Opening Day 2011

by Nick Barritta • March 30, 2011 • Sports & LeisureComments (0)2467

Here in Jersey we are lucky that we have three local baseball teams to root for. While none of these three teams actually play here in Jersey, most of their fans live here, which causes amazing bar fights, juicy water cooler rants, and defriending (yes defriending is now a word) across social media sites. Whether you’re a Yankee fan, a Met fan, or a Philly fan, we love to hate each other, talk smack all season, and brag about who has the better team. The best part of it is it never gets old! No matter which team you root for, you always know what is going on with the other team just so you can be the first one to rub it in the other fans faces. That’s just us, that’s Jersey. And since it is Opening Day, lets preview the three teams, Yankees, Mets, and Phillies and see what each one looks like opening up the season.

New York Yankees

An underdog this year in the American League East, the Yankees are one of the most underrated teams entering the 2011 season. Not many people are showing them love after the rival Boston Red Sox stole two of the best free agents this winter, but with Jeter’s new batting stance, A-Rod’s revival this spring, and an underrated pitching staff, the Yankees could easily win 95 games and win the division.

Projected 2011 Lineup

1. LF Brett Gardner 2. SS Derek Jeter 3. 1B Mark Teixeira 4. 3B Alex Rodriguez 5. 2B Robinson Cano 6. RF Nick Swisher 7. DH Jorge Posada 8. CF Curtis Granderson 9. C Russell Martin.

2011 Pitching rotation

1. C.C Sabathia 2. A.J. Burnett 3. Phil Hughes 4. Ivan Nova 5. Freddy Garcia

New York Mets

With a new coach and a new general manager manning the helm, the Mets are looking to change the culture around their clubhouse. There are no more playing cards and sitting around and Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo have been cut this spring. Some call it upper management finally listening to the voice of the fans. No more is losing acceptable. The  Mets are looking to open up the 2011 season with a new era in Mets baseball. What once was is no longer. And let me give my opinion. The Mets are one of the most underrated teams in MLB right now. The losing culture that they carried around for so long have most of the experts writing them off early. I on the other hand see a healthy squad finally. Jose Reyes is in a contract year and seems rejuvenated. David Wright is starting to be a leader. Carlos Beltran is healthy and so is Jason Bay. One of the best Mets prospects in a long time, Ike Davis, is going to bat clean-up and angry closer Francisco Rodriguez seems to have his legal problems behind him. The only question mark to me may be their pitching, but with their potent lineup, the Mets may be able to overcome shaky pitching most nights.

Projected 2011 Lineup

1. SS Jose Reyes 2. CF Angel Pagan 3. 3B David Wright 4. RF Carlos Beltran 5. LF Jason Bay 6. 1B Ike Davis 7. C Josh Thole 8. 2B Brad Emaus.

2011 Pitching Rotation

1. Mike Pelfrey 2. Jonathan Niese 3. Chris Young 4. RA Dickey 5. Chris Capuano

Philadelphia Phillies

Ahhh yes, a powerhouse in the National League, the Phillies are the clear favorites to reach the World Series this year. With arguably the best pitching rotation in the history of MLB (umm, that is pretty long), the only Achilles heel the Phillies face this year is age and health. The batting lineup is stacked from 1-8 even with Chase Utley out for whoever knows how long. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins seemed to have rejuvenated himself this spring and Ryan Howard is primed to smack at least 40 dingers again this season. The pitching rotation of Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels could dominate any lineup and pick up the team most nights the bats go cold. I really do not see a better team in the National League right now. Yes they lost to San Fran in the playoffs last year, but clearly the Philly’s are and were the better team. If they can stay healthy they will be unstoppable.

Projected 2011 Lineup

1. SS Jimmy Rollins 2. 3B Placido Polanco 3. 2B Chase Utley 4. 1B Ryan Howard 5. CF Shane Victorino 6. LF Raul Ibanez 7. RF Ben Francisco 8. C Carlos Ruiz.

2011 Pitching Rotation

1. Roy Halladay 2. Cliff Lee 3. Roy Oswalt 4. Cole Hamels 5. Joe Blanton

Batter Up!!!

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