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View Full Version : Beasts from the Easts? All 6 Divisions Ranked...


WhiteSoxFan84
03-18-2005, 04:22 PM
I was looking at the MLB standings and started ranking the divisions in order and thought I'd post mine up and hope you guys do the same. Here's my list...

1) AL East
I don't think anyone can argue with this. You want to talk about a hitter's division? How about names like Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Sammy Sosa, Miguel Tejada, etc. You want to talk about pitching? How about names like Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, David Wells, Mike Mussina, Roy Halladay, etc. Although the Yankees should easily win 95 games and the division, it is still loaded with talented teams. The Red Sox will also win 90 games and make the playoffs. The Baltimore Orioles more than likely will finish in the middle and should win around 82 games. The Blue Jays and Devil Rays are both fairly young and should still be entertaining. The D-Rays picked up quite a few older bats to go along with young stars like Rocco Baldeli, Aubrey Huff, Carl Crawford, Dewon Brazelton, and B.J. Upton. Toronto is probably the worst team in the division but they may have the 3rd (maybe even 2nd if Boston's gets plagued with injuries) best pitching staff in the division.

2) NL East
Who will win the NL East in 2005? You can name every team but the Nationals. The Braves are obviously going to be up there every year. Their staff this year is going to be amazing with Tim Judson, John Smoltz, Mike Hampton, John Thompson, and Horacio Ramirez. The Marlins are probably the best NL team on paper. They have the most complete lineup in the majors. A legit leadoff man in Juan Pierre. A solid # 2 hitter in Luis Castillio. And a heart of the order (Cabrera/Delgado/Lowell) that is just so consistent and intimidating. The Mets had the most expensive offseason in the majors. The additions of Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran will make immediate impact and make this team a solid contender in the division. The Phillies were the quietest team this offseason and even dealt Eric Milton to the Cincinnati Reds. They still have enough talent to compete for the division crown but have a long road to go down. The Nationals will be much improved from last year (should win around 10 more games than last year) but they still are one of the worse teams in the game.

3) NL West
Probably a little surprising that this division is 3rd but I think it deserves to be here. The Giants picked up a lot of proven, veteran players to help improve the team. The additions of Armando Benitez, Omar Vizquel, and Moises Alou make this team one of if not the favorite. The Dodgers are probably the co-favorites as they have an amazing starting rotation on paper. Although they have no real stand-out ace, any one of their 5 starters could be a # 2 on a lot of major teams. The San Diego Padres lost David Wells but replaced him with Woody Williams. They should have a solid season probably depending on whether Phil Nevin and Ryan Klesko want to stop crying about the ballpark being so hard to hit in. The Colorado Rockies should have a better lineup with a healthy Preston Wilson and a better closer in Chin-hui Tsao. However, the team is still the worst in the division as they have too many holes and are looking to rebuild.

4) AL Central
Shocked? Don't be. This is probably the toughest division to judge. Some may argue that is because there are "no good teams" in there. Others, like myself, like to point out that the reason the division is so hard to judge is because of the solid talent each team possesses. The White Sox, Twins, and Indians, if healthy, will all make this season a fun one for AL Central fans. The Twins lost Cristian Guzman and Corey Koskie who were both with the team the last 3 years in which they won the division. The Indians picked up Kevin Millwood, Arthur Rhodes, Jose Hernandez, Aaron Boone, and Juan Gonzalez. Gonzalez will probably not make the team because of his injuries and diminished skills. Boone's injury will linger him all year making him an unknown factor. Millwood and Cliff Lee can either make this team the team to beat in the division or a non-factor depending on how they pitch. The White Sox are a completely different team. If people don't look back at how powerful the team was last year and just look at the current team, they're probably the best team on paper in the division. Some may even label them the Marlins of the AL. The Detroit Tigers will be better than last year if they stay healthy. Their pitching is still bad and the loaded competition in the division will make them a 75-80 win team at best. The Kansas City Royals are still the worst team in the division but should still give the other 4 teams a tough time 19 times a year.

5) NL Central
Last year this was probably the best division in baseball. What a difference a year makes. The Cardinals picked up an ace in Mark Mulder and solid infielders in Mark Grudzielanek and David Eckstein but they also lost Edgar Renteria, Woody Williams, Steve Kline, Tony Womack, and Mike Matheny. They should still be the best team in the division as they still have a very, very dangerous line-up. The Cubs also unloaded a ton of key players including Sammy Sosa, Moises Alou, Matt Clement, and Mark Grudzielanek. The unknown health status's of Mark Prior and Kerry Wood may have the Cubs fighting for 2nd rather than 1st. The trend of losing key players continues in this division as the Houston Astros also lost a lot. Carlos Beltran, Jeff Kent, and Wade Miller have all left. The team still has a solid starting rotation in Cy Young award winner Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Roy Oswalt, and company. They probably have the 2nd best closer in the NL, only behind Eric Gagne, in Brad Lidge. The Cincinnati Reds are probably the most improved team in this division. The additions of Eric Milton, Ramon Ortiz, Ben Weber, Dave Weathers, and Joe Randa make the team a lot better. The Milwaukee Brewers may look better with the pick-up of Carlos Lee, but with the losses of Scott Podsednik, Luis Vizcaino, and Dan Kolb, they no longer have their lead-off man, main set-up man, and reliable closer. The Pirates are probably the same team as last year.

6) AL West
The LA Angels should easily run away with this division. The 2004 AL West Division Champions added on to their solid offense by acquiring Steve Finley and Orlando Cabrera. They may have lost a ton of power in Jose Guillen, but he was looked as an addition by subtraction because of his clubhouse behavior. The guy they got in return for Guillen, Juan Rivera, is a pretty solid player as well. The Oakland A's completely changed their rotation. They were a competitive team last year and should be this year if the new look rotation pans out. The Texas Rangers of Arlington (:D: ) still have the same look, young offense that had them in contention throughout the season last year. However, they still do not have good pitching and should struggle because of that. The Seattle Mariners picked up a ton of offense in Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson but other than that, they are still the same team. They should easily be a better team than last year but will barely win over 80 wins if they do at all.

I want Mags back
03-18-2005, 05:46 PM
4th thats not bad

Clembasbal
03-18-2005, 09:21 PM
No way is the Cubs division easier than ours. They play a tougher schedule.

marlins03
03-18-2005, 09:27 PM
mmm NL East is going to be tough...... tough for the Braves, Phillies, Muts, and Exp.... Nationals as they will get their asses handed to them by us this season

Banix12
03-19-2005, 01:04 AM
I don't exactly know what the criteria are for this but I'm going by most competitive.

1)NL East... More than likely the best pitching division top to bottom. The Phillies being the lone exception but I gotta think they actually improved the pitching staff with the addition of Lieber and the subtraction of the oft struggling Milton and Millwood. Four teams in the division have a legitimate shot at the title and even the fifth, Washington, has enough talent to keep things interesting. This division might have four of the top five teams in the NL, I'm not very high on the NL West and the only other team that belongs in my mind is St. Louis. And might not have any team that ranks below the top ten.

2) AL East... The Boston/NY rivalry will be the story again with the rest of the divison still weeping that they have to be stuck here. Tampa and the Blue Jays would be also rans in every other division as well. Baltimore has some decent young pitching and if it can make some progress they can become a dark horse. The sheer power of the top two teams earn themselves a spot.

3)AL Central... Three, maybe four, teams with a legit shot at the division crown. None of the teams are very glamourous, but like the two eastern divisions, the AL Central has at least three teams that you can say have made improvements to their rosters in the offseason. While the division contains none of the likely top three teams in the AL (Boston, NY, and Anaheim), Minnesota, Chicago and Cleveland could very well be numbers 4, 5, and 6. Might not be the most powerful division but will be more fun than the other three below it to watch.

4) NL West... Should be competitive, going down to the final week but not really for the right reasons. A lot of bizzare moves came out of this division this offseason so it is difficult to judge. The dodgers barely won last season and were quickly knocked out of the playoffs and clearly didn't belong there. The Giants are old and might be losing Bonds for a period of time, the dodgers lost their best hitter on a weak hitting club and replaced him with JD Drew who really has only one healthy season, the Padres lost their best pitcher and is struggling to hit in their park, and nobody really knows what is up with the D'Backs. The less said about the rockies the better. This division has lot of very weak teams fighting for the right to get bounced in the NLDS. I like the Padres for that right.

5) NL Central... Like the NL East, a lot of good pitching, unlike the east not a lot of the teams improved over the offseason. The Cardinals improved the rotation but lost it's catcher and middle infield. The cubs lost most of its OF and might lose its pitching. Houston basically lost its entire offense. You can make an arguement that the Brewers and Reds made improvements but they are both still likely also-rans (prove me wrong Brew Crew!). Pittsburgh could fight it's way out of the basement if enough teams regress. Not a lot of great teams but they at least have a team to be reckoned with in the Cardinals.

6) AL West... I present your AL West Champions Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The AL West probably has the worst pitching of any division. Anaheim has the most pitching out of any of the teams and can swing the bats just as well as the two offensive powerhouses, Texas and Seattle. Oakland might be able to do something if the young guys produce, but I figure they are a year away from being a solid team again. I like most of these teams better than the bottom feeders in the NL Central or even some of the better teams of the NL West but I don't see Anaheim being threatened too much.

fquaye149
03-19-2005, 02:07 AM
everyone who thinks the mets will be good this year is probably in for a surprise, while the rest of the world will not be shocked at all when they finish 3rd or worse in a decent division.

MeanFish
03-19-2005, 12:28 PM
everyone who thinks the mets will be good this year is probably in for a surprise, while the rest of the world will not be shocked at all when they finish 3rd or worse in a decent division.

I think that's the wrong way to look at it. In that division you can be a good team AND finish in third.

fquaye149
03-19-2005, 12:48 PM
^^^yes and no. It is deep with mediocre teams. The Braves will win again and bow out of the playoffs. The Marlins have capable playoff depth, but will not win the division and the wildcard will be tough to win this year.

Honestly, it's a good division. Not great.

Truthfully I think the Mets will finish 4th. If they had a commitment to rebuilding, I would say target 2 or 3 years to be a contender again. Instead they trade away kazmir to create an alternately old, overpaid, and just plain not good (zambrano) pitching staff.

Don't see them contending for anything but 3rd place in a division that likely won't field a playoff series winning team

MeanFish
03-19-2005, 01:29 PM
^^^yes and no. It is deep with mediocre teams. The Braves will win again and bow out of the playoffs. The Marlins have capable playoff depth, but will not win the division and the wildcard will be tough to win this year.

Honestly, it's a good division. Not great.

Truthfully I think the Mets will finish 4th. If they had a commitment to rebuilding, I would say target 2 or 3 years to be a contender again. Instead they trade away kazmir to create an alternately old, overpaid, and just plain not good (zambrano) pitching staff.

Don't see them contending for anything but 3rd place in a division that likely won't field a playoff series winning team

Consider that most of those mediocre teams improved themselves dramatically this offseason. And what's wrong with Victor Zambrano again?

A powerful lefty bat in Delgado will be a great boon to the Marlins' offense, the Braves will continue to find their way into the postseason (even if they do usually lose, that's not the whole division's fault), the Phillies actually upgraded their pitching, replacing an overrated Kevin Millwood with an underrated Jon Lieber. And then the Mets. They've got the raw talent to do some damage this year, it's just a matter of if they can make it work for them. Usually they can't but then again Omar Minaya wasn't behind their last reconstructions either.

In any case, those teams aren't mediocre.

fquaye149
03-19-2005, 09:49 PM
Consider that most of those mediocre teams improved themselves dramatically this offseason. And what's wrong with Victor Zambrano again?

A powerful lefty bat in Delgado will be a great boon to the Marlins' offense, the Braves will continue to find their way into the postseason (even if they do usually lose, that's not the whole division's fault), the Phillies actually upgraded their pitching, replacing an overrated Kevin Millwood with Jon Lieber. And then the Mets. They've got the raw talent to do some damage this year, it's just a matter of if they can make it work for them. Usually they can't but then again Omar Minaya wasn't behind their last reconstructions either.

In any case, those teams aren't mediocre.

What's wrong with Victor Zambrano? Oh, not much except he isn't any good. Look at the walks.

Yes Delgado is a powerful lefty bat, but he replaces Encarnacion whose numbers aren't too different from Carlos' last year. Not to mention the downgrade in the field. Conine is no J.T. Snow, but come on.Meanwhile, keep in mind this is a team that did not make the playoffs last year even with benitez playing out of his mind. They are marginally better - does that make them a great team? Potentially...but every mlb team is POTENTIALLY a threat

The Phillies replaced a poor Millwood with an adequate Lieber. Yes there is a talent issue, but wait - were they really only a marginal pitcher upgrade away from contending last year? Oh and they lost Milton too.

And the Mets? Yes they got Beltran. But a .280 hitter who tore it up in the playoffs doesn't mean jack to a team that won't make the playoffs. That's right - they have as many holes as any team in baseball and MORE question marks than...shock! The White Sox. Maybe if they come up aces they can win the wild card. MAYBE. But I sure as heckfire wouldn't bet on it.

This is a division everyone wants to give undue credit to. No team made any huge improvements (and the eventual division winner actually looks to have downgraded their team besides hudson). However all of a sudden they are the division to fear. Why? Because Beltran's in NY. Period. Stop watching ESPN for four seconds and evaluate the teams. NY is mortgaging the present for the future and the future for the present - SOMEONE explain to me the Kazmir move, PLEASE - for a team that is going to start youngsters this year - are they rebuilding or are they playing for the present? They can't decide and that's precisely why the Mets are the most overrated team I've seen in quite a while.


But bring this back at the end of the season if I'm wrong. I welcome it.

PAPChiSox729
03-19-2005, 10:44 PM
I'm ranking these by best teams, not competitiveness

1) AL East- Yanks and BoSox both should easily make the playoffs
2) NL East- Marlins and Braves both are very strong
3) AL Central- Should be most competitive. Twins and White Sox are both very good.
4) NL West- Giants and Padres look competitive. Rest of division is mediocre.
5) AL West- Angels should win it. But the three other teams could surprise.
6) NL Central- Cardinals are very good. The rest are not.