Over the past week and a half, 500 Level Fan has posted a preview of each of MLB’s six divisions. Now it’s time to up the ante. No more “previewing”. It’s now time to “predict”.
As always, my predictions should not be wagered upon by anybody, because they will likely all be wrong.
Like last year, the 500 Level Fan predictions column will be split over two days. Today I’m going to cover MLB predictions, including final standings, playoff results, award winners, and some miscellaneous categories. Next, I’ll put my focus on the Blue Jays, with some individual and team predictions.
So sit back, read on, try not to laugh, and get ready to comment.
American League Predictions
4. New York
5. Tampa Bay
Thoughts: They burned me two years ago, but I’m going all in once again. Donaldson and Martin will boost the offense just enough to offset the loss of Stroman, and the young pitchers will come through…..Boston will be better than last year, but I’m not at all sold on Sandoval or Ramirez…..The loss of Cruz will really hurt the offense, and the injury clouds continue to hover over both Wieters and Machado. That will prevent a repeat.…..No Jeter will take a while to get used to, as will the sight of a declining and unwanted A-Rod. There are far too many question marks in New York this year…..If any team can surprise, it can be Tampa. They have a great collection of young arms, but not a lot of help for Longoria.
4. Kansas City
Thoughts: They are aging, hurting, and showing some rust, but Price, Cespedes, Miggy and co. will keep the Tigers at the top…barely…..I believe in Cleveland. A lot of young talent in the field, at the plate, and in the rotation. Plus they have the defending Cy Young winner in Corey Kluber.…..It was a huge offseason in Chicago. Expect the new bullpen, Samardzija, and Abreu to make the White Sox a contender…..The Royals were magical last year, but expect a step back. Alex Rios is never the answer…..The future is coming in Minnesota, just not in 2015.
2. Los Angeles
Thoughts: They were close last year and the addition of Nelson Cruz should be just enough to push the Mariners into the playoffs as division champs.…..The Angels look good on paper but a lot of their players look to be on the wrong side of the career arc, and that will keep them behind Seattle…..The gap between the top 2 and the rest of the division is huge. Even after a crazy winter, Oakland is still the best of the rest (even with Lawrie).…..Houston, at long last, is on the way up. Their win total should be higher that last year.…..The Darvish injury is crushing for Texas. They’re done.
Indians and Angels
HR – Jose Abreu, CHW
RBI – Jose Bautista, TOR
Average – Robinson Cano, SEA
SB – Jose Altuve, HOU
Wins – David Price, DET
ERA – Felix Hernandez, SEA
K – David Price, DET
Sv – Greg Holland, KC
Awards & Miscellany
MVP – Robinson Cano, SEA
Cy Young – Felix Hernandez, SEA
Rookie – Daniel Norris, TOR
Manager – John Gibbons, TOR
Bounceback Player – Jason Kipnis, CLE
Most Disappointing Player – Pablo Sandoval, BOS
First Major Player Traded – Chris Davis, BAL
National League Predictions
3. NY Mets
Thoughts: With that rotation I don’t see how Washington misses the playoffs. 100 wins is a real possibility…..Giancarlo Stanton is the real deal, and sadly for Jays fans it looks like Henderson Alvarez might be as well……The Wheeler injury hurts, but the return of Matt Harvey might be enough to push the Mets over .500…..The Heyward trade still puzzles me. Atlanta looks to be a team on the way down……It’s going to be a long, long year in Philly. Will Utley and/or Howard be dealt?
2. St. Louis
Thoughts: If anybody is going to knock of the Cardinals it’s the Pirates. McCutchen is a perennial MVP candidate, and the return of A.J. Burnett is more important than you think……They are always in contention and this year will be no different. The addition of Heyward will keep the Cards right near the top of the division…..With Gomez, Braun, Lucroy and co., the Brewers should score runs. If they can prevent them they might surprise a few people……I buy the Cubs as baseball’s next super power, but not until 2016. This year will be about discovering just how good some of the young guys can be…..The Reds need huge years from Votto and Bruce to avoid the basement.
1. Los Angeles
2. San Francisco
3. San Diego
Thoughts: The Dodgers have the best roster top to bottom in the West, and even if they didn’t Kershaw would still pitch them into the playoffs……The loss of Sandoval won’t be crushing, but the pitching looks thin behind Bumgarner……The Padres were very active and should be much better, but where will everybody play?…..The Archie Bradley watch is on in Arizona….If Tulowitzki and Gonzalez can both stay healthy the Rockies can surprise. But that was also said last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and on and on.
Cardinals and Marlins
HR – Giancarlo Stanton, MIA
RBI – Paul Goldschmidt, ARI
Average – Buster Posey, SF
SB – Billy Hamilton, CIN
Wins – Max Scherzer, WAS
ERA – Clayton Kershaw, LAD
K – Clayton Kershaw, LAD
Sv – Craig Kimbrel, ATL
MVP - Andrew McCutchen, PIT
Cy Young – Clayton Kershaw, LAD
Rookie – Gregory Polanco, PIT
Manager – Clint Hurdle, PIT
Bounceback Player – Joey Votto, CIN
Most Disappointing Player – Nick Markakis, ATL
First Major Player Traded – Chase Utley, PHI
Wildcard Round – Indians over Angels
ALDS – Tigers over Mariners, Jays over Indians
ALCS – Jays over Tigers
Wild Card Round – Cardinals over Marlins
NLDS – Nationals over Cardinals, Pirates over Dodgers
NLCS – Pirates over Nationals
The playoff drought will end. Why not pick the Jays to win the whole thing? After all, this is a Jays blog – did you expect anything else?