Opening Day Predictions, Astros Edition

Are you excited? It's Opening Day! It's tied with Madden Day for my favorite day of the year. Plus, we get to see Roy Oswalt go against two-time Cy Young winner (and High Times Man of the Year) Tim Lincecum. Can things get any better than that?

Well, we could have Joe Morgan on the TV broadcast. Wait a second...

Even Joe can't bring me down today. It's time for baseball again and all is right in the world. If you need more of a baseball fix, go check out all of the 2010 season previews put out by SBNation's baseball pages here. Every site contributed to it, so you're not going to get a better preview of the season than this.

Zach Levine also posted some different Vegas prop bets for the Astros this season here. What do you think of them? Are there any you'd put money on?

Since we're kicking of the 2010 Astros season, let's get with the predictions. Evan, Stephen, clack and I all picked the postseason awards now, including a few Astros-specific ones. This way, you can mock us easier come October. Feel free to add your own predictions for posterity's sake. Also, we have a poll up with several high end outcomes for Astros players. Pick the one you think is most likely to occur in 2010 (even if they all seem farfetched).

From clack:

NL MVP (top three): Ryan Braun, Albert Pujols, Hanley Ramirez

NL Cy Young (top three): Tim Lincecum, Dan Haren, Roy Holliday

NL Rookie of the Year (top three): Jason Heyward, Aroldis Chapman, Stephen Strasburg

Astros MVP: Hunter Pence

Astros Cy Young: Roy Oswalt

Astros ROY: Tommy Manzella

Astros Most Improved: Felipe Paulino

From David:

NL MVP (top three): Albert Pujols, Justin Upton, Matt Kemp

How can you pick against Pujols? I still have flashbacks about his home runs. He's a monster and he must be stopped! Grab the torches!...What was I saying? Upton broke out last season but he is poised for a huge season. Playing in such a hitter friendly park will do that. Kemp is also ready to break into the MVP discussion, but needs the Dodgers to have a big year for him.

NL Cy Young (top three): Tim Lincecum, Tommy Hanson, Chad Billingsley

Easily my toughest prediction. I have a bad feeling about LIncecum. Like, his luck may run out this season. A month on the DL is all it will take to knock him off this list. Hanson and BIllingsley, though? Could make a big noise this season, especially if they play for division champs.

NL Rookie of the Year (top three): Gaby Sanchez, Jason Heyward, David Freese

Sanchez is old, has some pop and won the starting job over prospect Logan Morrison. Florida won't score a ton of runs, but I think Sanchez will get opportunities to make an impact. Heyward is obviously the favorite here, but I'm leery of everyone jumping on his bandwagon before he's played a big league game. Freese could be the best rookie on one of the best teams in the NL. That counts for something, right?

Astros MVP: Carlos Lee - His power will rebound a bit. He may not have Lance Berkman around to hide his production either.

Astros Cy Young: Roy Oswalt - The Wizard is back.

Astros ROY: Chris Johnson - Yep, I did it. I picked Johnson as rookie of the year. I think he's going to stick and stay on the roster and his power will help vault him over Norris and Manzella. 

Astros Most Improved: Kaz Matsui - I'm taking a big gamble that he won't be injured, but I like what he did this spring and clack sold me on the fact that his 2009 offense was abnormal.

From Evan

NL MVP (top three): Matt Kemp, Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard

NL Cy Young (top three): Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, Dan Haren

NL ROY (top three): Jason Heyward, Stephen Strasburg, Chris Johnson

Astros MVP: Hunter Pence

Astros Cy Young: Wandy Rodriguez

Astros ROY: Chris Johnson

Astros Most Improved: Brett Myers

From Stephen

NL MVP: 1) Chase Utley 2) Albert Pujols 3) Tim Lincecum

Utley over Pujols reads like a really dumb pick on my part, but for whatever reason, I've got a good feeling about Utley this year.  I think he his position of prominence on the Phils, combined with his position on the field, will vault him ahead of Pujols; if for no other reason than the writers will like a breath of fresh air.

NL Cy Young: 1) Roy Halladay 2) Tim Lincecum 3) Dan Haren

Halladay is number one because I think he'll rack up the W's and there is nothing sexier to a the majority of the BWAA than wins—nothing. I almost replaced Haren with Strasburg just to be a smart ass.

NL Rookie of the Year: 1) Jason Heyward 2) Stephen Strasburg 3) Arodis Chapman

Could these predictions be any less thought out?

Astros MVP: Hunter Pence - continually outstanding defense + a better year at the plate + under performance from Lance Berkman = an Astros MVP for Pence.

Astros Cy Young: Wandy Rodriguez - I'll just assume that Spring Training continues to be no indication of how a player will actually perform.

Astros ROY: Chris Johnson - I had to have at least one pick that would make people scratch their heads.  At least the man has been hitting HRs like they're going out of style this Spring, right?

Astros Most Improved: Felipe Paulino - basing this solely on the measure of improvement in ERA.
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