Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Game 1: Red Sox 6, Oakland 5

So the 2008 season has finally begun. In an exciting 6am start time here on the East Coast, the Sox faced the A's in Tokyo. Dice-K got the start for the Sox but and got lit up early, giving up 2 runs and 5 walks in the first 2 innings. He got out of some tough jams and only gave up 2 hits over 5 innings of work. His pitch count was very high though and threw 95 pitches (only 51 strikes) in those 5 IP. In the top of the 6th Manny put the Red Sox on the board with a blazer over the 3rd base bag that plated 2. Brandon Moss, who got the start for J.D. Drew because he had back spasms just before game time, then singled home Manny to put Boston up 3-2. Dice-K was in line for the win but Kyle Snyder gave up a 2 run HR in the bottom of the 6th to put Oakland back on top 4-3. The score stayed this way until the top of the 9th when Brandon Moss faced Huston Street. Moss took Street deep for his 1st major league HR to tie the game. In the top of the 10th Manny was at it again with another 2 RBI double to put Boston up 6-4. Papelbon came in to try and close out the game but looked very shaky. After walking the leadoff hitter he got Jack Cust to strikeout but then gave up an RBI double. A poor base running mistake led to the runner on 2nd being picked off and saved the game for the Sox. Papelbon then gave up back-to-back singles which would have tied the game and potentially won it for Oakland, before getting a ground out to end the game 6-4.

All in all, it was a good win for Boston and Dice-K battled back after a very rough first 2 innings. Manny and Pedroia looked very good as they each had 2 hits but Ortiz went 0-4.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

AL Central Predictions

AL Central
This division looks to feature two of the top teams in the AL with the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers. The Twins just traded away Johan Santana, lost Torii Hunter in free agency, and after finishing 17 games back last year they don't appear as a threat to win the division although Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are great players. The White Sox did add Nick Swisher, Orlando Cabrera, Carlos Quentin, and will start a rookie at 2B but they just aren't strong enough to compete with the Indians or Tigers. Do I even need to say anything about the Royals? They will finish near the bottom of the AL even with the "roided" out Jose Guillen.

The Tigers finished 8 GB of the Indians last year but the additions of Miguel "I'm trying to get in shape" Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis should help make that up. Their hitting lineup has the potential to be the strongest in baseball this season with Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Carlos Guillen, Edgar Renteria, Gary Sheffield, Magglio Ordonez, and Pudge Rodriguez as the top 7 hitters.

The Indians don't have nearly as strong of a hitting lineup but Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, and Victor Martinez are no slouches. I'd have to give the edge to their rotation over the Tiger's because it features AL Cy Young C.C. Sabbathia and Fausto Carmona as the 1-2 punch.

Tigers: 96-66
Indians: 95-67
White Sox: 79-83
Twins: 77-85
Royals: 68-94

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

AL East Predictions

AL East
I am a Red Sox fan and that may have made this a biased pick. I like the Sox to win the division because they won it last year and could have a stronger team this year. Basically, the AL East will come down to the Red Sox and the Yankees. The Blue Jays, Orioles, and Devil Rays were 13, 27, and 30 games back respectively of the Red Sox last year. Realistically the Orioles and Devil Rays have no shot at winning the division and the Blue Jays just don't scare me. So that leaves the Red Sox vs. the Yankees. Big surprise. The Yankees did nothing to get better in the off season and I'm sorry, a rotation that features Mussina, Pettitte, Chien-Ming Wang, Phil Hughes, and Kei Igawa/Ian Kennedy just doesn't strike fear into opponents. Now one that has Beckett, Dice-K, Schilling, Wakefield, and then the combo of two great youngsters in Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz is intimidating. The Sox and Yankee hitting lineups don't need help but the Yankees are getting old and A-Rod likely won't put up the same eye popping numbers of 2007. The Yankees are older (I suspect injuries will take their toll) and have Jason Giambi at 1st. It's not the early 2000 version either, no, this Giambi hits .236. The Red Sox will likely have Jacoby Ellsbury starting from the beginning of the season rather than Coco Crisp and Pedroia will get another year of experience to build on his Rookie of the Year campaign.

Red Sox: 96-66
Yankees: 90-62
Blue Jays: 81-81
Devil Rays: 73-89
Orioles: 62-100


Whelp I just made the blog and will be posting shortly. The Papelblog will be about all of Major League Baseball and Fantasy Baseball.