loved to make some waves and push the Giants up a little higher, but as good as their pitching is, they're going to have to be flawless with this offense. But remember now that I'm hedging my bets just in case Old NL Renteria and one of the young infield guys really break out and get this team somewhere even close to league offensive averages again.

    Predictions: 81-81 record, Benji Molina's stellar blog continues to get better until he eventually ousts me from WoW in a bloodless coup; To make the best of bad economic times Randy Winn and Fred Lewis augment their newly opened seafood restaurant to include a pawn shop. "Fred & Randy's Pawn n' Prawn" becomes Bay Area hotspot.

    2. Arizona Diamondbacks

    The Good:

    • Brandon Webb, Dan Haren and to an extent, Max Scherzer.

    • Justin Upton, Stephen Drew, Conor Jackson and to an extent, Chris Young.
    The Bad:

    • I think the Diamondbacks would rather have Micah Owings third in the rotation than needing so much our of Scherzer already. Especially seeing as how they gave him up for 2 months of Adam Dunn. Scherzer blew people away in limited action last season (68 Ks in 56 innings) but says he still feels "far behind" in terms of rehabbing from an arm injury last year. Doug Davis and Webb have both missed starts this spring as well.

    The Diamondbacks came flying out of the gate last year before pulling up lame towards the end. The competition in the NL West is roughly the same as last year, with the Giants being better and the Rockies being worse. Accounting for natural improvement from those young bats the Diamondbacks look to have a similar record this year. It will come down to steps up in that third rotation spot.

    Prediction:84-78 record; "Bring Your Diamondback to the Diamondbacks Game" promotion results in 11 poisonous snakebites and 36 mountain bikes.

    1. LA Dodgers

    The Good:

    • When he resigned we said we wouldn't talk about you-know-who so I won't. But he's good that guy.

    • The rest of the outfield seems to have solidified with regular playing time for the young guys that should have been in there all along. No more Pierre, no more Jones. No word on how much kicking and screaming it took to get Joe Torre to acquiesce.
    • Clayton Kershaw is back for a second go round. Lloyd thinks he'll put it together and I agree. Chad Billingsley didn't look so great in the playoffs but had a good enough 2008 to make him a not ridiculous top of the rotation guy.

    • A full season of Rafael Furcal and his airtight defense will take some pressure off of said rotation.

    The Bad:

    • Kershaw better be good. Without a solid campaign for him this is barely the 3rd best rotation in the division.

    We picked them to win last year before the Mannyquisition, and they did. If you've learned one thing reading this preview, it's that this division hasn't changed all that much, so why not pick them again. The outfield is improved and while Derek Lowe had a good year in 2008 his loss can't be called devastating by any stretch. Another down year in the NL West, but another title for the Trolley Dodgers.

    Predictions: 88-74 record; Andre Ethier tests positive for tasso ham; Joe Torre changes the spelling of his name to Joat Orry; Russell Martin goes around clubhouse every single day telling people "My sleep number bed is stuck on 69."