2011 MLB Season Preview

Busch Stadium head painter Billy Martin makes last minute touchups to the Opening Day logo, painted behind homeplate at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on March 28, 2011. The Cardinals will host the San Diego Padres on Opening Day March 31. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

In the eyes of public opinion, the moment Cliff Lee surprised the Yankees and Rangers by signing with Philadelphia the Phillies locked up the AL East. And when the Red Sox traded for slugger Adrian Gonzalez and signed free agent Carl Crawford to a mega-contract, a Boston-Philly World Series matchup was all the pundits could talk about this spring.

But what about the defending champs? The Giants are better at this point this year than they were a year ago. They’ll have Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner for an entire season and the Panda looks like he’s rounding back into 2009 form. It’s been 10-straight years since the last time a team repeated as World Series champions, so the task will be daunting. But given Chase Utley’s knee injury and the uncertainty surrounding Josh Beckett and John Lackey (two starters coming off down years in Boston), why not the Giants?

Below is a division-by-division breakdown of how I see the 2011 MLB season playing out. You’ll find projections for every team and every division, as well as postseason and World Series predictions as well. If you want to bash my picks, feel free. I just have one condition: Make your own predictions as well. Don’t be that person that criticizes my picks without sticking his or her neck out there, too. Because nobody likes you.

That said, enjoy another season, baseball fans!

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