I have been forced against my will to make a decision on who will win the WS. Well, maybe forced was a bit harsh. Anywho, I am going to give it the old college try. Since I am not getting paid for this, prepare to be amazed.
Lets begin the National league:
NLCS: Mets vs. Dodgers
This choice is strictly based on the amount of FA moves made by both clubs. I feel that both of these teams did a lot to improve the overall performance of their clubs.
There are many questions surrounding this choice for sure. The Dodgers made moves on both sides of the ball. Gagne received some support in the pen, so if he does become injured again, no worries, there is a host of others ready to pick up the rosin bag. Nomar, playing first, is a fairly safe move in my opinion. Pair these off-season gestures with a successful farm system, and this team could actually meet expectation this season.
The Mets are my choice basically because it is about time. They try to spend as much as their subway brethren, but rarely succeed. Delgado is not going to break any HR records in Shea Stadium, but with this his second season in the NL, he should fit in nicely. Their rotation is a bit weak, and this will be their fall in the NLCS. Looper is gone, and replaced by a steadier closer in Wagner. This team will be a scrappy team most of the year as they crawl their way to the top of the always challenging NL East.
Runners-up: Cardinals, Brewers
Now to the American League:
ALCS: White Sox vs. Blue Jays
As long as the pitching from last year holds onto that rabbits foot one more season, there is no reason the Sox should not recapture the AL Title. They also added some punch at the plate with Konerko. They have good, young talent coming into their own under the often outspoken Guillen's watchful eye. They have a manager not afraid to take risks and that will benefit them once again.
While the Red Sox and Yanks held their annual pissing contest, the Jays were able to acquire some talent of their own to compete in possibly the most competitive division on baseball. All be it, they paid too much, but with the conversation rate, it all balances out. There are a lot of what ifs with this prediction, as with any for that matter. Glaus needs to feel comfortable in the great white north; Wells actually needs to show up at the plate the entire season, their pitching needs to stay on track. While the Sox and Yanks battle for first, the Jays can creep past these guys, most likely as the wild card team.
Runners up: Yanks, Rangers
White Sox vs. Dodgers
Winner: Sox in 6
I totally pulled this out of my ass, but strong pitching will prevail. This rotation will benefit from their long season in '05 to help them find the strength to finish the Dodgers in 6 games.