Here is what I hit (or missed) in my pre-season predictions:
I doubted the Arizona Diamondbacks. As a Diamondbacks fan, what I saw last year from the offense did not translate into success this year. Boy was I wrong. The D-Backs are second in the majors to the Cubs in runs scored. I knew their pitching was great, and I never questioned the Jose Valverde trade. The young players have really developed, which is a present surprise. Conor Jackson, my NL Comeback Player of the Year at the start of the season, is off to a very fast start. Brandon Webb and Dan Haren are a combined 8-0 so far.
I had the Dodgers in the World Series. The offense has been bad, especially with Russell Martin and Andruw Jones struggling badly, although both have been good over the past week. I thought the offense would be a lot better, but I guess not, Rafael Furcal has been very good though. Takashi Saito hasn't had many save opportunites so far, and that's because the Dodgers aren't winning many games.
The Tigers and Indians, my top 2 finishers in the AL Central, are 5th and 4th in the division respectively. I know it is only 3 weeks, but the bullpen problems that both teams have are severe. Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya are out for an extended period of time, and Todd Jones is decent, but not your typical shut down closer. Cleveland has closer Joe Borowski on the DL, whcih could be a good thing. The struggles of Grady Sizemore also hurt them. I don't expect this to last, but both teams struggling early is worth noticing.
Ryan Howard, my NL MVP, is off to a horrendous start. He currently has a .190 average, and only 4 home runs- less home runs than Eric Hinske. Howard also has twice as many strikeouts (30) as hits (15). At this pace, Howard will strike out 231 times, which will shatter the record of 199 that he set last season. Howard will probably get his average up and hit more homers, but I do see this strikeout pace continuing.