It’s 2011, and my brain is overwhelmed with psychic energy. Maybe it’s just a hangover?  Anyway, here goes…

  • Aramis Ramirez will play 145 games and rediscover his prowess at the plate. I see 30+ homers and a batting average around .290.
  • Geo Soto will continue to improve and become one of the best catchers in the National League. Honestly, he’s already in that category.
  • Alfonso Soriano will look like Stevie Wonder in the outfield and generally frustrate Cubs fans. His diminishing skills will lead to more playing time for Tyler Colvin.
  • Colvin will struggle to get on base, clouding his future in the Cubs outfield.
  • Brett Jackson will shine in the minors and take the fast track to Wrigley.
  • Marlon Byrd will hit for more power (he couldn’t hit for much less), but the batting average will sink. Look for Byrd to finish 2011 in the neighborhood of .275.  Brett Jackson’s progress will lead to a Byrd trade before the deadline.
  • Randy Wells will win more games than Ryan Dempster.
  • Carlos Marmol will save 30+ games and walk 60+ batters. My heart will live in my throat all summer.
  • Kerry Wood will be effective when he pitches, which unfortunately won’t be often. Kid K will finish the season with 50 innings or less.
  • Carlos Pena will win over doubting Cubs fans, swatting 35 home runs, hitting close to .250, and walking frequently.
  • Starlin Castro will cut down on his errors and significantly increase his power output.  Look for Castro to hit 12-15 homers and a mess of doubles.
  • Second base will be an offensive black hole.
  • Sean Marshall will come back to Earth, pitching more like a league-average reliever.
  • The bullpen will still be a weakness.
  • Carlos Silva will still enjoy eating.
  • Len and Bob will still annoy me on a daily basis. My wife will keep asking me, “Why do you watch them?” As usual, I won’t have a good answer.
  • With the exception of Bill Murray, seventh inning stretch guest singers will continue to suck.
  • The Cubs will win 82 games, good for third place. The Cardinals will edge the Brewers for the division title. Dusty’s Reds will finish under .500.
  • Albert Pujols will sign an extension with St. Louis and then win the NL MVP award, again.
  • Ozzie Guillen will continue to say and do dumb things, to the surprise of nobody.
  • The Boston Red Sox will knock off the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.
  • Most of my predictions won’t come true and Joe will ban me from forecasting in the future.
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