The Astros Daily 2001 Prediction Central

added 4/1/2001 by Ray Kerby

 

 

The 2001 Opening Day is imminent, meaning that it’s time for everyone to make their predictions for the upcoming season. Naturally, that includes the contributors of The Astros Daily. But a lot of other organizations are dipping their toes into this pool. Here are some other prognostications that you might find interesting:

 

Houston Chronicle season preview

CNN - Sports Illustrated season predictions

ESPN season predictions

CBS Sportsline NL Central preview

FoxSports NL Central preview

Diamond Mind season projections

Baseball Primer season predictions

Baseball Prospectus NL predictions

 

As you can see, everyone has an opinion about the upcoming season. With that in mind, several contributors at The Astros Daily volunteered to stick their necks about and make their own predictions. Thanks go to John Lauck, Melvin Edwards, Matthew Becker, Todd Brody, and Ray Kerby for their input.

 

 

Where will the Astros finish in the NL Central?

 

John: 2nd place, 85-77 record, five games in back of the Cardinals. Will this be enough for a Wild Card berth?  I don't think so. The ball club will hit, and {Billy Wagner} and {Mike Jackson} will save some games, but getting the game to those guys will be a major problem all year.  I look for a September fade-out.

 

Melvin: 1st place. The offense and improved bullpen should be enough in a weak division. Unless Rick Ankiel can learn to breathe through his eyelids, Cards will come up short (note: I have no clue what “breathe through his eyelids” means). For 3rd place, the Brewers have a solid middle of the order but are weak everywhere else among the regulars. The Reds should finish 4th; even a monster year from Ken Griffey won't be enough to compensate for pitching staff. The Cubs and Pirates round out the division.

 

Matthew: 3rd place. The Cardinals will take the division. I am too impressed with them to predict too much of a drop-off from last season, especially with the way that Mark McGwire seems to be recovering from injury. I think his added production will offset any drop-offs from "career" years from Jim Edmonds, Darryl Kile, and the like. In 2nd place, the Brewers. Their hitting approaches Houston's in terms of run production, and they have a better rotation

 

Todd: 1st place. While the Astros starting pitching will falter once again this year, the bullpen steps up strong and holds the late leads. That, combined with the awesome firepower the Astros can muster results in the Astros winning a very weak Central Division with 88 victories.

Ray: 2nd place. St. Louis is still too good and too committed to staying on top. The Astros will make up most of the ground lost to the Cardinals last year, but there are still too many “ifs” to predict more than a wild-card finish.

The Astros Daily Poll
Where will the Astros finish in the NL Central?

1st place
2nd place
3rd place
4th place
5th place
6th place


Results

 

 

Which players will be the Astros “booms”?

 

Melvin: Wade Miller.

 

John: Craig Biggio.

 

Matthew: First, Richard Hidalgo: He'll miss the Triple Crown by 10-15 batting average points. He's so good it's scary. Secondly, Julio Lugo: He can definitely rake, and I think his defense will improve in 2001, making Adam Everett useless. Finally, Craig Biggio. He's back, and he has something to prove.

 

Todd: Julio Lugo. Bagwell, Berkman, Hidalgo, and Alou will all have strong years for the Astros, but the biggest surprise performance comes from Julio Lugo, who will hit 20 HRs and will have 30 SBs. Also, the starting rotation. The Astros will get strong performances from Octavio Dotel and Shane Reynolds, and a .500 season from Kent Bottenfield.

 

Ray: Jeff Bagwell. It’s hard to imagine him being a boom considering what he’s already accomplished, but I’m predicting an MVP season for Bagwell. Also, don’t count out Jose Lima. I’m hoping (really, really hoping) that the return of Brad Ausmus will soothe the psyche of El Loco and return him to his pre-2000 form. After his 2000 performance, a .500 record would technically count as a “boom” season for Lima.

 

 

 


Which players will be the Astros “busts”?

 

Melvin: Doug Brocail.

 

John: Octavio Dotel.

 

Matthew:  Shane Reynolds - I think he'll finally start to show his age. The pitching in 2001 makes me shiver. Which leads to Jose Lima - and you thought last year was bad. Somehow, this new pitch he
added doesn't make me excited. Finally, Brad Ausmus. He'll have a good season, but he's not the Messiah.

 

Todd:  Jose Lima - he will have another crappy year and McKnight will be in the rotation by the end of the season. Scott Elarton - will not win more than 14 games. Chris Truby - the biggest bust on the team and soon relegated to a bench position, with Jose Vizcaino and Billy Spiers seeing a lot of action at the hot corner.

 

Ray: My first choice is Chris Truby. I’m not convinced that he will last more than half of the season as the starting third baseman. Also, I’m not convinced that Octavio Dotel is the real deal. He has loads of talent, but he may need to bounce around (a la Phil Nevin and Curt Schilling) before he starts playing to his ability.

 

 

 

Which teams will make the playoffs?

 

 

John

Melvin

Matthew

Todd

Ray

NL East

Braves

Mets

Braves

Braves

Braves

NL Central

Cardinals

Astros

Cardinals

Astros

Cardinals

NL West

Giants

Dodgers

Dodgers

Rockies

Rockies

NL Wildcard

Dodgers

Braves

Giants

Mets

Astros

AL East

Yankees

Red Sox

Red Sox

Yankees

Red Sox

AL Central

Indians

Indians

Indians

Indians

Indians

AL West

Mariners

A’s

Mariners

A’s

Rangers

AL Wildcard

A’s

Yankees

Yankees

Yankees

Yankees

 

 

 

Who will win the World Series?

 

John : Indians over Braves, 4 games to 3

Melvin: Indians over Braves, 4 games to 1

Matthew: Yankees over Dodgers

Todd: Rockies over A’s

Ray: Astros over Rangers, 4 games to 3

 

 

Who will win the post-season awards?

 

 

 

John

Melvin

Matthew

Todd

Ray

NL MVP

Barry Bonds

Edgardo Alfonzo

followed by Jeff Bagwell and Andruw Jones

Mark McGwire

He should have won in 1998, and with 55-60 homers, will win for his division winning Cardinals

Todd Helton

will end up batting .390

Jeff Bagwell

will hit 50 homers, score 150 and drive in 150

AL MVP

Jason Giambi

Carlos Delgado

followed by Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez

Pedro Martinez

After 3 years of dominance, they'll finally give in and hand him the awar

No pick

Alex Rodriguez

The greatest player in MLB will tap into Rangers’ ability to get MVP votes

NL Cy Young

Greg Maddux

Chan Ho Park

followed by Armando Benitez and Randy Johnson

Kevin Brown

Randy Johnson is getting too old to dominate this one.

Randy Johnson

Randy Johnson

still the best pitcher in the league

AL Cy Young

Pedro Martinez

Bartolo Colon

followed by Pedro Martinez and Jeff Weaver

Pedro Martinez

also the AL MVP

No pick

Pedro Martinez

no one is anywhere near his level right now.

 

 

 

Any other predictions?

 

John: Sosa and Sheffield will not be traded; Bobby Valentine will be fired in August; Mike Hampton will win 14 for the Rockies.

 

Todd: During the middle of the season, major league baseball along with the Players Union announce that they have extended the current CBA for three more years, thus putting off any serious labor discussions. The umpires don't call the strike zone any differently than they did last year. Mark McGwire lasts 50 games before he suffers a season ending injury and decides to call it quits during the offseason.

Ray: Mike Hampton will win enough games to get Cy Young votes. Moises Alou will be traded at the deadline. Larry Dierker will take the fall if the team is under .500 after May. The team will announce plans to retire J.R. Richard’s jersey.


 

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