Fantasy Football becoming an Addiction for American

Rob Montesano — monte117@d.umn.edu

Would you take Arian Foster number one overall? Or would you take Adrian Peterson? Across the country millions of Americans have been asking themselves that same question over the past few weeks, and as the years have gone by and fantasy football has become increasingly popular players have dug through all sorts of different stats and shelled out exuberant amounts of money to get “expert” fantasy advice to answer this question.  For those that don’t want to pay for the answer , it could be as simple as taking the player who had the better stats last season, but for most people knowing certain factors like the players schedule, bye week, season projections, weather, injuries, free agents signed etc. will all play a key part in deciding who to draft.

This year more than 36 million Americans will participate in fantasy sports, and 75 percent of them will play fantasy football according to the Hollywood reporter. With the number of players rapidly increasing, so is the money that is being generated. This year alone it is estimated that Americans will spend $600 million to $1 billion dollars on fantasy football. It’s safe to assume that fantasy football has become a full on addiction for most people. According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, there are more than 70 million leagues in the US and Canada, with an average player belonging to more than 2 leagues. An average player spends a little over an hour a week perfecting their lineups, and spends another 34 minutes a day just thinking about strategies according to a study done by consultants Challenger, Gray, and Christmas. The study also states that during the course of the 17 week NFL season more than $9 billion dollars is lost in work productivity. So you can only imagine how much time is wasted in class because of fantasy sports.

 

“It’s the perfect way to kill time in class.” UMD senior Ross Toupin said. “If you’re bored or just flat out forgot to set your line up, there is no better place than class”.

 

I myself am just as guilty. I am participating in three leagues this year and I openly admit that I tweak my line up, and scour the waiver wire to decide on which players to pick up or drop during class. An average player spends 34 minutes a day thinking about strategies for their team. That comes out to be 238 minutes a week, or just under four hours. That is the equivalent of skipping 4 or so classes a week for 17 weeks. That’s in addition to the hour or more each player already spends tweaking a single line up. I have three lineups to tweak so that’s another three hours a week for a total of seven hours which comes out to be around 7 classes skipped a week for 17 weeks. Which is mind blowing to think about.

 

The ultimate question still remains though, Arian Foster or Adrian Peterson? Unfortunately for me I wasn’t lucky enough to get a chance at drafting either of them, so I selected Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson. Maybe I should have gone with Michael Vick instead, or Chris Johnson or Frank Gore, or even Calvin Johnson? I can already tell a lot of class time will be spent thinking that decision over.

UMD Womens Volleyball Season Preview

Team: University of Minnesota –Duluth Women’s Volleyball

Head Coach: Jim Boos

2010-2011 regular season record: 23-6

Key Players Lost: Katie Kuffel, Alyssa Nelson, Brenda Hansen, Rachel Lamers, Jamie Lakatos

The Bulldogs lost five seniors last year to graduation. Katie Kuffel was an All-American honorable mention, while Alyssa Nelson was an All-American in 2009. Also lost to graduation was the experience that went along with the player’s seeing as how all five were regulars in the lineup in 2010.

Key Players Returning: Kate Lange, April Hansen, Eleena Iisakka, Allison Fanta

Kate Lange was 2nd on the team in kills with 326, while April Hansen had 290 kills of her own. Eleena Iisakka was the teams set up women compiling 1,227 assists during the course of the season, and Allison Fanta led the team in digs with 412. These four have the most in-game experience out of the ten players returning from last year, so look for them to set the tone for the rest of the team during the season.

2011-2012 outlooks:

The women finished 2010-2011 with a disappointing loss to Nebraska-Kearney in the NCAA tournament, and despite the key losses of some big time players this team has all the ingredients it needs to get itself back into the NCAA tournament for the 10th consecutive year and hopefully reach the championship. The bulldogs return ten players from last year so team chemistry will be high on the court and the ladies will have plenty of experience to draw from when it comes to crucial moments. Players such as Hannah Johnson, Kalli Lochner, and Stephanie Brown will step in and fill the voids left by Kuffel, Nelson, and co. A talented class of incoming freshman will only help propel this team to the next level.  You can also bet that Jim Boos will have the 12th ranked bulldogs prepared for the season opener on September 2nd against Hillsdale. The bulldogs will have their first home game on September 9th at 1pm against Upper Iowa.

The State of The Wild

Another long year of hockey just finished up in Minnesota, this year we saw the Wild put themselves in a position to reach the playoffs, and just like years passed they fizzled when the games mattered. The Wild

went 4-16 in their last 20 games, and frankly it gets tiresom

e to see the team collapse.  With that said, this offseason will be an important one. The Wild will be searching for a new head coach now that Todd Richards has been fired. They will also be looking to upgrade the offense by bringing in a top 6 forward,and they need to upgrade the defensive unit as well.

But let’s look ahead and see what we can expect in the offseason.

First lets start by looking at the Wilds 2011-2012 depth chart.

Forwards

???-Mikko Koivu- Pierre-Marc Bouchard

Guillaume Latandresse-Kyle Brodziak-Martin Havlat

???-Matt Cullen- Cal Clutterbuck

???-Eric Nystrom-Brad Staubitz

Defense

Nick Schultz-Brent Burns

Greg Zanon- Marek Zidlicky

Clayton Stoner-Jared Spurgeon

Cam Barker- ???

The Wild have 4 big unrestricted free agents, Andrew Brunette, Chuck Kobasew, John Madden, and Antti Miettienen. Lets assume all 4 don’t return to the Wild. That would mean the Wild would need to bring in 4-5 forwards. Now whether thats through in house call ups or through trades will pan out in the offseason, but ill offer up some ideas. They would have to bring in at least 1-2 defensemen as well.

If the Wild plan on winning in the foreseeable future they will have to bring in a top free agent or bring one in through a trade. While calling up players such as Casey Wellman, Cody Almond, or god forbid James Sheppard isnt a bad idea, it would take awhile for them to adjust to playing NHL minutes every night and wouldn’t produce as much as say a Zach Parise would.

I mentioned Zach Parise because the New Jersey Devils are reportedly entertaining offers for him. It’s been reported that they would like defense in return. So i could see the Wild offering up say Brent Burns for him. Now if that trade were to happen the Wild

would be looking at a line of Parise, Koivu, and Bouchard. With a 2nd line of Latandresse,Brodziak, and Havlat. Not a bad one-two punch of lines. If the Wild then resigned Andrew Brunette and placed him on the 3rd line with Cullen and Clutterbuck we could finally have offense 3 lines deep.

That particular trade would leave us short handed defensively, but if we called up young defensive college studs in Justin Faulk(the Wild would have to pull him away for NCAA champions Minnesota Duluth),or Chay Genoway we could be alright there as well. We could always sign a veteran D man during free agency to shore up the blue line. The Wild will also have a draft pick somewhere in the 8,9,10 spots. They could stay in that spot and draft a young defenseman or they could also use that pick as trade bait to move down and get a defenseman in the process. So we could live with trading away Brent Burns.

Now if that trade for Zach Parise, or any impactful trade doesn’t happen then look for the Wild to call up the afermentioned Casey Wellman, Cody Almond, or James Sheppard to fill the holes. From there the Wild would essentially be rebuilding, and drafting more young talent to develop and letting other young players like Mikko Lehtonen, Mikael Granlund, and Johan Larsson to develop as well.

Before the Wild can start to address any of those needs they will first have to hire a coach. The Wild will be looking for a coach who can get the most out of what he has, the way Jacques Lemaire did. It’s been thrown around that the Wild are reportedly interested in Lindy Ruff of the Sabres. Granted Ruff is still coaching the Sabres as they move through the playoffs, but he did turn down a contract extension  and will either sign a new one or move on in the off season. Bringing in Ruff wouldn’t be a bad idea, he’s a veteran coach who would know how to manage a young team or a team in a transition. If they don’t bring in Ruff as head coach the Wild should take a long look at Ken Hitchcock who most recently coached the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2009-2010. If the Wild were to hire Ken Hitchcock look for any trade involving Brent Burns to fade away as Hitchcock is a big supporter of Burns. Another name to watch out for is in house scout Michel Therrien.

After this offseason we’ll know whether the Wild will be building for the future or trying to win now.

Like us, the Wild get to watch as the playoffs unfold from home. I’m a little late on making my picks seeing as

 how the playoffs got underway Wednesday, but so far the Vancouver Canucks look like a force to be reckoned with as do the Washington Capitals. Now it’s not often we see the top two teams match up against one another in the finals, i see it happening this year though. The Canucks should steam roll through the west, their only tough matchup could come via the Detroit Red Wings. Out east i think the Capitals should also ease their way to finals. Their toughest matchup could come next round if the Penguins advance, either way i think it will come down to the Canucks and Capitals in the finals with the Canucks taking it in 7. I’d be happy if i was wrong though, after all history is made in the NHL playoffs.

as always follow me on twitter at @rmontesano

The week that was

My newest article for the UMD paper.

What an amazing week in sports we just witnessed, it was filled with NationalChampionships, green jackets, retirement, and all sorts of wins and losses. Also what an amazing week, check that, what an amazing year for UMD sports first a National Championship for football and now a National Championship in Hockey. We were spoiled this past week in sports so let me recap the week that was with the 10 most interesting sport stories.

 

  1. Nothing was more interesting, important, or down right amazing as the Bulldogs winning the National Championship. On Thursday the Bulldogs used the power play to send Notre Dame packing, and on Saturday night our Bulldogs played an amazing game against Michigan using the power play and tight defense to make sure the Wolverines couldn’t find any offensive flow. A lot was at stake, we were looking for our 1st NCAA Division 1 hockey crown and Michigan their 10th, regulation ended in a 3-3 tie, and going into OT i just kept thinking what a fitting ending this would be, after all the regular season OT games the Bulldogs played in i knew we hand the upper hand. All it took was  3:22 into OT and Kyle Schmidt was streaking down the ice being chased by his teammates, and then the celebration was on. Winning is what we do here at UMD, and now Michigan knows.
  2. The Masters was this week and all eyes were on Tiger Woods as he tried to get back to his winning ways. Tiger had an impressive first 3 rounds and was in the thick of things on Sunday. He was tied for the lead at -10 until eventual winner Charl Schwartzel hit the 15th hole, from there Schwartzel birdied every hole finishing at -14 and capturing his first green jacket, and how about the collapse by Rory Mcilroy going from -12 to finish at -4 on Sunday.
  3. Another National Champion was crowned this week as UConn took home the mens NCAA division 1 mens basketball title. They played a veteran squad in Butler who were making their second straight appearance in the title game. The game was ugly and sloppy, neither team could find any offensive flow in the first half. In the second half UConn took over by getting to the rim and drawing fouls. Even though Butler lost, they got to the title game two years in a row which is impressive in its own right.
  4. A rather surprising story this week in sports was the retirement of MLB slugger Manny Ramirez. Manny the 38 year old DH for the Tampa Bay Ray’s tested positive for steroid’s for the second time in his career and instead of taking the 100 game suspension he decided to retire. I guess that’s just Manny being Manny.
  5. The Minnesota Twins played the Yankee’s this week and while the games were close, it was the same old result for the Twins. They dropped 2 of 3 from the Yankees. Every time the Twins play the Yankees we tend to get nervous and cant execute properly, sooner or later thats going to have to end. Especially if we meet the Yanks in the playoffs again.
  6. Minnesota Wild head coach Todd Richards was fired Monday after a disappointing two year stint with the team. Richards went 77-71-16 in his two seasons, and he could never get the team over the hump and into the playoffs. Personally i’m not sure what the front office expected him to do. The team has been handcuffed offensively since they came into the league, and although we are the state of hockey we can’t ever bring in the big name players.
  7. The UMD baseball team is on a five game skid as they got swept by Mankato this past weekend, they Bulldogs look to snap the skid this week as the play Winona on Tuesday, after that the Bulldogs come home for a series against Bemidji.
  8. On the other hand the UMD softball team is on a 4 game winning streaking. The ladies beat up on Moorhead winning two games with a combined score of 22-6. They then shutout Wayne State in back to back games. They look to continue their winning ways this week as they have 5 games.
  9. Spring football is under way and the Bulldogs are bringing back 46 letterman as they begin the journey for another national title. We will be able to get a sneak peak of the team on the 21st as the team has the 37th annual Maroon-White game.
  10. and finally it look’s like we are getting closer to having an NFL season this year as Judge Susan Richard Nelson told the NFL and NFL players association that she will force mediation for the two sides early this week.

 

one last thing, follow me on twitter @rmontesano.

 

*Look for a Minnesota Wild season wrap-up on Tuesday. Along with my NHL playoff predictions.

 

Duluth Mens Lacrosse

This was my first article in the UMD school paper the “Statesman”

Looking at the UMD Men’s Lacrosse team, you wouldn’t think they were a club team. They play and carry themselves as if they were a Division I squad. Anchored by Brandon Nispel, Drake Peterson, Joe Slattery, Mike Becken, Alex McNamara and Max Thomas Olson, this team of Bulldogs competes against some of the best teams in the country. They take on teams like the Oregon Ducks, Michigan State, Illinois and the Jimmer Fredette-less BYU Men’s Lacrosse team.

The Bulldogs carry a rich winning tradition many Division I teams covet.
The Bulldogs play in the MCLA, which is the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association and is a league for club teams around the nation. Within the league, they compete in the Upper Midwest Lacrosse League conference against other club teams like St. Cloud State, Marquette, Mankato, Iowa State and U of M Twin Cities. Quite frankly, the Bulldogs have been cleaning up on the competition, winning the conference crown 13 times between 1995 and 2010.

The winning tradition started when the team was was formed in 1990 by a handful of players, and were later joined by former Head Coach Rob Graff in 1994. Current Head Coach Frank Clark joined the team in 2002 and took over as head coach from Graff at the end of last year. Coach Clark credits Graff in helping him make the transition from assistant coach to head coach an easy one by saying that he was a “great mentor”.

Coach Clark looks to continue the tradition of dominance instilled by Coach Graff, and currently, is succeeding. The Bulldogs are 4-4, but more importantly, they are 4-0 in their conference. When Coach Clark was asked about the season thus far, and what we can expect the rest of the year, he responded saying:
“It’s not the start we were looking for, but we have been very competitive against some of the best teams in the country. Our goal is to win our conference and get the automatic qualifier to go to Nationals. All of our out of conference competition has been against 2010 tournament teams in order to prepare for that opportunity this year.”

The Bulldogs will have a tough test this Friday when they face 6-2 Illinois, but junior attack Drake Peterson feels the team is peaking at the right time.
“We suffered tough losses to BYU, Oregon and Colorado but since have found our rhythm offensively and are looking better every week. Our defense has been outstanding all season, showing the ability to totally shut down top offenses in the half field game,”. I’m sure having All-American Joe Slattery between the pipes, shutting down other teams is a big help as well.

Come watch the Bulldogs wrap up the season here at home against the U of M Twin Cities and Sonoma State on April 15 and 17. The way the team has been playing, the final two games should be warm-ups for nationals

follow me on twitter @rmontesano

 

Butler has a lot to be proud of

It was one of the ugliest NCAA championship games in recent memory, which featured Butler, a defensive

minded team that knows how to grind out games and win ugly, and UConn filled with young starters growing up on the fly,  and the one Kemba Walker who seemed to will his team to victory over the last month and a half. Yes UConn won, but they didn’t really win, in my eyes all UConn did was make more shots than Butler. Butler shot 18.8 percent, UConn shot 34.5 percent, neither number was very impressive, in fact Butlers terrible shooting broke a record that had stood since 1941, and scored 10 points lower than Michigan’s record low of 51, in 1992.

Butler couldn’t establish an offensive flow the entire game , neither could UConn, during the first half it looked like nobody wanted to win. Matt Howard from Butler couldn’t establish anything inside as he was dwarfed by the bigs from UConn, and Butler center Andrew Smith looked out of place the entire night. Shelvin Mack was bothered by the length of Jeremy Lamb and couldn’t get the shots he wanted. UConn was stifled by the defensive pressure from Butler and had to settle for jump shots. After some half times adjustments UConn was able to get to the rim and draw fouls which ultimately led to them winning as Butler remained stagnant in the 2nd half.

No matter the result, if i were a Butler player i would have left the court with my head held high. They accomplished something, that in my eyes, is harder than winning the national championship game, and that is getting to the final game two years in a row, and that is an impressive accomplishment considering the talent around the country today. The last team to do it was Florida in 06-07 and they were loaded with talent, Joakim Noah, Al Horfod, and Corey Brewer, who believe it or not was better in college than he is in the NBA. Before Florida it was the Michigan Fab 5, and we all know what happened to them, having to forfeit those appearances.  Butler did it without a star-studded roster, without lighting up the score sheet, and all the while being from a non power conference.

Considering the talent Butler has on their roster its hard to believe they got there two years in a row, they have two premier players in Shelvin Mack who can score with the best point guards in the country, and Matt Howard who can play inside and outside of the lane, and can dominate defenders that are 3-4 inches taller than he is. Besides those two the rest of the roster would most likely be playing garbage minutes for some other team, maybe with the exception to Ronald Nored who is a defensive stopper,

but compared to the best teams in the country  Butlers talent just doesn’t go as deep as some teams.

Butler also plays in a weaker league, the Horizon, and competes against other small mid major schools so during the year they don’t routinely play top competition like teams from the power conferences do. Butler finished 13-5 in the Horizon league and 28-10 overall and the truth is, had they not won their League outright they wouldn’t have been in the Tournament this year, last year they were expected to make some noise as they were a 5 seed and had NBA lottery talent in Gordon Hayward. This year most people had them losing to Old Dominion in the first round, and losing handily to Pitt if they got that far. But just like last year Butler showed up having won their previous 9 games, and playing their usual gritty defense and once against started to shock the world as they played their way back into the national spotlight.

Two or three years from now no one will remember that UConn won this game, or that it was on of the ugliest championship games ever played. What people will remember is that Shelvin Mack, Matt Howard and the rest of Butler Bulldogs captivated people around the country for 2 years as they upset, outplayed, and outworked teams on their way to back to back national championship games.

btw follow me on twitter @rmontesano

Twins and MLB season preview

With the start of the baseball season only 2 days away i feel that it is time to take a look at the Twins and what we can expect from them this upcoming season.

A few quick highlights.

1. Joe Nathan is coming back from Tommy John surgery

2. Justin Morneau is coming back from a concussion

3. Tsuyoshi Nishioka was the prized off season signing, coming in from

Japan, he’s an immediate upgrade at the plate and in the field.

That being said lets start with the pitching rotation. Carl Pavano is the staff’s ace, after last years 17 win 3.75 ERA campaign look for him to bring it again, with Morneau returning to the lineup he should get more run support so look for him to push to 20 wins, and a sub 4 ERA. He is the poor mans Brad Radke, you know what your going to get with Pavano.

Francisco Liriano is the number two in the rotation and he’s looking to continue to improve from last season where he went 14-10 with a 3.62 ERA, so far this spring he has struggled with his control having 9 walks in 18 innings pitched, and he has a 4.82 ERA, Liriano usually takes awhile to settle down so his control and dominance will come to him during the season, but he should have another good year improving on his win total and ERA from last year as he looks to return to the pitching elite.

The one pitcher i would keep an eye on is Brian Duensing, he went 10-3 with a 2.62 ERA last year in 130 innings of work, and this year he should get up to around 180 maybe even 200 if he stays healthy. So if his stellar spring training, where he is 3-0 with a 2.49 ERA and 17 strikeouts, is any indication on how his year will go then the Twins will be looking at a solid 3 man rotation with Nick Blackburn and Scott Baker rounding out the 4 and 5 spots. Blackburn and Baker will be interesting to watch throughout the season, they struggled last year, and both have been pretty inconsistent throughout their Twins careers, but so far this spring they are looking good, Blackburn is 3-1 with a 1.79 ERA and 11 strike outs, while Baker is 2-3 with a 3.38 ERA. Any falter with these two however and Kevin Slowey could bump them from the rotation.

The bullpen is on the rebound with the loss of Guerrier, Crain, Fuentes, and Rauch. But if Joe Nathan can return to form than the Twins will be sitting pretty with Matt Capps pitching the 8th and Nathan coming in for the 9th. Jose Mirajes is said to have been losing weight and keeping it off, and it seems to be showing, this spring he has a 1.93 ERA, so if he can continue that into the season the Twins may have their 7-8-9 inning pitchers set. With others like Jeff Manship, Glen Perkins, and Kevin Slowey filling in the Twins could have a more complete bullpen than last years merry go round, with players constantly in and out.

The infield seems to be complete, the Twins found their 3rd baseman last year in Danny Valencia, he played in only 85 games last year hitting .311 with 7 home runs and 40 RBI, but he made many stellar defensive plays and with the power he showed, he’s here to stay, he’s been on a tear this spring training hitting .311 so far, and it should continue into the season and if his slick fielding continues the sky is the limit for him.

As mentioned above Tsuyoshi Nishioka is the new face of the infield and he brings speed and a good bat. He’s hit over .300 5 out of 7 years in the Japanese leagues, and he’s had at least 18 stolen bases in his 7 years. So if he can get on base it will be good for hitters like Mauer who continually put the ball in play. So far this spring Nishioka is as advertised hitting .345 with 2 stolen bases which are encouraging signs, his shortstop is Alexi Casilla, and Casilla will finally get another shot at playing everyday, and so far he has been disappointing hitting only .227 this spring, he does have 4 stolen bases and with him in the line up it gives the Twins more speed. He is good in the field and seems to already be comfortable with Nishioka. If he can improve his numbers at the plate he could become the everyday shortstop, if not the Twins will be searching the market for one.

At first base is the recovering Justin Morneau, he is slowly making his way back from a concussion and has only played in 7 games this spring, and has showed he still has some rust, batting a dismal .167. If he can return to his MVP form from back in 2006 then everyone will benefit, but he will have to stay healthy first. Eventually he will put it all together, i dont expect him to have an exceptional year but anything near .280 with 20 homers will be welcomed with open arms as it will give Jim Thome more days in between games as DH, as Thome looked to have fatigued down the stretch.

The outfield is looking to have an outstanding year, Delmon Young had a break out year last year when he hit .298 with 112 RBI’s and 21 home runs. He is hitting .391 so far this spring so it looks like his hot streak has continued over to this year, he should have another break out year. The better he plays the better the Matt Garza trade looks. Center Fielder Denard Span had a down year last year hitting only .264 with 3 homers and 58 RBI’s, he has said that he wants to turn it around, and this year is going to be the year he does it. He his hitting .339 this spring with 6 stolen bases. Span is the Twins lead off hitter so the fact that he is having a good spring is encouraging because we will need his speed on the base pads. Right fielder Michael Cuddyer has only played in 7 games this spring after having a wart removed from his foot, but he is working his way back into the line up and should be back within the first week of the season. After hitting 32 home runs in 2009 and only

14 in 2010 he is looking to return to his power form, if Morneau stays healthy and Cuddyer can stay in the outfield look for him to have 20-25 homes runs. Having Kubel will also be a big plus, Kubel can step in and play in right field and give Cuddyer much needed days off.

and then there is Joe Mauer. The Twins All-Star, MVP, All World, All everything catcher. He is slowly working his way back from injuries as well, he has only played 7 games this spring, but is batting .300. Joe is a very consistent player regardless of being injured or not, so the batting average will be there, but if he can get healthy and stay healthy it wouldn’t be a surprise to see another power year, even in the pitchers park that is Target Field.

With all that said, if the Twins stay healthy and the rotation stays consistent the Twins should would their Division.

I like the Red Sox out in the East, they have a powerful and speedy line up throughout and with Josh Beckett healthy i like their rotation more than the Yankees.

I also like Oakland out west, they have a powerful rotation, and they should do just enough offensively to squeak by the Rangers into the playoffs.

For the AL wild card i think it will be a horse race between the Yankees and the Tigers, the yankees rotation is a work in progress, but their offense can make the softest pitchers look good, the Tigers on the other hand have a rounded offensive and a complete rotation. It’s going to be close.

The Red Sox are my pick for the AL in the World Series, you just cant argue with their rotation, bullpen, and offensive. If Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez have big years and if Beckett and Pedroia stay healthy they will be tough to beat.

In the NL i like Philly in the east, their offense is weak with Chase Utley injured, but their pitching staff is loaded with Halladay, Oswalt, Lee, Hamels, and Joe Blanton, and their closer Brad Lidge. It’s going to be tough to score runs on the Phillies.

In the NL central i like the Brewers, they finally have a solid rotation once Greinke returns from being injured. Until then they have Gallardo and Marcum leading the way, and with Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder on the roster you know they will have the offense.

Out west i like the San Francisco Giants, they have also have a good pitching staff with Lincecum, Zito, Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, and youngster Madison Bumgarner, and closer Brian Wilson, they will have a strong rotation backed with young talent like Buster Posey.

For the NL wild card i like the Cincinnati Reds, they are out to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke, and if their rotation, anchored by Johnny Cueto, can stay healthy they should be a solid all around team.

I like the Phillies to represent the NL in the World Series.

So Boston and Philly in the World Series. At the present moment i like Boston in 6. Just because Philly doesn’t have the offense to match the Red Sox. Yeah Philly has that great rotation, but Boston will find a way to score runs, the great teams always do.

btw follow me on twitter @rmontesano