So tomorrow is opening day.  The day when everyone is 0-0.  When everyone has a chance...Except the Pirates.  They're pretty much screwed.  I'd put money on the Expos making the playoffs before the Pirates. But everyone else has a chance! 162 games plus playoffs, seven months, four hundred thousand pounds of sunflower seeds, two million feet of bubble tape and more than a few cans of Skoal from now we'll have our World Series.  But who will be there

Who the heck knows? Look at my bracket. I certainly have no clue. But hey, I consider myself an educated sports fan, I'll fancy a guess. To me, there are two teams that are head and shoulders above the rest.  Two teams that made big name acquisitions in the off-season and built what looks to be a dominant force in their league.  Those teams?  Say it with me, the Mets and the Yankees!  Hang on a minute.  That's not right.  That's supposed to go in my column on teams that fell woefully short of what their fans' hopes in the offseason.

Yeah, it's the Phillies and the Red Sox.  I mean, come on. Could it be any other teams? The Phillies' acquisition of Cliff Lee in this year's offseason sets them up with four number one caliber starters and two of the top four starters in the league in Lee and Halliday.  Combine that with their offensive line up which is more AL than NL and you've got the dominant force in the National League.  Yes, they've got some injuries right now, but even with the injuries they'll win their division, and these guys really only need to get healthy in September.  So unless Chase Utley has to have his ailing leg amputated, they'll be fine. Looking around in the NL, I just don't see anyone that can challenge that monster.  I think the Phillies represent the NL in the World Series.

To me it's pretty much that cut and dry in the AL as well.  The Red Sox, right now, are clearly the best team (he said grinding his teeth, feeling a growing sense of resentment with each word he typed). Consider this: with Youkilis and Pedroia hurt and Becket having an underwhelming year in 2010, the Sox managed to win 89 games.  Thats unreal!  Probably Terry Fancona's best job managing and that is saying something.  Let me say, I hate the Red Sox.  I'm physically in pain writing this article, but with the addition of Crawford and Gonzalez, and Pettitte's retirement - leaving the Yankees exposed at starting pitcher - the Red Sox are without a doubt the team to beat.

It's clear to me what the Yankees strategy is for this year. Hit their way to within shouting distance of the Red Sox, then acquire a big name pitcher at or near the trade deadline.  Can that work?  Absolutely. You never count the Yankees out.  Ever.  But right now you can't objectively look at these teams and say that the Yankees are better than the Sox. If things stay the way they are, the Sox will be the ones taking on the Phillies in the World Series.

Look. It's opening day and hope springs eternal.  Anyone could catch fire and end up in the World Series - again, except the Pirates.  I mean, who saw the Rangers and Giants coming?  Nobody, that's who.  That's the fun of it, a lot of teams could end up in baseball's final round. But the way I see it.  Sox-Phillies.