It’s that time of year again, baseball prediction time, and it’s worth noting that I’ve picked the World Series correctly 3 times, since we started this blog. Of course, this is easy if you use the PV Index, pick the Giants to win every other year and you’ll be right 50% of the time. Since we’re talking about the Giants, I’d like to start this years MLB predictions in the NL West.
NL West – SF GIANTS Despite the upgrades in San Diego and the behemoth, LA Dodgers, the Giants will reign supreme again this year. Let’s be honest about the Dodgers, they already should have won a World Series, and the fact that they haven’t is proof that they do not have what it takes. Perhaps, Don Mattingly is not the right man for the job, or the bloated payroll does not win championships, whatever the reasons the Dodgers are not the team to beat. Getting back to the Padres, I’ve never understood why someone who plays in a big stadium brings in pull hitters, instead of all field gap hitter. Sure the Padres play an equal amount of games on the road, but guys like Matt Kemp and Justin Upton just become frustrated in PetCo Park and make a lot of fly ball outs. The team to beat is the World Champs, as they come in this year with a better rotation and offense than last season. Cain coming back from injury may take a little bit of time to heat-up, but by midseason he should be in top form. Why is their offense better, because the Joe Panik will be better after starting on a World Series winner and performing well last season, and Brandon Crawford is entering his prime. The addition of Casey McGehee, to fill the shoes of Panda, is the type of shrewd move that usually pays off for the Giants. The only problem the Giants face is having overworked arms in the rotation thanks to another World Championship that will end their run prematurely this season. Of course, we all know that they’ll win in 2016, so we’ll wait until next year.
NL East – WASHINGTON NATIONALS The Nationals have the best rotation in baseball, plus a solid offense, and without injuries coming to up and biting them they should not have a lot of issues with their march to the top of the NL East. Their main obstacle is the Miami Marlins, a young team on the verge of greatness, just not all the way this season. While the gutted Braves will not be as awful as everyone has predicted, they do not have enough offense to compete. The Mets are better, but not close, and the Phillies are a disaster.
NL Central – ST. LOUIS CARDINALS Wait until next year, Cubs fans, but it will be one heck of run with all the talent in the organization, and only idiot would say differently. The unfortunate part is we’ll all have to watch the Cardinals win another NL Central title. They have a well-rounded line-up that should edge out the Pirates this year for the Central. The Cubs and Brewers will both make things difficult for the Cardinals, but they will reign supreme, again. As for the Reds, they will have to deal with the aftermath of Dusty, and everyone that’s never good.
NL WILD CARD – Dodgers and Marlins NLCS – Cardinals vs. National (winner)
AL West – SEATTLE MARINERS I loved the direction the Mariners we’re headed last season, and it looks like they have taken the next step to becoming an AL West leader again. Their will be stiff competition in this division with both the Angels and A’s, but the later made so many horrendous moves in an effort to make a World Series run in 2014. I’m still trying to understand Billy Beane’s approach to 2014, but that’s different topic for another time. The Rangers are still trying to find their way back and Astros are still years away, but headed in the right direction.
AL East – TORONTO BLUE JAYS I’m back on this horse, despite the odds on favorite being Boston to win the East. The reason I do not like the Red Sox is their pitching is awful, and while the new theory I’ve heard a lot this pre-season from the “experts” is that offense gets you to the playoffs, but pitching wins the World Series; I’m not so sure I agree with that statement. I think you need the perfect blend of both, but no team with a great an offense and a horrible starting rotation ever wins a division. The reason I like the Blue Jays is they have both, a decent rotation and a solid offense. Again, this division is nothing to write home about. The Yankees have a chance if their old team has a rebound year, and the Rays a dark horse, mainly because they are in a managerial transition phase. As for the Orioles, they are going to be pulling up the rear this year with their age and no decent upgrades.
AL Central – CHICAGO WHITE SOX You can read my in-depth analysis of this division here, but the Sox have turned into the team to beat.
AL WILD CARD – Angels and Tigers
ALCS – Mariners and White Sox (winner)
WORLD SERIES – Nationals vs. White Sox With the Nationals being so strong from 1-5 they will ultimately win the series in seven games, but the White Sox will have finished one of the best rebound seasons in baseball. Is this a bit delusional on my part? Yes, but is it completely implausible, no.
NL CY Young – Madison Bumgarner, Giants
NL MVP – Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
NL Rookie of the Year – Jorge Soler, Cubs
NL Manager of the Year – Matt Williams, Nationals
AL CY Young – Chris Sale, White Sox
AL MVP – Jose Abreu, White Sox
AL Rookie of the Year – Yoan Moncada,
Red Sox AL Manager of the Year – Robin Ventura, White Sox