As the season begins, here are some of the areas that I think I differ on from the generally agreed upon consensus, for better or worse.
Teams I Like More Than Consensus
Baltimore – the pitching is better than people think and Wieters is on the way.
Atlanta – There are more strengths than weaknesses, and this is a roster with upside.
Seattle – Good defense and a couple of top notch arms make up for some other problems.
Teams I Like Less Than Consensus
Minnesota – A ~.500ish club when Mauer is healthy, and he’s not.
Philadelphia – Too many areas for expected regression. Long shots to repeat as champs.
LAnaheim – A ton of health problems and not as much depth as in past years.
Units I Like More Than Consensus:
Indians Rotation – Even if the experiments flop, there’s depth ready to step in.
Yankees Bullpen – Good arms, even if you haven’t heard of most of them.
Mets Offense – Could challenge the Cubs for the highest run scoring line-up in NL.
Units I Like Less Than Consensus
A’s Defense – Supposed to bail out the rotation, but I’m underwhelmed.
Red Sox Offense – Lowell’s back? Ellsbury’s bat? Varitek’s starting? Too many questions.
Cubs Bullpen – No relief aces in sight, which Lou will yell about frequently.
Players I Like More Than Consensus
Kosuke Fukodome – He’ll play a decent center field and hit enough to be useful.
Yunel Escobar – The Braves should be thrilled the Padres didn’t take him.
Josh Hamilton – It’s become cool to call him overrated. He’s not even at his upside yet.
Players I Like Less Than Consensus
Dustin Pedroia – Had a really good 2008. I doubt we ever see a repeat.
Matt Cain – When HR/FB rate regresses, people are going to wonder what’s wrong.
Jake Peavy – Padres should have sold high when they had the chance.
Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.