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AL West 2011 Preview: A Power Struggle Could Be in the Works

Here it is, a time preview that could eventually end up turning up as a reality throughout the duration of the 2011 MLB regular season.

The starting point is the American League’s West Division. The smallest division in all of baseball contains four teams that will jockey for the top position. One of these teams is the defending-AL champion Texas Rangers. A big question mark here regards their ability to bounce back after a World Series defeat. 

Also mucked up in the West are the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, a perennial contender that always seems to find themselves in the division mix.

They are just 10 games separated the Rangers, Angels and Oakland Athletics last year. Don’t be surprised if this division turns into an even tighter log jam in 2011. A shuffle in the AL West’s balance of power is inevitably on the way this year. Here is a team-by-team outlook of what may be to come for the entirety of the AL West.

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World Series 2010 Precictions: 10 Reasons Why Texas Rangers Will Win the Ring

Here you have it. The 2010 World Series features the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers. These certainly are not at all the most household playoff names in Major League Baseball, but they did take down some of the biggest championship threats of our era.

Neither the Philadelphia Phillies nor New York Yankees could withstand the onslaught that the 2010 league victors laid down on them. Both the Giants and Rangers concocted a potent mixture of offense and pitching that got them where they are today; staring each other down in hopes of wearing some shiny new World Series rings.

Stacking up the two less-likely championship candidates, one may realize that this World Series is certainly not very predictable. There are certain factors that make each team tick, but the edge goes to Texas.

Here are 10 reasons why the Texas Rangers will win their first World Series in franchise history.

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Power Ranking 20 Batter-Pitchers Matchups We’d Love To See This Postseason

Crunch time in the 2010 MLB postseason is here. The San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers are all trying to determine who will square off in the 2010 World Series.

Showcased on these teams are a handful of baseball’s biggest names. So both league championship series’  could come down to a great deal of individual matchups within each series.

The intensity is always there because of intriguing standoffs between hitters and pitchers. Here are is a handful of some of the (many) most-anticipated batter-pitcher matchups that fans will love to see down the stretch here in the 2010 MLB postseason.

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MLB Playoff Prediction: 10 Reasons Buster Posey Will Be the NLCS MVP

It isn’t every year that a young phenom arrives on a big league roster and makes a big enough splash to help push his team deep into the postseason. Giants catcher Buster Posey is doing just that.

Surrounded by plenty of experienced players like Pat Burrell, Aubrey Huff, Edgar Renteria and other growing talent like Pablo Sandoval and Andres Torres, Posey has still managed to stand out from the rest of the pack. 

The 23-year-old has jumped up to the major league level and has shown nothing other than that he’s ready for the big show.

Being relied upon during the playoffs isn’t something that every young star must endure. Posey is showing that he just could be a prototypical October ballplayer. He has already helped the San Francisco Giants advance once in the 2010 playoffs, and he could easily help them advance again by factoring into more run production situations.

The up-and-coming Giants are ready to break out and show they are ready for the ultimate big-time in baseball. In the 2010 NLCS against the Philadelphia Phillies, Buster Posey will be the catalyst for San Fran’s big break.

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2010 MLB Playoffs: Updating the Pennant Race and Magic Numbers

With less than two weeks worth of games left on the Major League Baseball, the playoff picture is becoming clearer…sort of. Only one team has clinched a playoff spot, while three divisions consist of two or more teams that are deadlocked in an epic struggle for division supremacy. The end of the 2010 regular season is as compelling as ever.

What’s most interesting about the season is that there is the potential for no teams to finish with 100 wins. That would be the first time that has happened since 2007, an occurrence that doesn’t come along often. It goes to show how competitive baseball has been throughout both the American League and National League.

The races are firing up for the last time in 2010, so it is time to examine the magic numbers of each division leading team in baseball, and see where all the competitive teams can finish based on the strength of their schedules over the next week and a half. The hunt for October baseball is extremely compelling this year.

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Top Five Reasons a Phillies-Padres Matchup Would Not Go to the NL Champs

With the playoffs around the corner, potential matchups are being examined. The regular season is winding down and the hunt is heating up. For the Padres and Phillies, two playoff hopefuls, there is a chance the two will face each other in the postseason.

Whether the Phillies and Padres win the wild card or their divisions, there is a good chance they’ll face each other, making for an intriguing matchup.

On one side is the young, up-and-coming San Diego Padres, stacked with solid young pitching. On the other side is the Philadelphia Phillies, a seasoned team that is defending a National League title.

There have been a lot of good things going on in San Diego this year, and they could be the team to dismantle the defending NL champs in a potential playoff series between the two. Here are five reasons why the Padres can knock the Phillies out of playoff contention.

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Chone Figgins, Erik Bedard, and the Mariners’ Worst Recent Moves

Mired in a hole of one poor transaction after another, the Seattle Mariners are nine years removed from their last playoff berth.

They have struggled with upper level management, found it difficult to find perennial stars in the lineup, and haven’t been able to solidify their rotation.

Much of these struggles can be amplified by a series of questionable moves that the franchise has made in recent memory, because there are quite a few of them.

For a team looking to ultimately contend in the AL West for the the first time in much too long, they must stray away from the bad moves of the past.

The team must not dwell on the struggles, but the Mariners organization must avoid making the same mistakes twice, again.

Here are the 10 worst moves made by the Seattle Mariners over the course of the last decade.

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Major Underachivers: Biggest Disappointments of 2010 in the AL East

As part three of a six part series, the biggest underachievers in Major League Baseball this year are being called out. The AL East is no stranger to the disappointment that a handful of players have brought to their team.

The AL East has had its own battles. There’s a close division race, a team struggling with plentiful injuries, and a home run happy club. Each has seen their fair share of those who have not been producing like they have in the past.

Here are eight beasts from the East who seem to have been tamed for most of the 2010 season.

AL West:

AL Central:

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New York Mets Roster Expansion: Keep Your Eyes Peeled For These Five Guys

It is almost September. And taking the 2010 Mets season into consideration? La-di-da. Either way, the September roster expansion is looming. Based on some of the more productive members of the Mets farm system, there are indeed some guys I’d like to see before seasons end. Here are five guys that will, or at least should get recalled for the last month of the season.

Nick Evans- Talk about falling off the face of the Earth, or the Mets at least. Evans was hanging out at AA Binghamton for most of the year and has played at AAA Buffalo for the past couple weeks. His numbers have been better than ever, and one could wonder why we have yet to see him in a Mets’ uni this season. In 115 games, between AAA and AA, Evans has hit .300 and popped 22 home runs. The Mets have been waiting for his power game to develop for years. Now is the time to see him get some more action after the rosters expand this week.

Jenrry Mejia- So now that the complete mismanagement of Mejia’s development is out of the way, time for him to head back up to the big league club. Hopefully, all we’ll see from him is a start or two, just to see if he pitches as well as he did out of the pen earlier this year. He’s been impeccable since being sent back down to the minors and recovering from injury concerns. He’s made six starts at Binghamton, four since returning from his injury. He’s 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA in those starts with 26 K’s and a complete game shutout. His control hasn’t been anything special, but he’s still really young, so it isn’t surprising. Interestingly enough, lefties have hit just .167 against him. We’ve seen him mopping up for the Mets, but now it’s time to see how he fares in five or six innings against a team like Philadelphia.

Dillon Gee- Mets’ fans have been aware of Dillon Gee for quite some time. The right-handed starting pitcher has been tossing some hard stuff for a while now. His 4.87 ERA at AAA Buffalo in 26 starts this season might not be impressive, but the guy is a control freak. He has posted a 13-7 record, and in 151.2 innings, he has walked just 36 while striking out 150. When he is on a roll in game, he cruises. This is enough for anyone to be excited to see if his command will carry over to the Major League roster.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis- Disregard his struggles at Buffalo for the past month. He should earn a spot on the Mets in September. At Binghamton this year, the left-handed hitting outfielder hit .289 with 16 homers, 61 RBI, and 13 stolen bases. His ability to integrate some good baserunning with his power is impressive. He just needs to work out the kinks with his plate discipline. Either way, I’m looking forward to what he has to offer in the future.

Lucas Duda- I’ve been pumped about the development of outfielder Lucas Duda all season. He is a hulking individual, standing in at 6’5’’ and 240 pounds, so we’ll see how mobile he can be in the outfield. But the left-handed swinging outfielder has put up the most dominant power numbers I’ve seen from a Mets’ prospect this year. The 24 year-old made a flawless transition from AA to AAA as well. Between 110 games in both stops, he has hit .303 with 23 home runs while driving in 87. He struck out 77 times while drawing 58 walks. He pulverized right-handed pitching at Buffalo this season, hitting .353 against them. There is a lot of unexpected upside here, so it will be interesting to see what he can do.


See this and more Mets’ minor league coverage from Matt in The Mets Gazette

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Major Underachievers: Biggest Disappointments Of 2010 In The AL West

The 2010 Major League Baseball season is being recognized in a variety of different ways. 

Most are calling it the “Year of the Pitcher.” Pitching is in style again. The 2010 season has not only seen a great deal of refined pitching, but also no-hitters from Ubaldo Jimenez, Dallas Braden, Roy Halladay, Edwin Jackson, and Matt Garza.

Braden and Halladay’s efforts were good for perfect games. The revitalization of Major League pitching has thematically been the talk of the season.

Not only that, but it seems like more rookies are stepping up than ever. Many freshman have grown rapidly throughout the season into franchise mainstays already.

Some names like Jason Heyward, Buster Posey, Jaime Garcia, and more have made it look easy for the experience level. These names are just the tip of the iceberg.

But underneath it all, there is always the ugly. There are those guys who just have not produced to the point where they have failed to meet their expectations.

In the first of a six part series by division, it is time to take a look at the biggest individual underachievers of the 2010 Major League Baseball season. 

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