I really enjoyed Smitty’s prediction post from 2015 and he followed it up with a similar format for this season, so I’m going to follow his lead for “PV’s 2016 locks.”
I say go big or go home, so I’m going to shake-up the baseball community with this one; the Cubs WILL NOT win the World Series. Why you ask?
1 – If any NL team would greatly benefit from a change in the DH rule, it’s the Cubs (note: watch Schwarber in left)
2 – Jake Arietta is a solid pitcher, but I do not envision the same epic run he had in 2015 this season and Lackey’s not the guy to pick-up the slack, so who will? Plus never trust a pitcher that looks like Adam Levine.
3 – The Cubs have never had back-to-back playoff appearances after winning over 90 games the prior season.
The Pirates will win the NL Central. That is all.
Moving onto the other team in town, the White Sox will win the AL Central behind the top 3 in their rotation and the massive amount of runs they should score this year. Even Danks may prove out to be not so bad as a #4. After the Sox rid themselves of LaRoche and their team leader, Drake (note to Eaton, when someone uses the phrase you look-up to them it does not physically mean they are taller than you), Baseball Prospectus moved the Sox up to 84 wins from 82. That translates into winning six extra games to get to the division win, totally attainable. Plus if I pick them every year I will eventually be right… maybe?
The Royals will not make the playoffs, the last prediction and this prediction may seem a bit like déjà vu, but I really feel like the Royals beat the odds last season in a big way and will not be able to do it again. The Kendry Morales façade cannot continue, and depending on your bullpen as much as they have, cannot continue to be a winning proposition. You need some starting pitching, too.
The Arizona Diamondbacks will make the playoffs and keep the Dodgers out.. The Dodgers superstar team will not make the playoffs as they lack all the chemistry of quite possibly any other team in baseball. They are essentially what the Yankees suffered through when they tried to buy a World Series in the first half of the 2000s.
SPOILER ALERT… I will be mocking Big Papi and his obnoxious farewell tour. You only announce it if you want all the attention that a farewell tour brings with it. Someone should give him a bronzed needle as a gift.
Back to our regularly scheduled program… I will not be picking The Giants to win the World Series, not because I’m not lazy, but I, like Smitty believe Mad-Baum is tired and will have a rockier than normal season. They have more than enough to win the division, but they will not be able to lean on Baumgarner in the playoffs as they’ve done in the past. We also know Samardzija will be fine at home, but on the road is a completely different story.
One of my favorite movies is The Town, and while Ben Affleck’s crew may have robbed Fenway in a great climactic heist, the Red Sox will bore America with another World Series win. The only question I have is will Theo Epstein be watching?Enjoy the 2016 baseball season everyone!