Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Nicks' Picks 2011

It's that time of year. Time for us all to make our trivial and almost certain-to-be-wrong preseason predictions, so that when the season comes to an end we can look back and chuckle at how clueless we were. To kick off the action, I've jotted down my predictions for various general and Twins-specific outcomes, and I've even enlisted my former blogging partner Nick Mosvick to throw his hat in the ring.

Feel free to submit your own predictions in the comments section.

Nelson's Picks

General

AL West: Athletics
AL Central: White Sox
AL East: Red Sox
AL Wild Card: Yankees

NL West: Rockies
NL Central: Brewers
NL East: Phillies
NL Wild Card: Braves

World Series: Phillies over Red Sox

AL Cy Young: Jon Lester
NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay

AL MVP:
Robinson Cano
NL MVP: Albert Pujols

AL Rookie of the Year: Jeremy Hellickson
NL Rookie of the Year: Brandon Belt

Twins-Specific

Twins MVP: Joe Mauer
Twins Top Pitcher: Francisco Liriano
Twins Best Rookie: Kyle Gibson
Twins Most Improved Player: Michael Cuddyer
Bold Predictions: Front office will add multiple relievers from outside before trade deadline; Liriano's ERA will rank among top 3 in AL; Delmon Young will hit 30 home runs.
A.L. Central Prediction (Standings): White Sox, Twins, Tigers, Indians, Royals
Three Keys to Success for the Twins: Good health from core players; emergence of quality relief options in middle innings; continued success against divisional opponents.

Mosvick's Picks

General

AL West: Athletics
AL Central: Tigers
AL East: Red Sox
AL Wild Card: Rays

NL West: Giants
NL Central: Brewers
NL East: Braves
NL Wild Card: Philadelphia Phillies

World Series: Braves over Red Sox

AL MVP: Carl Crawford
NL MVP: Albert Pujols

NL Cy Young: Josh Johnson
AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander

AL Rookie of the Year:
Kyle Drabek
NL Rookie of the Year: Mike Minor

Twins-Specific

Last year, in this category, I produced a spectacularly bad pick by predicting that Brendan Harris would get more at-bats than Delmon Young. Not only did I miss on foreseeing any improvement from Young, I missed on Harris becoming the definition of a replacement-level player, or possibly worse. Nonetheless, I'll get the tires again on Twins-specific bold predictions here:

Twins MVP: Joe Mauer
Twins Top Pitcher: Francisco Liriano
Twins Best Rookie: Ben Revere
Twins Most Improved Player: Kevin Slowey
Bold Predictions: Kevin Slowey will lead the staff in ERA, Matt Capps will have more saves than Joe Nathan, Jason Kubel will top 30 home runs
A.L. Central Prediction (Standings): Tigers, Twins, White Sox, Indians, Royals
Three Keys to Success for the Twins: Morneau making a healthy and productive return to the lineup; rookie bullpen arms having success late in the season; getting at least marginal productivity from bench players not named Thome.

16 comments:

Alex said...

Bold Predictions:
- Duensing eats up more innings than Pavano
- Kubel is the 4th outfielder and back-up DH
- Gardy won't have the heart to bench Morneau

VodkaDave said...

Dave's Picks

General

AL West: Athletics
AL Central: Twins
AL East: Red Sox
AL Wild Card: White Sox

NL West: Giants
NL Central: Reds
NL East: Phillies
NL Wild Card: Braves

World Series: Twins over Phillies

AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez
NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay

AL MVP: Mega Hunk Joe Mauer
NL MVP: Albert Pujols

AL Rookie of the Year: Kyle Drabek

NL Rookie of the Year: Billy Bullock

Twins-Specific

Twins MVP: Joe Mauer
Twins Top Pitcher: Francisco Liriano
Twins Best Rookie: Nishi
Twins Most Improved Player: Alexi
Bold Predictions: Bullpen will be one of the best 10 in baseball, Blackburn will have 200 IP and a sub 4.10 ERA, Mauer will hit 20 HR
A.L. Central Prediction (Standings): Twins, White Sox, Tigers, Royals, Indians
Three Keys to Success for the Twins: Health, Liriano becoming an ace, Span, Cuddyer and Kubel bounce back years.

Anonymous said...

Pujols for NL MVP? You guys are really going out on a limb with that guess ;)

Josh said...

My picks:

ALW: Rangers
ALC: Twins
ALE: Red Sox
AL WC: Rays

NLW: Giants
NLC: Brewers
NLE: Phillies
NL WC: Rockies

WS: Red Sox over Phillies

AL Cy: Jon Lester
NL Cy: Zack Grienke

AL MVP: Joe Mauer
NL MVP: Ryan Braun

No idea on rookies this year

Twins Predictions:
Nishioka will hit over .300, steal over 30 bases, and Gardy will still pine for Punto
Bullpen will make everyone nervous all year, but the difference between this year's pen and last year's pen will be +/- 1 game at most
Valencia's BA will drop to around .280, but he'll make up for it with increased power numbers
Matt Tolbert will flirt with Mendoza line most of the season and Gardy will play him too much.
Drew Butera will be the worse hitter in MLB
Twins will win the division because their pitching depth will allow them to overcome injuries that will hurt other teams and their lineup is the most solid in the division.

RFS said...

I'll go out on a limb and say the Twins win the Central and get swept by the Yankees in the playoffs. You know, something new.

Craig Srsen said...

General

AL West: Rangers
AL Central: Twins
AL East: Yankees
AL Wild Card: Red Sox

NL West: Rockies
NL Central: Reds
NL East: Phillies
NL Wild Card: Braves

World Series: Phillies over Twins

AL Cy Young: CC Sabathia
NL Cy Young: Josh Johnson

AL MVP: Justin Morneau
NL MVP: Albert Pujols

AL Rookie of the Year: Tsuyoshi Nishioka
NL Rookie of the Year: Brandon Belt

Twins-Specific

Twins MVP: Joe Mauer
Twins Top Pitcher: Francisco Liriano
Twins Best Rookie: Nishioka
Twins Most Improved Player: Kevin Slowey
Bold Predictions: No Twin will hit 30 HRs. Twins will have the top bullpen ERA in the AL.
A.L. Central Prediction (Standings): Twins, White Sox, Tigers, Royals, Indians

Nick M. said...

True, picking Pujols isn't going out on a limb. I seriously contemplated going many ways on that one, but I think I threw a fair amount of less-popular picks, like Drabek and Minor for ROTY (Hellickson and Freeman are the popular picks), along with Crawford for AL MVP and Verlander for Cy Young. Those aren't completely out of the blue, but I don't think I went with all consensus picks. Anyways, when it comes to the NL MVP, Pujols has had an argument for deserving all but one year (2002) he's been in the league. Votto, Cargo, and Tulo are all great players who may well take the MVP, but I'm not sure Pujols is as a ready as Ryan Howard to start the path of decline. For a darkhorse, I'd go with Jason Heyward (since I do have the Braves going to the playoffs)or Fielder. But, as a predictive matter, I'd say Pujols has by far the best shot.

cy1time said...

Nishimania will take over by mid-May. Everywhere the Twins go, he'll be the story. Maybe he makes the all-star game as the last guy voted in by the fans.

Liriano is traded at the deadline, maybe in a deal for Billy Bullock. Nick recovers from exploded head when Kyle Gibson comes up and is respectable.

Nathan gets beat up in April, but the ball starts coming out of his hand better in May and by July, he looks like the old Joe Nathan.

Span bounces back and scores 110 runs.

Mr. Suter said...

Bold Prediction: My bold prediction is that none of Nick's predictions come true.

AL WEST: Angels
Central: Twins (by 10 games)
East: Sox and Yanks tie/yanks go in as wild card with worse division record

NL West: Rockies
NL central: Cards
NL East: Phils
NL Wild Card: Brewers

MVP NL: PUJOS, no contract no problem

MVP AL: Delmon, swing at first pitch play outfield worse than Thome could, Young (but seriously, I'll go with Crawford, dude is a 5 tooler)

NL Cy Young: Jimenez
AL CY Young: Verlander (in a division losing effort)

Twins Specific: Blog readers go nuts over no big trade for an ace.
Team MVP: Casilla for hitting over .200
Team Cy Young:
ROY: Yoshi, even tho I see him struggling throughout May to adjust.

Sorry for messing with you Nick, you know I'm just kidding. I am just puffing out my big chest trying to show you that I am a rube of all things Twins.

Mr. Suter Out

Dan said...

Bold Prediction: Nishi hits over .300 and wins AL Rookie of the Year :-)

Nick N. said...

Lots of love for Nishioka in these predictions. Hope you guys are right.

Liriano is traded at the deadline, maybe in a deal for Billy Bullock. Nick recovers from exploded head when Kyle Gibson comes up and is respectable.

Nice.

Nathan gets beat up in April, but the ball starts coming out of his hand better in May and by July, he looks like the old Joe Nathan.

I'm on board with this one.

Bold Prediction: My bold prediction is that none of Nick's predictions come true.

That's not very bold. :)

MLB 2k11 said...

this time nishi will play well and rocks all the hits....


MLB 2k11

MLB 2011

Shane Wahl said...

I fear that this year might be the beginning of the end for Kubel and Cuddyer. It would seem possible that both of them have peaked as players.

Jacob said...

My bold prediction is that the Twins offense is very good this year and that our middle infield holds their own. I predict our bullpen will be better than people think with Mijares, Nathan, and Capps locking a very solid back end. However, I think our starting pitching is going to really struggle this year. I don't know why and have no real logic to put behind it. I just have this bad feeling that Liriano will get hurt and black/pavano/duensing will be relatively ineffective.

On the plus side I see a resurgence from Scott Baker on the horizon and we always have Slowey/Gibson waiting in the wings if we get in a pinch.

Anonymous said...

AL West: Rangers
AL Central: Twins
AL East: Red Sox
AL Wild Card: Yankees

NL West: Giants
NL Central: Brewers
NL East: Braves
NL Wild Card: Phillies

World Series: Red Sox over Braves

AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez
NL Cy Young: Tim Lincecum

AL MVP: Joe Mauer
NL MVP: Ryan Braun


Twins-Specific

Twins MVP: Joe Mauer
Twins Top Pitcher: Carl Pavano
Twins Best Rookie: Nishi
Twins Most Improved Player: Span
Bold Predictions: Twins were 6th in runs last year... they will increase that, Span and Yoshi in front of Mauer and Morneau will be f'n amazing, Thome will jack another 20 HR's


A.L. Central Prediction (Standings): Twins, White Sox, Tigers, Royals, Indians
Three Keys to Success for the Twins: Health, health, and health.

MLB Standings said...

World Series: Red Sox over Braves

AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez
NL Cy Young: Tim Lincecum

AL MVP: Joe Mauer
NL MVP: Ryan Braun