200 Miles From the Citi

May 4, 2010 6:10 AM



We've played a month of Major League Baseball, and while the standings entering May won't exactly reflect the standings at the end of September, I think they're giving us a pretty good idea of what we can expect as the rest of the season unfolds.

The fact that the Mets turned their season around so dramatically would qualify as a surprise, and they're not the only shocker.

(Oliver Perez making a better effort as a stopper than Johan Santana?  Now that's a shocker.)

But for the most part, I have to toot my own horn - things are unfolding a lot like I predicted before the season.

Like I said, the Mets are a surprise, as are the Nationals.  But I suspect the National League East will look a little more normal by the end of May.  (If the Mets are still atop the division then, it'll be a mistake I'll happily make again.)  Atlanta's slow start is very surprising to me.

The National League West is home to the other pretty big shocker - I expected the Giants to be at the top of the division, but not fighting it out there with the Padres.  Let's not have short memories, though - the Padres did almost the exact same thing last year (they were .500 as late as the last day of May), then tanked big time.  I expect the NL West to shake out exactly the way I predicted.  And I'm feeling good about Matt Cain winning the NL Cy Young Award - he's been pitching great, but hasn't gotten an ounce of run support, which I've since learned is pretty much the story of his career.

The NL Central is playing out like most people thought it would - it's looking pretty much like a Cardinals runaway.  I'm not feeling good about my Cubs pick...but I'm also glad I didn't fall into the Brewers trap that so many others fell into when picking the Central.

The AL East has been a pleasant surprise - though I picked the Rays it was more out of a desire to be different, and I'm happy they've been able to make such an early impression.  The Yankees, though, look really good.  I'm a little surprised about the Red Sox, but I leaned more towards the Yankees because the Red Sox had too many question marks - and right now all of those question marks are going the wrong way for Boston.

The AL Central features a slight surprise in the Detroit Tigers, though I suspect when all is said and done it will still be the Twins in a runaway.

And in the AL West the Oakland A's have been a surprise, while the Seattle Mariners have been off to a slow start, which is surprising considering how they were picked to do.  Not me, though.  I'm only disappointed my pick to come out of the American League - the Rangers - haven't taken advantage of everyone else's slow start in that division and run away with it early.

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