American League

New York Yankees

Despite pitching being their season-long weakness, the Yanks made their best move by snagging outfielder Matt Lawton from the Cubs. This allows the team to move 67-year-old Bernie Williams from the outfield and put him out to stud. And stud he will! Rumors are circulating that Big Bern has already impregnated 16 women, and without contracting a single venereal disease. If nothing brings a team together like a new child, think how close they’ll be after 16! Unfortunately, the multiple births won’t help this season—the women are all in their first trimester—but look for a new sense of fellowship and camaraderie in the Yankee locker room by Opening Day 2006.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

With the holidays quickly approaching, the players have been more worried about how to write the return address on their Christmas cards than staying ahead of the A’s. Do they write Los Angeles? Or maybe Anaheim? Or a hyphenated L.A.-Anaheim notation? Is putting down California acceptable? If they figure this out, they’ll coast into the playoffs with the AL West crown. If not, then it’s going to be a long offseason. Especially with that question still going unanswered.

Cleveland Indians

Pros: Good overall hitting; above-average starting rotation; Bob Wickman; an easy schedule down the stretch; an out-of-court settlement for those pesky paternity suits; the Browns no longer an official NFL team after being dispatched for “sucking so fucking bad,” allowing Cleveland fans to focus their attention solely on the Indians.

Cons: Proximity to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; name associated with Native Americas, which, according to the NCAA, is inherently evil; poor bullpen besides the man of Wick; Jose Hernandez; God hates Cleveland; homemade T-shirts declaring “Cleveland Sucks!”

National League

Philadelphia Phillies

Ever since Bobby Abreu decided to swat 41 out in the Home Run Derby—officially upping his steroid testing to six times a week—this team has been surging. But, like every year, look for the inevitable collapse down the stretch. Will it be because of Larry Bowa’s managerial gaffes? Nope. He’s on sabbatical in Tibet, learning how to harness his inner tranquility to help him pick up chicks. What about injuries? Thome is hurt, but his season ending early only helped the team’s chances. Then what? Who knows, Voice In My Head? Who knows? All we know is that someway, somehow, the Phillies will, as always, choke themselves out of the playoffs.

Florida Marlins

The young Fightin’ Fish have the most realistic chance of making the postseason, because of the way they play: like a bunch of kids in love with the game. Sure, clutch hitting and powerful pitching are large parts of their success, but they’ll get to the postseason because of the never-say-die attitude, the matching jean jackets, the large stockpile of hair mousse, the secret handshakes, and the innocence of childhood, which still flows through their veins, despite the crusty porn magazines they found in the forest.

New York Mets

Amazingly still in the wild-card race despite having an incredibly mediocre team, the Mets are already excited about next season’s influx of high-priced, high-reward free agents. Never a team to tighten the purse strings, the Mets will double their budget with profits from the special edition three-disc DVD of The Cameron-Beltran Collision ’05, featuring hundreds of angles, two “making of” documentaries, and dozens of commentaries by players, coaches, fans, physicians, and Jessica and Ashlee Simpson.

Houston Astros

A team no one wants to face in the playoffs might not make it because of a secretarial error. When talking to his secretary on his cell phone, GM Tim Purpura told her to cancel the next day’s meeting with the local Church of Scientology chapter because he had to “work late.” Since he was using a Cingular phone—following the AT&T merger—instead of the cancellation command, the secretary heard “Send out a memo telling everyone to give Roger Clemens no run support.” Never one to question her boss, the secretary produced the memo. Fortunately, the error is fixable. All they have to do is locate the Dianetics stand at which the newly converted Purpura is conducting stress tests. When they do, a simple punch in the forehead should adequately smack the bullshit out of him.