Pretender: While the hitting is coming around after a hideous start (and they should keep hitting), I don't put a lot of faith in a rotation of Sabathia, Westbrook, CLee, Millwood and Elarton. Nor Wickman's elbow, though I'll give him props for a nice first half. Also, I think the Twins eventually figure it out and get on a run.
Cleveland Indians -- First off other than the reasons stated they are a pretender because they can't beat the teams ahead of them, how can they be a contender if they don't beat the good teams on a regular basis.
Florida Marlins -- Contender for the main reason they have the pitching to get it done as long as they stay healthy, we all know the tend to have health issues but when they don't they seem to be able to put it together for a playoff run.
Pretender - One poster was worried about the Indians rotation. The Rangers don't have the pitching to get it done. Rogers is old and slows down during the 2nd half of the season. The pitching isn't going to hold up.
Phillies -- Pretender for one major reason Charlie Manual, that guy couldnt' coach his way out of a paper bag, he just stands there and every so often trots out to the mound with that stupid walk of his. And the worst part of it all he's there because Jim Thome think hes' something special, Thome isn't playing that well either so he's getting the Phills from two directions. But ya never know, they could fire Manual (yea right) and make a run the same way the Astros did last year
Phillies: PRETENDER. In a cut-throat NL East featuring the Nationals, Braves, Mets, and Marlins as major competition, I simply don't think the Phillies can rise above and take the division, or the Wild Card. They seem to have pieced together a fine offensive machine with the return of Jim Thome, and breakout seasons of Pat Burrell and Chase Utley. However, after Brett Myers, the starting pitching simply isn't there. John Lieber showed he was playoff capable last year in New York, but since April has watched his numbers take a swan dive; and anyone believing in the likes of Corey Lidle and Vincente Padilla as starters who can carry a team to the post-season need to check again. The Phillies have taken some nice steps towards pushing for a post-season run, adding Ugeth Urbina to shore up their bullpen alongside Ryan Madson and Billy Wagner, but at best, they're a year off.
by Absolutely Adequate » Mon Jun 27, 2005 12:23 pm
Orioles: Pretender. They don't have the pitching to compete, especially in the AL East. They'll have to fight the Sox and the Yankees all year and will wear further and further down. No wild card, no division lead. No nothing.
New Team: Montreal Expos. Er... Washington Nationals.
Chicago Cubs- Pretender
The Cubs have two great hitters in the middle of their lineup(Ramirez and Lee) but unless guys like COrey Patterson and other player around those guys start hitting offensivly they will not be able to consistanly win games. Another reason is there unsteady bullpen with nobody to rely on. Then the SP is great with Maddux, Prior, Zambrano, but there is one major flaw to it. Dusty Baker
Next Team New York Yankees
sorry while i was writing someone else posted something and i just answered orakana's team
cubbies: contender. their staff is one of the best in the bigs. they are going to trade mitre and/ or patterson for some more bats and bullpen help. hendry is not going to stand pat. the cubbies will be in the playoffs as the wild card.
nats: contender. i realize they have given up more runs then they have scored but they also have llike a 20-4 record in one run games. they have a great bullpen with majeski, ayala, and cordero. plus they play in a pitcher friendly park. their offense gives them just enough.
yanks: pretender. if they werent the yanks, they would not even be discussed anymore but they have the pedigree of greatness. i really think team chemistry is a main reason why they are struggling. this is what happens when you bring in mercinaries every year. their pitching is horrible and their bullpen is thin. offensively, for a team with a ton of pure hitters, they are extremely streaky. the al just looks too strong for them to factor into the playoffs
Atlanta Braves: Contender(may be a bit biased as i am a fan of them)The Braves have great defense with Jones and Langerhans in the OF and Furcal and Giles at 2b and ss are great. With all their injuries and the way they are playing now is great. Once their injured players come back they will be nearly unstoppable. Plus they are the braves and they always win the division. Last year they were down at about this point in the season but players always seem to really step up for them. Andruw Jones has been filling in greatly with the absence of Chipper. Betimet has been the player people expected him to be a few years ago. Kelly Johnson has done very well hitting. I also thing that Giles and Furcal will have excellent second halves but thats just what I think. Their bullpen is suspect but i am fully confident in John Schuerholz to get the job done.