It’s the All-Star Break, and boy are we smart!

July 11, 2011

If the season had ended yesterday we might all be tempted to leave our day jobs and become sports journalists or even MLB GM’s.  Well, almost all of us…

Despite the weird start to the season – BOS going 0-6 and 2-9; CLE leading the division for almost the entire 1st half; almost every team having major injuries and the Dodgers following the Cubs and Rangers into bankruptcy court - 4 of us (Leo, Jed, Pete and Marc) have picked 7 out of 8 of the playoff teams in exactly the right position (counting all ties).  5 more of us have picked 6 of the 8 playoff teams, with two of those (Eric and me) having each team in the correct finishing position.  Six of us batting .750 or better is pretty impressive.

The individual picks look insightful, as well, at least in the AL. The Adrian Gonzalez MVP pick by 6 of us looks brilliant. The 8 of us that took either Verlander or Sabathia for AL Cy Young should be confident also.  In the NL, those Tulowitzski, Ramirez and Uggla (!) picks don’t look so hot, but Halliday has been his usual self and Gus’ pick of Prince Fielder looks really good. But of course it’s only the All-Star break.

A couple divisions promise to be very tight down to the wire, particularly both Central divisions.  There might be some surprises, too. Can the Twins come all the way back from the dead? Or even a bigger surprise – perhaps a miracle, can the Pirates stay above .500? (I won’t even ask if they could win the NL Central.  Surely not, right?)

Other interesting questions include: Will the Rockies follow their usual script and get red-hot down the stretch? (4 of us who picked COL to be NL champs really need that to happen). How will the Yankees do without A-Rod for 6 weeks?  As well as they did without Jeter for 3? (now that he has 3000+ hits, should the Captain be benched? or at least dropped down in the order?) Can the Cards keep Pujols/Holliday/Berkman in the line-up for consecutive series?  Will Berkman move from Comeback Player of the Year to MVP? Will Prince Fielder carry the Brewers into the playoffs and make himself a hotter free agent than Pujols?

Lots to look forward to between now and October.  Here are the standings at the break (feel free to double-check your picks and my math):

21 points:

Leo G. – SFO, STL, PHI, TEX, DET, BOS, NYY

Pete H. – SFO, MIL, PHI, STL, TEX, BOS, NYY

Jed M. -  SFO, STL, PHI, ATL, TEX, BOS, NYY

Marc W. -  SFO, MIL, PHI, ATL, DET, BOS, NYY

18 points:

Eric H. – STL, PHI, TEX, DET, BOS, NYY

Scott R.-  STL, PHI, ATL, TEX, BOS, NYY

16 points:

Wade C. – SFO, ATL (1), TEX, DET, BOS, NYY

Rip L. – MIL, PHI, SFO (1), TEX, BOS, NYY

15 points:

Tom M. – SFO, PHI, MIL, BOS, NYY

Gus P. – PHI, ATL, TEX, BOS, NYY

Rocky W. – SFO, PHI, ATL, TEX, BOS

14 points:

Bill C. – SFO, STL, PHI, TEX, NYY(1) BOS (1)

13 points:

Tony L.- PHI, SFO (1), DET, BOS, NYY

12 points:

Steve J. – PHI, STL, BOS, NYY

8 points:

Rick G. – ATL(1), PHI (1), BOS, NYY

5 points:

Rob C. – MIL, ATL (1), BOS (1)  {this is where you usually find yourself when you pick the Cubs: saying “wait til next year”}

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