SFist Jackson: I'm predicting Oakland and New York in the ALCS this year, and am looking for the Phillies to take on the Cardinals in the NLCS. Oakland looks really strong this year, and you can't keep Steinbrenner down for long (the rat bastard). The Phils have been pouring money into their team for a few years now, and along with the Cards have the most pop in the National League.
The two teams I'll be watching closest both look to have a long season ahead of them, and for entirely different reasons. Ichiro proved he's still the most exciting player in baseball at the WBC, but with chumps like Raul Ibanez and Carl Everett clogging the lineup and mucking around the outfield, a once solid pitching-and-defense small ball team is now a schizophrenic mess. The Giants, on the other hand, are going to be the Barry Bonds show, and not at all in the good way. As one of my old teammates joked when the coach reminded us there's no 'I' in team: "But there is a 'me.'" Plus their pitching, save for Schmidt, blows and the heart of the lineup is once again brought to you by the AARP.
Seriously, I'm looking at the A's to dominate the AL West assuming they can get off to a good start, and have a feeling that Milton Bradley is going to have a career year with the likes of Frank Thomas in the clubhouse, who I imagine was eating a lot of humble pie in the dugout during the World Series. Plus their pitching is the class of the league again, assuming Barry Zito can keep his head straight (and his curveball down). The only negative I see would be that if they did get to the playoffs, I wouldn't have a lot of confidence in Ken Macha's ability as a field general