In what is guaranteed to prove itself a useless, yet entertaining exercise, I am going to cap off baseball week with my end of season predictions. I know about as much as the next asshole about what will happen throughout the seemingly 134 month long season. Injuries, trades, an unexpected prospect or a fading veteran can all wreak havoc on anything you thought you knew about the season at hand. That being said, there is nothing more satisfying as a sports fan than reading my insight and telling me why I’m a douchebag for thinking it. So, enjoy as I predict division winners, wild card attendees, and the major award winners.
Oh, I absolutely promise to follow up on these predictions at the end of the year. I always hold myself accountable.
1) Toronto Blue Jays – They saw an opportunity and will achieve the takedown
2) Tampa Bay Rays – Great pitching staff, solid lineup and the X-Factor, Joe Maddon.
3) New York Yankees – A combination of old men and older men will result in sad faces in the Bronx.
4) Baltimore Orioles – A big regression will see the Orioles fall back to earth.
5) Boston Red Sox – Shane Victorino is your 5 hitter. Need I say more?
Thoughts – You have to respect the Blue Jays for seeing the potential to finally climb atop the normally monstrous AL East and taking a shot. The Jays will combine a good pitching staff with an already dangerous lineup to take the division. The Rays will remain solid behind the work of the best coach in the game and an incredibly smart GM. The Orioles will not prove so lucky with so little talent this year. As for the Yankees and Red Sox, please excuse this writer for taking a lot of joy in seeing these two once mighty franchises fail miserably this year.
1) Detroit Tigers – All around goodness will see these guys win the division yet again
2) Kansas City Royals – Placing second speaks more to the state of the division than the Royals greatness.
3) Chicago White Sox – A great mixture of old and unknown players will be enough to secure third place.
4) Cleveland Indians – If everything comes together for the tribe, they could be higher on this list.
5) Minnesota Twins – Things are going to be ugly in the Twin Cities this summer.
Thoughts – This is the easiest division to pick in baseball. The Tigers will once again ride their outstanding lineup and very good pitching staff to the central title. The Royals added enough pieces to at least get fans in Kansas City excited about baseball again. The White Sox are largely a mystery to me…I keep up with baseball religiously, but there are enough unknowns on their team to not allow me to put them any higher. The Indians have added some interesting pieces, but they lost pieces too. The Twins will at least win the “All-Name” team with a dude named Plouffe playing third base.
1) L.A. Angels – Have you looked at this lineup???
2) Texas Rangers – Will give the Angels a run for their money.
3) Oakland A’s – Billy Beane’s group of weirdos are back to re-claim third place in the division!
4) Seattle Mariners –Despite this offseason, they don’t have enough offense and King Felix can’t pitch five days a week….I think.
5) Houston Astros – This may be the worst baseball team I have ever seen assembled.
Thoughts – The race between the Angels and the Rangers is going to be a fun one. Can the all-around good Angels hold off the still strong Rangers? I think so, but I would not be surprised to see Texas take the division. The A’s, coming off a great year will see some regression, but will benefit playing the Astros so many times…as will everyone. The Mariners continue to leave me unimpressed and those Astros….Jesus Christ!
1) Washington Nationals – The rich got richer…this pick hurts me.
2) Atlanta Braves – Uptons, baby!
3) Philadelphia Phillies – Can the pitching staff put together enough to carry an aging offense?
4) New York Mets – If all goes perfect, the Mets COULD win 80 games.
5) Miami Marlins – The Miami Pennypinchers will be awful awful awful this year.
Thoughts – As a diehard Braves fan, it kills me to say it, but the Nationals are only going to be better this season. The Nats had a fantastic offseason and quietly improved their rotation and lineup….fuck. The Braves made a lot of noise this winter and will give the Nationals a run for their money. The Phillies are just so damned old. If Halladay can be the old Halladay, then the Phils have a shot. The Mets continue to rebuild, while Marlins owner Jeff Loria will prove to be the most hated man in Miami since someone named Andrew wrecked the town roughly 20 years ago.
1) Cincinnati Reds – An even better version than last year’s division winner.
2) St. Louis Cardinals – The birds will probably ride another mediocre year to postseason success…bastards.
3) Milwaukee Brewers – Great lineup, weak pitching staff.
4) Pittsburgh Pirates – The 20 year rebuilding project continues unsuccessfully.
5) Chicago Cubs – Notre Dame’s former token white receiver is their opening day starter…that’s gotta hurt!
Thoughts – The Reds added some great pieces this offseason and with a solid rotation, should win the division again. The Cardinals won’t be great, but they will do enough to secure one of the wild card spots. The Brewers window closed two years ago and isn’t opening again any time soon. The Pirates and Cubs will fight an arduous battle for last place in the division. All of these teams wish they still had ole Houston to kick around.
1) San Francisco Giants – Pitching, pitching, pitching…with just a little offense sprinkled in for flavor.
2) L.A. Dodgers – The 200 million dollar experience will at least be worth watching all of the SportsCenter coverage as yet another L.A. team collapses.
3) Arizona Diamondbacks – This “scrappy” team will play the game the right way ….all the way to third place.
4) San Diego Padres – Will be much better than most expect.
5) Colorado Rockies – Who is going to pitch for these guys???
Thoughts – The defending champs will continue to ride their horses to yet another division title. The Dodgers and their mediocrity will be sports most tired story by June. The Diamondbacks baffled with their offseason moves and rightly so. They should be an incredibly average team. The forgotten Padres may make a push towards second place if the pieces fall right and the lowly Rockies will underwhelm again.
Wild Card Crapshoot Game
AL Wild Card – Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers – Predicting who will win a one game playoff is a silly endeavor. But I’ll say the Rangers…just because.
NL Wild Card – Braves vs. Cardinals – The ghost of Chipper Jones will see the Braves take an exciting game for the Cardinals.
Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers – The incredibly strong Tigers will fall in the postseason, once again, to the hot Rangers
L.A. Angels vs. Toronto Blue Jays – The return of playoff baseball to Canada will see the Jays fall in five games to the Angels
Atlanta Braves vs. Cincinnati Reds – The Braves will win in a Game 7 started by Aroldis Chapman, winning by a walk-off hit by pitch.
Washington Nationals vs. San Francisco Giants – The Giants postseason mojo finally runs out behind strong starts from the Nationals great front line.
League Championship Series
L.A. Angels vs. Texas Rangers – The Rangers go up by two games early over their division rivals, only to see Pujols launch a few balls to Mars in Game 6 to secure the series for the Angels
Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals – In their excitement over their first postseason series victory in like 100 years, the Braves forget to show up in the LCS, but Atlanta fans are still relatively happy.
L.A. Angels vs. Washington Nationals – You think I’m going to pick the American League???? Yeah, I am. The Angels will win another boring World Series in five games.
AL MVP – Mike Trout – Avenges last year’s loss by playing out of his mind all year long
NL MVP – Jason Heyward – The Braves’ future puts it all together in an amazing season
AL Cy Young – Jered Weaver – With this lineup, he wins enough games to overshadow a more deserving candidate
NL Cy Young – Stephen Strasburg – With no innings limit, Strasburg shows us why he was worth so much coverage on ESPN
AL Manager of the Year – John GIbbons(Blue Jays) – He should give this trophy to his GM, but won’t.
NL Manager of the Year – Davey Johnson(Nationals) – In his final year, he takes the award home.
You got better predicitions? Lets hear em!