Category Archives: Predictions

2015 Season Predictions Post: MJ Lloyd

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Mj Lloyd writes (and owner operates) Off Base Percentage. You can follow him on twitter here. Here are his predictions for the 2015 Major League Baseball season:
Baseball season is back! It feels like just yesterday Josh Hamilton was in the news for something or other. How time flies by. After months of offseason movers and shakers, it’s time to make picks before the best day of the year. I’ve crunched the numbers (I ate Cap’n Crunch while reading Fangraphs) and feel confident in my 2015 predictions. Let’s go get it…
AL East
  1. Boston Red Sox
  2. Toronto Blue Jays
  3. Baltimore Orioles
  4. New York Yankees
  5. Tampa Bay Rays
The Red Sox reloaded by signing Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. Plus there is a full season of Mookie Betts coming up. Believe all of the hype. Betts is going to be a lot of fun to watch and he has center field to himself. Rusty Castillo will be up at some point but that’s Shane Victorino’s problem to deal with. Toronto bolstered its lineup by adding Josh Donaldson but lost their ace, Marcus Stroman for the season. Of course, the media will be focused on A-Rod’s return to the Yankees and whether he can take the club to 4th place instead of 5th.
Division MVP
Josh Donaldson
New Comer of the Year
Josh Donaldson
Division Rookie of the Year
Aaron Sanchez
Welcome to the rotation, Aaron Sanchez. He probably would have been my pick if he was the Blue Jays closer too.
AL Central
  1. Detroit Tigers
  2. Chicago White Sox
  3. Cleveland Indians
  4. Kansas City Royals
  5. Minnesota Twins
Really, I think you can flip a coin between the top three teams in this division. But I like the Tigers to win it in a tight race. We might have seen the best of Miguel Cabrera but they still have a dominant lineup. Chicago is the wild card for me. Chris Sale should only miss a start or two and Carlos Rodon shouldn’t be down for long.
Division MVP
Miggy Cabrera
New Comer of the Year
Jeff Samardzija
I’m 43% sure I spelled that correctly.
Division Rookie of the Year
Fransico Lindor
Lindor is ready but will be toiling in the minors for a few months. I like his immediate impact more than Rodon’s.
AL West
  1. Los Angeles Angels
  2. Seattle Mariners
  3. Oakland A’s
  4. Texas Rangers
  5. Houston Astros
I’ll stick with the Angels here instead of the trendy M’s pick. Frankly because…Mike Trout. Garrett Richards isn’t going to miss a lot of time which leaves 2B and Josh Hamilton as the wild cards. I can never figure out what the A’s are doing so I quit trying. The Astros could certainly top the Rangers this year. Adrian Beltre would be an interesting trade chip if shit hits the proverbial fan in Arlington.
Division MVP
Mike Trout
Duh
New Comer of the Year
Nelson Cruz
While I don’t love it long term, he upgrades a DH position the M’s haven’t been able to fill with a turnstyle of jabronis.
Division Rookie of the Year
Andrew Heaney
The Angels gave up Howie Kendrick for him and Heaney will be important to the rotation at some point.
NL East
  1. Washington Nationals
  2. Miami Marlins
  3. New York Mets
  4. Atlanta Braves
  5. Philadelphia Phillies
Frankly, I’d be a little surprised if the Nats don’t have the best record in baseball. The Marlins made some odd moves and the bottom of the division should be easy to beat up. Will the Phillies trade Cole Hamels? This past season of It’s Always Sunny is probably the best thing that happened to Philly this year.
Division MVP
Giancarlo Stanton
My heart says Bryce Harper though.
New Comer of the Year
Max Scherzer
Division Rookie of the Year
Noah Syndergaard
NL Central
  1. St. Louis Cardinals
  2. Pittsburgh Pirates
  3. Chicago Cubs
  4. Cincinnati Reds
  5. Milwaukee Brewers
Cards and Pirates are a toss up. I think it will boil down to the rotations. Can Wainwright stay healthy, does Garrett Cole take the next step? The Cubs are close. But sending Kris Bryant down for three weeks might cost them a game or two and that could be enough to miss the playoffs. My suggestion to ease the pain of Cubs fans who wanted Bryant up, have Will Ferrell call the first month of games as Harry Caray. It seems like something he’d do.
Division MVP
Andrew Mccutcheon
New Comer of the Year
Jason Heyward
Division Rookie of the Year
Kris Bryant
NL West
  1. Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. San Diego Padres
  3. San Francisco Giants
  4. Colorado Rockies
  5. Arizona Diamondbacks
The Padres reshuffled their team. James Shields, Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, Justin Upton, Will Middlebrooks. The Dodgers lost Kemp and Hanley Ramirez but added Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins. Dodgers should run away with this but give the Pads some credit for growing a pair. I’m excited to see how that team does especially if they wear more of the brown and yellow throwbacks. Arizona seems like they’re stuck in mud and content to gun the engine until they run out of gas.
Division MVP
Clayton Kershaw
New Comer of the Year
Justin Upton/James Shields
Division Rookie of the Year
Joc Pederson
WIld Card
Mariners over White Sox
Pirates over Marlins
Divison Series
Mariners over Red Sox
Angels over Tigers
Nationals over Pirates
Dodgers over Cardinals
League Series
Angels over Mariners
Nationals over Dodgers
World Series
Nationals over Angels
Who do I think will win the major awards? I’m glad you asked. Mike Trout. It isn’t fair that he isn’t eligible for NL MVP. There’s interleague everyday, he should be eligible for NL MVP. But I’ll abide by these ridiculous rules. How do we know he’s not the best pitcher either? He’s five months older than Kris Bryant. He should still be racking up ROYs. Anywhoo, I have a bunch of replica Mike Trout trophies in my basement if anybody is interested…
AL MVP
Mike Trout
AL Cy Young
Felix Hernandez
He’s turning into Greg Maddux. He’s been special and he’s getting specialer.
AL ROY
Francisco Lindor
Lindor, Rodon and Rusney Castillo will all start in the minors. Your guess is as good as mine.
AL MOY
Terry Francona
I think this award is bullshit and I only really like two managers. One moved to the NL which makes this soooo much easier.
NL MVP
Andrew McCutchen
Look, Stanton is a trendy pick and rightfully so. In a world where Mike Trout doesn’t exist, Cutch would get more press.
NL Cy Young
Jordan Zimmermann
He’s really good. He’s the Nats number three. He’s going to pile up wins. He’s in a walk year. I already picked Trout. Picking another slam dunk isn’t fun.
NL MOY
Joe Maddon
What did you expect? I hear Dusty Baker is coaching a beer league softball team to shit. Already blew out one poor waitress’ shoulder.

2015 Seasons Predictions Post: Mevs

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This has long been one of my favorite traditions on the blog. I predict everything I can, and watch it all catch fire and burn down within a few months. But usually, I hit on something just right. And like a game of golf, that’s what keeps you coming back. That one beautiful wedge shot that lands perfectly on the green. Here’s a look at my 2014 predictions post, with my 2015 predictions listed below.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

EAST
1. Toronto Blue Jays
2. Boston Red Sox*
3. Baltimore Orioles
4. New York Yankees
5. Tampa Bay Rays

CENTRAL
1. Chicago White Sox
2. Detroit Tigers*
3. Kansas City Royals
4. Cleveland Indians
5. Minnesota Twins

WEST
1. Seattle Mariners
2. Los Angeles Angels
3. Houston Astros
4. Oakland Athletics
5. Texas Rangers

NATIONAL LEAGUE

EAST
1. Washington Nationals
2. Miami Marlins*
3. Atlanta Braves
4. New York Mets
5. Philadelphia Phillies

CENTRAL
1. Pittsburgh Pirates
2. Chicago Cubs*
3. St. Louis Cardinals
4. Cincinnati Reds
5. Milwaukee Brewers

WEST
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. San Diego Padres
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Arizona Diamondbacks
5. Colorado Rockies

*Denotes Wild Card teams

PLAYOFFS

Wild Card Games:
Detroit Tigers over Boston Red Sox
Chicago Cubs over Miami Marlins

Division Series:
Chicago White Sox over Toronto Blue Jays (Four Games)
Detroit Tigers over Seattle Mariners (Four Games)
Washington Nationals over Chicago Cubs (Three Games)
Los Angeles Dodgers over Pittsburgh Pirates (Five Games)

ALCS / NLCS:
Detroit Tigers over Chicago White Sox (Five Games)
Washington over Los Angeles (Seven Games)

World Series:
Washington Nationals over Detroit Tigers (Six Games)

AL MVP
1. Jose Abreu
2. Robinson Cano
3. Mike Trout

NL MVP
1. Giacarlo Stanton
2. Andrew McCutchen
3. Anthony Rizzo

AL CY YOUNG
1. Felix Hernandez
2. Carlos Carrasco
3. Taijuan Walker

NL CY YOUNG
1. Max Scherzer
2. Clayton Kershaw
3. Gerrit Cole

AL Rookie of the Year
1. Dalton Pompey
2. Carlos Rodon
3. Alex Meyer

NL Rookie of the Year
1. Kris Bryant
2. Joc Pederson
3. Noah Syndergaard

AL Comeback Player of the Year
1. Prince Fielder
2. Alex Rodriguez
3. Derek Holland

NL Comeback Player of the Year
1. Joey Votto
2. Matt Harvey
3. Jay Bruce

AL Bold Predictions

1. Taijuan Walker is the Mariners number two starter by season’s end, and a major reason why the Mariners overtake the Angels in the AL West.

2. Miguel Cabrera posts a .320, 33 HR, 110 RBI season with the added protection of Cespedes.

3. Alex Rodriguez is more useful than anyone thinks he’ll be after the long layoff.

4. Jose Abreu leads the American League with 39 home runs and hits over .300, again.

5. In another long season for the Twins, either Oswaldo Arcia or Kennys Vargas pass the 30 home run plateau.

NL Bold Predictions

1. Giancarlo Stanton finishes with 46 home runs and appears to make the first serious push at 50 we’ve seen in the NL for a while.

2. Johnny Cueto and Jay Bruce are traded shortly after the All-Star Game. Cincinnati finishes with under 80 wins and has a new manager in 2016.

3. The St. Louis Cardinals lineup shows their age and a heavy postseason pick favorite by many misses the playoffs altogether. Trevor Rosenthal loses his job as the closer at some point.

4. Anthony Rizzo finishes second in the National League with 38 home runs.

5. Bryce Harper finishes fifth in National League MVP voting with a .285, 28 home run, 95 RBI season.

Other Predictions:

[Hardball Talk] [ESPN SweetSpot] [ESPN Experts Team Predictions] [ESPN Experts Award Predictions] [CBS Sports Eye on Baseball] [Washington Times] [FanGraphs] [MLB.com] [Cleveland Plain Dealer] [Sports Illustrated] [Diamond Hoggers – Corey]

MLB-Opening-Day-A

A Bat Flippin’ Good Time Podcast: Season Preview, Over/Unders

Tonight I was joined by M.J. Lloyd and Mike Hllywa, both of Off Base Percentage fame for the season preview podcast edition of A Bat Flippin’ Good Time.

On the podcast we discuss:

  • The Josh Hamilton verdict, and how poorly has the Angels organization handled this situation.
  • Ervin Santana’s PED suspension.
  • Division predictions, as well as playoff and World Series picks (we were all in agreement with who wins the 2015 World Series).
  • Season Award Predictions.
  • Over/Unders for many players statistical totals.

This was one of the best, and most fun shows we’ve done in a while. If you’re a big baseball fan this one will entertain you while you wait for Opening Day to arrive.

2015 Season Predictions Post: Corey

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Every March gives us the start of Spring, March Madness and hope for the fans of all 30 MLB teams. That’s right, a new season and a fresh slate of baseball is just around the corner. This MLB offseason was one of the more exciting that I can remember and I can’t wait to see the type of summer that follows. I missed pretty big on a couple of my playoff teams last year so I’m hoping this season I can do better. This is how I see things playing out in 2015.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

EAST
1. Boston Red Sox
2. Toronto Blue Jays
3. New York Yankees
4. Baltimore Orioles
5. Tampa Bay Rays

CENTRAL
1. Cleveland Indians
2. Detroit Tigers*
3. Chicago White Sox
4. Kansas City Royals
5. Minnesota Twins

WEST
1. Seattle Mariners
2. Los Angeles Angels*
3. Oakland Athletics
4. Houston Astros
5. Texas Rangers

NATIONAL LEAGUE

EAST
1. Washington Nationals
2. Miami Marlins
3. New York Mets
4. Atlanta Braves
5. Philadelphia Phillies

CENTRAL
1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. Pittsburgh Pirates*
3. Chicago Cubs
4. Cincinnati Reds
5. Milwaukee Brewers

WEST
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. San Diego Padres*
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Arizona Diamondbacks
5. Colorado Rockies

*Denotes Wild Card teams

PLAYOFFS

Wild Card Games:
Detroit over Los Angeles
Pittsburgh over San Diego

Division Series:
Seattle over Detroit
Cleveland over Boston
Washington over Pittsburgh
Los Angeles over St. Louis

ALCS / NLCS:
Seattle over Cleveland
Washington over Los Angeles

World Series:
Washington Nationals over Seattle Mariners

I’m banking on the health of Harper, Rendon, Werth and Zimmerman to get that Nationals lineup over the hump. Their rotation is certainly built for a deep playoff run and I think the addition of Scherzer is what they really needed. A good run though for a real solid Mariners team.

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AL MVP
1. Mike Trout
2. Hanley Ramirez
3. Miguel Cabrera

NL MVP
1. Yasiel Puig
2. Giancarlo Stanton
3. Paul Goldschmidt

AL CY YOUNG
1. Masahiro Tanaka
2. Felix Hernandez
3. Carlos Carrasco

NL CY YOUNG
1. Clayton Kershaw
2. Matt Harvey
3. Max Scherzer

AL Rookie of the Year
1. Carlos Rodon
2. Rusney Castillo
3. Daniel Norris

NL Rookie of the Year
1. Jorge Soler
2. Kris Bryant
3. Joc Pederson

AL Comeback Player of the Year
1. Shin-Soo Choo
2. Derek Holland
3. Alex Rodriguez

NL Comeback Player of the Year
1. Matt Harvey (Easy choice and I think he makes the Cy Young vote tough)
2. Joey Votto
3. Ryan Zimmerman

AL Bold Predictions

1. Anthony Gose leads the AL with 56 SBs.

2. Chris Carter and Evan Gattis hit more homers (75) than any other duo in AL.

3. Alex Rodriguez plays 120 games for the Yankees, hits 25 HR and drives in 85.

4. Andrew Miller leads the AL with 46 saves.

5. One of my favorite breakouts, Avisail Garcia, hits .300 with 25 HRs.

NL Bold Predictions

1. Dexter Fowler leads not just the NL but all the Majors with 120 runs scored.

2. Matt Harvey, back from TJ surgery, leads the NL with 238 strikeouts.

3. Anthony DeSclafani emerges as #2 SP for the Reds with a 3.50 ERA and 160 Ks.

4. Through the darkness of a poor Diamondbacks season, Paul Goldschmidt wins the NL Triple Crown.

5. Mike Morse drives in 100 RBI for the Marlins.

2014 MLB Playoff Predictions

NLDS:
Nationals over Giants (in three games)
Dodgers over Cardinals (in five games)

ALDS:
Angels over Royals (in four games)
Tigers over Orioles (in five games)

NLCS:
Nationals over Dodgers (in seven games)
Tigers over Angels (in six games)

WORLD SERIES:
Nationals over Tigers (six games)

2014 Season Predictions: Stone cold guesses

Predictions are predictably wrong.  But just in case we can get them right, it’s fun to go back and look at what you thought.  These are not based on simulations or modeling which is probably the best way to do things.  If you want those, there are plenty of places that do that.  The best thing about my predictions is that you know they came from the guy who picked the Angels to make the World Series…and the Blue Jays to win the AL East.  What can I say?  I guess I’m a sucker for the higher priced things in life.  (Side note:  No way can I get on board with paying a portly slugger $30M when he’s 41.)

Without further ado, here is what I think will happen during the 2014 season:

National League

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I have the Nationals and Reds meeting up in the Queen City for the wild card matchup with the Nationals throwing Stephen Strasburg and winning.

I have the Dodgers falling short again to the Cardinals in the NLCS to make their second World Series in a row.  These two staffs are really good, but I see the Cardinals as the better staff overall – and that will prove the difference.

American League

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I think the Red Sox and A’s match up in the wild card with Sonny Gray putting his big boy pants on and shutting down Boston.

The Yankees will somehow beat the Tigers in the ALCS and get back to the place they seemingly were every year.

World Series:

That trip will be short lived however as the Cardinals will win the World Series this year. I hate this as a Reds fan and hopefully I will jinx them by picking them (I won’t).  Let’s say it will take 7 games to add some drama in my life.

Other Predictions:

AL MVP – Mike Trout.  He’s the best player and he’ll finally get over the Miggy hump.

NL MVP – Ryan Braun Bryce Harper – The story becomes Harper vs. Trout.  He’s looked jacked this spring and has all the skills in the world.

AL Cy Young – Justin Verlander.  I know the trend is down, but with much of the top pitching in the NL I think he’s got a shot.

NL Cy Young – Stephen Strasburg.  If he’s healthy and dealing I think he is on Kershaw’s level.  Voters like new faces.

 

I almost had my son randomly pick teams for this as it might be as accurate.  That post might be coming up soon.

 

 

 

 

2014 Season Predictions: Mike Hllywa

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Can you smell it? Can you feel it? baseball is almost here. Like most of you, I can tell without looking at a calendar that baseball season is around the corner. The thermometer starts pushing 50 degrees, the birds start digging in the yard looking for worms, my daughter says things like: “Daddy, can I wear a skirt to school today?” I can also tell by the reading material that becomes available. Every writer has a prediction and a forecast for what they expect to have happen this season (Mike Trout, 11 WAR, mark it down), and that’s what we are doing here. I’ve poured over the stats, other predictions and enlisted a shaman to help me see into the future (I also got him to make a Miguel Cabrera voodoo doll. Cue evil laugh track). These predictions are mine, all rights reserved, so let’s see what the magic eight ball has to say.

American League

East
1. Tampa Bay Rays
2. Boston Red Sox*
3. Baltimore Orioles
4. New York Yankees
5. Toronto Blue Jays

Every team suffers a World Series hangover, and Boston will be no different. The Orioles will start slow and then pick it up later in the year, but it won’t be enough to get them into the postseason dance. The Yankees will get a ton of free press with Derek Jeter retiring, but free press doesn’t equal wins.

Central
1. Detroit Tigers
2. Cleveland Indians
3. Kansas City Royals
4. Chicago White Sox
5. Minnesota Twins

For the foreseeable future, the Tigers own this division. Not because of otherworldly talent, but because this division is incredibly weak. The White Sox could surprise everyone and finish second in the division, but it’s a race for first loser among the bottom four teams in the AL Central.

West
1. Los Angeles Angels
2. Oakland Athletics*
3. Texas Rangers
4. Seattle Mariners
5. Houston AstroLOLs

This division is going to be an absolute dogfight. Every prediction model has the Angels, A’s and Rangers within four games of each other, and Fangraphs as all three within a one game spread. But with the Rangers uninspiring staff and Oakland being bitten by the Tommy John bug, my money is on the Halos returning to the top of the division.

National League

East
1. Washington Nationals
2. Atlanta Braves
3. Philadelphia Phillies
4. Miami Marlins
5. New York Mets

How sad is it that, even after both Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy both go down with torn UCL’s, I still would have the Braves finishing ahead of the Phillies? The Marlins will creep out of the cellar, but that is more because the Mets won’t have Matt Harvey than it is because the Marlins are so talented.

Central
1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. Cincinnati Reds*
3. Pittsburgh Pirates
4. Milwaukee Brewers
5. Chicago Cubs

Almost identical to last year, except the Reds will jump over the Pirates late in the season and secure a Wild Card spot. Also, the Cubs will be officially eliminated in the first week of August.

West
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Arizona Diamonbacks*
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Colorado Rockies
5. San Diego Padres

It is the Dodgers division to lose, but with D-Backs still being a young-ish team, and the Giants being a smidge old, this is how my medicine man says it is going to shake out. Beware the Rockies, though. Good young arms and a healthy Tulo and CarGo could make this team very very dangerous.

* – Denotes teams fortunate enough to play in the play-in game

PLAYOFFS

Wild Card Games

Arizona over Cincinnati
Boston over Oakland

Division Series

Tampa Bay over Boston
Detroit over Los Angeles
St. Louis over Washington
Los Angeles over Arizona

ALCS/NLCS

Tampa Bay over Detroit
Los Angeles over St. Louis

World Series

Tampa Bay over Los Angeles

It is a fool’s game to count out the Rays, and even though it isn’t an easy path for them to get to the brass ring, this is the year that they do it.

AL MVP – Mike Trout

The BBWAA finally gets off his back for not making it into the playoffs and rewards him with the hardware that he should’ve taken home the last two years. Not that I am, you know, biased or anything.

NL MVP – Yadier Molina

You could make the argument that Yadi should have won the MVP award last year. This year, he leaves nothing to chance and puts up a monster year that dwarfs all of his competitors.

AL Cy Young – Yu Darvish

Along with Darvish’s first CYA, he gets tapped for a “Yu Knows” endorsement campaign co-starring Bo Jackson.

NL Cy Young – Clayton Kershaw

Best. Pitcher. On. The. Planet. Period. Jose Fernandez will give him a run for his money, but Kershaw’s curveball impregnates too many women for award voters to not notice.

AL Rookie of the Year – Taijuan Walker

He’ll be behind Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, but with the big parks in the AL West, and his crazy-good cutter that gets mistaken for a slider, Walker is going to push his way passed the Xander Bogaerts’ and the Masahiro Tanaka’s of the world.

NL Rookie of the Year – Javier Baez

He won’t get called up until June (bold prediction), but when he does, he is going to turn the National League on it’s ear.

AL Comeback Player of the Year – Derek Jeter

I really want to put Albert Pujols’ name here, but, let’s be honest, if Jeter has even an OK season, after playing only 17 games last year, he may even walk away with a top-five finish in the MVP voting.

NL Comeback Player of the Year – Dan Uggla

You can file this one under bold predictions as well. But after dropping to a .179/.309/.362 slash line in 2013, no one in the National League has more to prove than Dan Uggla.

AL Bold Predictions

Houston Astros “only” lose 102 games thanks to their starting rotation being one of two in the AL West that doesn’t get hit by the injury bug.

Miguel Cabrera’s power numbers suffer without having Prince Fielder in the lineup behind him.

Derek Jeter is called in to pitch in the Yankees final home game of 2014. He lasts two-thirds of inning and gives up four runs and is pulled from the game by Mariano Rivera.

Mike Napoli is asked to shave his beard once its length reaches the top of his stomach. He donates the cut hair to locks of love.

NL Bold Predictions

Billy Hamilton steals 100 bases. And, to be honest, I would be comfortable taking the over on that prediction.

Javier Baez and Kris Bryant hit third and fourth in the same game.

Jose Fernandez hits his second career home run. This time, without incident.

In the same game, Yasiel Puig hits a home run, gets thrown out at second trying to leg out an infield double, throws a runner out at third and at home (in the same inning) and hits a peanut vendor in the second deck when a throw gets away from him.

2014 Season Predictions Post: Mevs

Bubble-Play

Opening Day is fast approaching – this year we’re counting baseball in Australia as the opener – even though this post traditionally rolls out the night before USA’s Opening Day. In honor of the special day which is similar to a second Christmas Eve, we make our picks on all things baseball so we can look back and see how everyone did at season’s end. Here is our 2013 predictions post. Last year was hit and miss, but we feel much more educated for this year. Here’s how I see things in baseball shaking out in 2014:

American League

AL East:
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox*
Tampa Bay Rays
Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays

AL Central:
Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox*
Cleveland Indians
Kansas City Royals
Minnesota Twins

AL West:
Anaheim Angels
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers
Oakland A’s
Houston Astros

National League

NL East:
Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves*
Florida Marlins
New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies

NL Central:
St. Louis Cardinals
Pittsburgh Pirates*
Cincinnati Reds
Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs

NL West:
Los Angeles Dodgers
Arizona DiamondBacks
Colorado Rockies
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres

* Denotes Wildcard teams

PLAYOFFS

Wild Card Games:
Boston Red Sox over Tampa Bay Rays
Atlanta Braves over Pittsburgh Pirates

Division Series:
Detroit Tigers over Boston Red Sox (in five games)
New York Yankees over Anaheim Angels (in four games)
Los Angeles Dodgers over Atlanta Braves (SWEEP)
Washington Nationals over St. Louis Cardinals (in five games)

ALCS / NLCS:
New York Yankees over Detroit Tigers (in six games)
Los Angeles Dodgers over Washington Nationals (in seven games)

World Series:
New York Yankees over Los Angeles Dodgers (in five games)

It was a tough pick when it came down to the final four, especially choosing between the Nationals and the Dodgers for National League supremacy. In the end, a chance at playing for the title continues to elude Bryce Harper in Washington and Yasiel Puig and the star-crossed Dodgers take Vin Scully to the grandest stage just in the nick of time. As fate will have it, the New York Yankees and their band of veterans take home a title in Derek Jeter’s final season; a World Championship in the year that my first child is born. A child that my wife will swear is going to be a Yankees fan – that’s not happening.

AL MVP
1. Mike Trout
2. Evan Longoria
3. Miguel Cabrera

Evan Longoria does *just* enough to pull votes away from Cabrera – and Mike Trout does the rest. Trout will be the undisputed ‘most valuable’ for 2014, and he won’t slow down one bit. He might not be able to show us anything that he hasn’t done already, but to do it three seasons in a row – and to have three Hall of Fame caliber seasons by the time you’re 22 is something I’m not sure this generation has seen in itself.

NL MVP
1. Paul Goldschmidt
2. Bryce Harper
3. Yasiel Puig

The MVP Goldschmidt has a team that misses the postseason entirely, but his numbers are so phenomenal that not enough voters can justify giving it to the guys who play for contenders.

AL CY YOUNG
1. Justin Verlander
2. Yu Darvish
3. Masahiro Tanaka

NL CY YOUNG
1. Stephen Strasburg
2. Jose Fernandez
3. Homer Bailey

AL Rookie of the Year
1. Xander Bogaerts
2. Masahiro Tanaka
3. George Springer

NL Rookie of the Year
1. Billy Hamilton
2. Oscar Taveras
3. Javier Baez

AL Comeback Player of the Year
1. Derek Jeter
2. Josh Hamilton
3. Neftali Feliz

NL Comeback Player of the Year
1. Chase Utley
2. Curtis Granderson
3. Wilson Ramos

AL Bold Predictions

1. The Boston Red Sox become Xander Bogaerts’ team. The new face of the franchise in Beantown hits .285 with 22 home runs and 85 RBI.

2. Robinson Cano begins his decline phase ever so slightly in Seattle by posting a solid but not spectacular season. No one notices because the Mariners begin to play a bit better and those who notice a small decline in numbers blame the ballpark.

3. Masahiro Tanaka does his best Yu Darvish impression all season long, mystifying hitters with over 200 strikeouts.

4. The kid from Millville, New Jersey posts a 1.011 OPS and hits a career-high 35 home runs. Then adds two more in his first postseason.

5. The Cleveland Indians regress to around .500 but aren’t entirely horrible because of Terry Francona’s leadership. Jason Kipnis takes the next step towards being a star.

NL Bold Predictions

1. Stephen Strasburg finally silences the critics with a 20-win season, winning the NL CY Young going away.

2. The Reds win either 84 or 85 games; wasting the best season of Jay Bruce’s career. Bruce hits 40 home runs and drives in 115 while hitting .275 with an OPS near .900 for the year. He finishes fourth in the MVP vote.

3. Nathan Eovaldi emerges as a secondary ace for the Miami Marlins, helping them to a surprising third-place finish in the division.

4. Yasiel Puig has an up and down regular season that has flashes brilliance and struggles – but explodes in the postseason to get the Dodgers back to the World Series for the first time since 1988. Puig’s hit in the seventh game of the NLCS eliminates Washington.

5. Bryce Harper has no DL stints and plays in 140 games. His final line is .295, 34 home runs, 90 RBI, 90 runs and 15 steals. He wins a gold glove in left field to the surprise of many and finishes second in the MVP vote.

2014 Season Predictions: Corey

While Spring Training is great, we’re at that point where I want to see full lineups, pitchers going 8 innings and actual stats that I care about. Well, we’re almost there folks. I just wrapped up a great weekend of fantasy drafts, my MLB.TV subscription is re-newed and I’m ready to stay up all night this Friday to watch the Diamondbacks and Dodgers kick off the season in the land down under. I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for us. What teams will take the next step forward? Will Bryce Harper become the superstar he’s capable of becoming? These are the things that will be answered over the next six months. The only things we know for sure so far are that Dr. James Andrews has a nice paycheck coming his way and that Mike Trout is still good at baseball. For everything else, here is how I see things shaking out.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

EAST
1. Boston Red Sox
2. Tampa Bay Rays*
3. New York Yankees
4. Toronto Blue Jays
5. Baltimore Orioles

CENTRAL
1. Detroit Tigers
2. Cleveland Indians*
3. Chicago White Sox
4. Kansas City Royals
5. Minnesota Twins

WEST
1. Texas Rangers
2. Los Angeles Angels
3. Seattle Mariners
4. Oakland Athletics
5. Houston Astros

NATIONAL LEAGUE

EAST
1. Washington Nationals
2. Atlanta Braves
3. Philadelphia Phillies
4. New York Mets
5. Miami Marlins

CENTRAL
1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. Cincinnati Reds*
3. Milwaukee Brewers
4. Pittsburgh Pirates
5. Chicago Cubs

WEST
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. San Francisco Giants*
3. Arizona Diamondbacks
4. San Diego Padres
5. Colorado Rockies

*Denotes Wild Card teams

PLAYOFFS

Wild Card Games:
Tampa Bay over Cleveland
Cincinnati over San Francisco

Division Series:
Detroit over Tampa Bay
Texas over Boston
Los Angeles over Cincinnati
St. Louis over Washington

ALCS / NLCS:
Detroit over Texas
Los Angeles over St. Louis

World Series:
Detroit Tigers over Los Angeles Dodgers in 7 games

Is this the year my Tigers finally get over the hump? I sure hope so and I like their pitching staff in the playoffs enough to do it. Even without Prince, the lineup will still put up a lot of runs and Joe Nathan is in town to give them a more consistent 9th inning arm. It won’t be an easy road but I think I might finally see the World Series trophy come back to the Motor City.

AL MVP
1. Mike Trout (I love Miggy, but there will be no argument after Trout’s season)
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Prince Fielder

NL MVP
1. Hanley Ramirez (If he can stay healthy, big year coming for a World Series Contender)
2. Joey Votto
3. Bryce Harper

AL CY YOUNG
1. Yu Darvish
2. Justin Verlander
3. Chris Sale

NL CY YOUNG
1. Jose Fernandez (The young horse knocks the king off his throne)
2. Clayton Kershaw
3. Stephen Strasburg

AL Rookie of the Year
1. George Springer
2. Nick Castellanos (Love the way he’s swinging the bat)
3. Masahiro Tanaka (I’ll likely regret not have Bogaerts on here)

NL Rookie of the Year
1. Oscar Taveras (Hope he’s healthy enough for a shot to win this)
2. Billy Hamilton
3. Javier Baez

AL Comeback Player of the Year
1. Albert Pujols (He hit .258 last year and battled injuries, I think we see him get back to his 2012 numbers)
2. Derek Jeter (Most likely to receive this award if he goes out on a solid note)
3. Phil Hughes (This should go under bold predictions but maybe something clicks in Target Field)

NL Comeback Player of the Year
1. Matt Kemp (Obvious choice if he stays on the field)
2. Giancarlo Stanton (I hope he stays intact for a full year because there’s nothing better than watching him hammer one out of the atmosphere)
3. Dan Haren (3.67 xFIP shows he wasn’t as bad in ‘13 as you’d think. Great command and now in a pitcher’s park, I like his chances for a real good year.)

AL Bold Predictions

1. Jose Abreu leads AL in HR with 38.

2. New Yankee Jacoby Ellsbury hits more home runs than former Yankee Robinson Cano.

3. George Springer joins the 20-20 club in just 4 months of playing time.

4. The Tigers have 5 hitters that hit .300+ leading to their World Series (Miggy, Martinez, Castellanos, Hunter and Jackson) – Hey, it’s bold predictions…

5. Derek Jeter hits .317 and decides to come back after the season. (And he doesn’t give back any gifts he was given during his final season farwell tour)

NL Bold Predictions

1. Tulo and Cargo stay healthy, play a combined 300 games and combine for 70 HR.

2. Billy Hamilton (92 SB) steals 25 more bases than Reds team total of 2013.

3. Oscar Tavares plays in over 100 games for Cardinals and bats .315.

4. Jose Fernandez strikes out 266 batters, more than anyone in the NL the last 10 years.

5. Wilson Ramos leads all NL catchers with 27 HR.

2013 MLB Playoff Predictions

National League Wild Card Game:
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati

American League Wild Card Game:
Tampa Bay over Cleveland

National League Division Series:
St. Louis over Pittsburgh (4 games)
Los Angeles over Atlanta (5 games)

American League Division Series:
Detroit over Oakland (4 games)
Boston over Tampa Bay (5 games)

NLCS:
Los Angeles over St. Louis (6 games)
Boston over Detroit (7 games)

World Series:
Los Angeles over Boston (6 games)

Diamond Hoggers’ 2013 Season Predictions Post (Mevs)

Big_League_Chew_bubble_gum

Tonight is Opening Night of the 2013 MLB season. How hard is that to believe? In honor of the special day which is similar to a second Christmas Eve, we make our picks on all things baseball so we can look back and see how everyone did at season’s end. Here’s our 2012 predictions. Last year was hit and miss, but we feel much more educated for this year. Here’s how I see things in baseball shaking out in 2013:

American League

AL East:
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays*
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Baltimore Orioles

AL Central:
Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox*
Cleveland Indians
Kansas City Royals
Minnesota Twins

AL West:
Anaheim Angels
Texas Rangers
Oakland A’s
Seattle Mariners
Houston Astros

National League

NL East:
Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves*
Philadelphia Phillies
New York Mets
Florida Marlins

NL Central:
Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals*
Pittsburgh Pirates
Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs

NL West:
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres
Arizona DiamondBacks
Colorado Rockies

* Denotes Wildcard teams

Playoffs:
Wildcard Games:
Toronto Blue Jays over Chicago White Sox
Atlanta Braves over St. Louis Cardinals

Wild Card Round:
Detroit Tigers over Tampa Bay Rays
Anaheim Angels over Toronto Blue Jays
Los Angeles Dodgers over Cincinnati Reds
Washington Nationals over Atlanta Braves

ALCS/NLCS:
Anaheim Angels over Detroit Tigers in 7 games
Washington Nationals over Los Angeles Dodgers in 6 games

World Series:
Anaheim Angels over Washington Nationals in 5 games

AL MVP: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
NL MVP: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
AL CY YOUNG: Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers
NL CY YOUNG: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
AL Comeback Player of the Year: Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals
NL Comeback Player of the Year: Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies
AL Manager of the Year: Robin Ventura, Chicago White Sox
NL Manager of the Year: Davey Johnson, Washington Nationals
AL Rookie of the Year: Wil Myers, Tampa Bay Rays
NL Rookie of the Year: Jean Segura, Milwaukee Brewers Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves
Team that will most resemble Cinderella: Pittsburgh Pirates
AL Manager first fired/hot-seat: Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota Twins
NL Manager first fired/hot-seat: Terry Collins, New York Mets
AL Team Worst Record: Houston Astros
NL Team Worst Record: Florida Marlins

Other Notable Predictions:

Hardball Talk

ESPN

Sports Illustrated

FanGraphs

CBS Sports

Baseball Prospectus

Sporting News

The Baseball Show: Season Predictions & Over/Under

Over-Under-Logo

Last evening on The Baseball Show Podcast, co-hosts Mike Rosenbaum, M.J. Lloyd and myself did our season predictions and over/under show (basically more predictions).

Here’s the rundown:

-Division by division picks
-Season award picks
-Over/Unders for different totals of certain players

This is probably my favorite podcast to do each year because it’s so much fun. I think we’re close to being right on a lot of things, so make sure you hang with us for the duration of the show if you’re sitting around bored this Easter weekend.

2013 Seattle Mariners Team Preview

Our team previews start in the northwest of the US where the weather says baseball is still months away, but I believe the calendar.  The Seattle Mariners represent a bit of what I love about baseball.  Perpetual hope.  They might not be the best now, but they have plenty of young talent that make the future look brighter.

Let’s do a run down of the Mariners.

Major Off-Season Moves:

  • Acquired Kendrys Morales to bolster beleaguered lineup.
  • Acquired Michael Morse for the same reason.
  • Inked their ace, Felix Hernandez, to a 7 year $175m deal.
  • Moved the outfield walls in at SafeCo field.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now on to who is going to take the field this year.

Continue reading

2012 NLDS San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds Preview Post (and Prediction)

A series this important and monumental for my favorite professional sports franchise leaves me struggling to find the words on the eve of it’s beginning.

There isn’t enough I can say about the 2012 Cincinnati Reds or the special place that they hold in my heart. When this season began, I had a vision that this team’s destiny ended up somewhere in the NLCS. I didn’t know what it held from it’s beginning to it’s end, but it’s one of those visions I’ve rarely had in all of my life watching sports. It came to me originally in the 2010 NLDS, it was the 6th or 7th inning. I knew that door was closing. But I knew if I could just live long enough the Reds would be back and they would make a run. I knew 2012 was that year.

This post is more about their opponent that stands in their way. Based on a few factors, the Giants are the toughest opponent that the Reds could have drawn to open up their postseason. After the initial reaction which was fear came some acceptance on my behalf. Then came the simple fact that if this team is going to win the National League pennant, there shouldn’t be any desires for them to dodge anyone. Lay it all on the line and carve out your legacy. Go through an NL West team. Be the team that knocks off the recent World Champions.

I know these guys know what’s at stake; and I know they’re going to fight hard. There are certain things I have gut feelings about in this series. I would bet my life that the Reds don’t get swept. Not this time. I would also wager that the Reds are confident in winning this series. They aren’t scared. They think they’re the NL’s best team. I have a feeling Joey Votto hits two home runs at some point in this series in the same game. If the Reds lose, I predict that Dusty Baker will retire with the looming health problems and tepid contract situation on the forefront.

If the Reds can find a way to get through Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and company; I predict they’ll represent the National League in the World Series. No one else would be a tougher opponent for the Reds. There are no West Coast trips remaining in the rest possible paths to the pennant. This is the biggest obstacle, and the way through it must be passed first.

But there was something else about my vision of the Reds magical run; and I need to mention that they were probably baseball’s best and most balanced team in the 2012 regular season. If it does end here, we’ve been given a great team that I just knew would deliver up to this point.

The other part of the vision that I had–and I don’t know why–was the Reds season ending at the hands of an NL West team. I felt strongly about it.

I love this team and I’m so proud of them. I’ll lose a part of me during this series win or lose. I know they’re going to fight like Hell to advance. I think we’re in for the ride of our lives these next few days, and if the journey doesn’t end prematurely; some doors will open up with illusions we could only dream of behind them.

Enjoy this series Reds fans. When Johnny Cueto throws the first pitch tomorrow evening, it will have been exactly 18 years to the date since the Reds have won a postseason game. Think about that for a moment. It has spanned careers, lifetimes, relationships, hallmark events in your life.

My heart says one thing, while my head as a baseball fan says another. I’m going with what my head tells me on this.

Prediction: San Francisco Giants over Cincinnati Reds in Five Games