Newsday baseball columnist Ken Davidoff gives you his 10 bold predictions for what will happen in baseball during 2011.
1. THE RAYS WILL CONTEND
With a strong starting rotation, a still effective Manny Ramirez and a rebuilt bullpen, manager Joe Maddon will keep his team in the race.
2. CARL CRAWFORD WILL DISAPPOINT
The transition from placid Tampa Bay to intense Boston won’t be easy for Crawford, the Red Sox’s pricey new leftfielder.
3. THE METS WILL TRADE JOSE REYES
To Milwaukee, who won’t be able to stomach Yuniesky Betancourt anymore. In return for good but not great prospects.
5. THE BRAVES WILL LEAD THE NL EAST AT THE ALL-STAR BREAK
But then the Phillies will turn it on and win their fifth straight division title.
6. THE GIANTS WON’T MAKE THE PLAYOFFS
Relying on repeat performances from the likes of Aubrey Huff and Cody Ross will keep the defending World Series champs home.
7. THE RANGERS WON'T REKINDLE 2010 MAGIC
Replacing Cliff Lee will prove an understandably difficult task. The injury bug will hit Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler.
8. DON MATTINGLY WILL BE A HIT
The Dodgers’ rookie manager will exhibit poise and savvy in guiding his revamped group into the playoff race.
9. PEACE WILL REIGN
Just like five years ago, the owners and players will announce a new collective bargaining agreement during the World Series, months ahead of the deadline.
10. DEREK JETER WILL COLLECT HIS 3,000TH CAREER HIT...
On Tuesday, June 7 against Boston’s Jon Lester at Yankee Stadium. It will be a line-drive single to rightfield.