Baseball prediction update | Bleader

Baseball prediction update

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Paul Konerkos midseason beaning at the hands of the Cubs Jeff Samardzija: an omen of what was to come.
  • Paul Boucher
  • Paul Konerko's midseason beaning at the hands of the Cubs' Jeff Samardzija: an omen of what was to come.
A lot is riding on the last week of the White Sox's season—most of all the pride I can take in my season-opening predictions.

Kind of like the Sox themselves, I was flying high for a while only to see my pursuit of the Golden BAT go up in smoke of late.

In the National League, I picked the San Francisco Giants to win the West. Then, I can boast that I picked the Washington Nationals to make the playoffs—although not even I was bold enough to say they'd win the East—and had them in one of the two expanded wild-card slots. Otherwise, though, I had the Milwaukee Brewers in the Central and the Los Angeles Dodgers as the other wild card. I never imagined Dusty Baker wouldn't find a way to screw up the Cincinnati Reds in the Central, and I never expected the Atlanta Braves to right themselves from last year's collapse to make the playoffs. So give me credit for two playoff teams, one in the right position, and I have the Giants to win the pennant, so I'm still alive for the bigger prize.

In the American League, I had the Yankees to win the East, but that took no brains at all. I also had the Texas Rangers to make the playoffs, but as a wild card, not the West winner. I had the Los Angeles Angels there, and they've of course been a season-long disappointment. I had the Tampa Bay Rays as the other wild card, which puts me at cross-purposes this weekend. The Rays need to win, but so do the Sox to capture the Central, which would greatly improve my standing. So I have one solid and one half-right pending the Sox finish.

So it's a no-brainer all around: Go Sox! They throw ace Chris Sale at the Rays this afternoon at White Sox Park.

As for my other predictions, I'm sitting pretty on my chosen long shot of Adam Dunn hitting more homers than the Detroit Tigers' Prince Fielder, 41-28, but less so on my feeling that the Cubs would win more in the second half than the first. After going 31-50 to the halfway point, they'd have to avoid 100 losses to do it, and after another humiliating defeat last night in Arizona they need to win four of the last five games. So c'mon Cubs!

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