Cody Straub: Welcome to the second edition to PM Nation. First off I would like to thank John Almanza for drawing the PM Nation logo. This week we will make our predictions for the upcoming Major League Baseball season. We will share who we think will win the CY Young for the American and National League, Most Valuable Player, which two teams will reach the World Series and a sleeper team who could surprise everyone.
PM NATION- is a weekly column written by Taylor Groff and Cody Straub.
Taylor Groff: We will first debate the possible CY Young winners in the AL and NL. My selection for the NL is Tim Lincecum from the San Francisco Giants. I’m telling you this guy is lights out when he is pitching. He already is a two-time CY Young award winner and has a ridiculously low ERA of 2.90. He throws hitters off with his extreme delivery and the velocity on his fastball is off the charts. In the AL I’m predicting Felix Hernandez from the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners have added some key players to the team like Milton Bradley, Chone Figgins and Casey Kotchman. With these additions to the lineup, Felix will be able to go out confidently on the mound with some big bats behind him.
CS: Tim Lincecum is a great pick, expect for the fact the he is killing his arm every time he throws. His body is not meant to withstand a long grueling season year after year and I think this is the year his arm gives in. My pick for the N.L. CY Young is Adam Wainwright. Throughout Wainwright’s career his stats have improved. Last year Wainwright had a 2.63 ERA and 19 wins. With a potent offense in St. Louis Wainwright will not have to bring his best stuff every game to pick up a win. In the American League the CY Young winner will be Zach Grienke. The defending CY Young winner had a league low 2.16 ERA last year. When this guy can win 16 games on arguably the worst team in the league he deserves a lot of credit.
TG: For MVP I’m going to have to go with my hometown hero Ryan Howard. When this guy hits a homerun it looks like the ball is going to outer space. He is an incredible player and he has been improving all aspects of his game. His defense is definitely taking a lot of positive steps forward. The only small problem is when you break down his swing, he has a lot of trouble hitting the off speed pitches. He hit .279 with 45 homeruns and 141 RBI’s.
CS: There is no way a guy who doesn’t even hit .280, and basically doesn’t show up until the weather gets warm, can win MVP. My MVP choice is Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins. He batted .365, much better than Howard, 28 homeruns and 96 RBI’s. While his homerun and RBI’s were just average, his power is improving every season and I think he will put up big numbers. Behind the plate catching, Mauer only made three errors compared to Howard’s 14 errors. Taylor, there is no way your “hometown hero” will win the MVP ahead of Mauer when Howard can’t hit a curveball to save his life.
TG: Really? So your telling me that just because Howard hit .280 that he isn’t worthy of an MVP selection. The years he has been in the league he has put up Hall of Fame numbers. Talk to me now.
CS: That is exactly what I am saying, when Mauer hits .365, Howard DOES NOT deserve to get MVP ahead of him. My World Series prediction is the St. Louis Cardinals over the New York Yankees in six games. The Cardinals have the best rotation in the league with Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, and Joel Pineiro at the top of the rotation. Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday are two MVP candidates in their lineup. My sleeper team who I think will make the playoffs is the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners made the best trade by stealing Cliff Lee from the Phillles. It’s okay Taylor don’t cry. With Felix Hernandez and Lee at the top of the rotation the Mariners will never suffer long losing streaks through the season. Ichiro will lead their line up and continue to hit over .300 like he does every season.
TG: I think that the World Series teams will be the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Sox are led by a strong rotation and trying to fill some holes in the offense. Their rotation with Josh Beckett, John Lackey, John Lestor, Clay Buchholz and Daisuke Matsuzaka will lead the Sox to a World Series berth. The Phillies will surely make it three consecutive appearances to the World Series. My sleeper team is the Colorado Rockies. They have a lot of young talent and their star pitcher, Jeff Francis, is returning from an injury.
CS: That’s all for this edition, except for this shout out to Vernon Macklin for dunking over AJ Ogilvy and making him look like a fool.