Dodgers will win NL West

Updated: April 5, 2005, 11:55 AM ET
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
Did the Yankees send a message last night? You bet. In fact, they sent at least two messages. Randy Johnson sent the message that he's one of the best pitchers in the game. And the Yankee hitters sent the message that they're probably going to score a ton of runs in 2005.

Of course, it's likely that most of the Red Sox, idiots or otherwise, already knew these things. After all, most of them have faced Randy Johnson plenty of times. And those who haven't ... well, they can read the newspapers and watch SportsCenter. As for the hitters, it's not likely the Red Sox have forgotten these same Yankees totaled 32 runs in the first three games of the ALCS last fall.

Last night's game was important, because both the Yankees and Red Sox project to win somewhere in the neighborhood of 95 games this season. So every time they play each other, the division title might hang in the balance. Of course it's not likely because, of course, few pennant races are decided by one or two games (as I'm sure you've heard, head-to-head games between contenders result in a "two-game swing," which I'm sure doesn't make sense on some mathematical level, but does make the games a bit more compelling). But we do know one thing today we didn't know yesterday: The Red Sox are one game behind the Yankees, rather than one game ahead of the Yankees. Otherwise, though, there's just not a lot I learned from the one game that's been played already.

So in the absence of meaningful analysis based on the results of .041 percent of the 2005 season, let's instead review my picks to win each division, as listed for posterity here ...